The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Oatmeal bread

Sue Hills's picture
Sue Hills

Oatmeal bread

Does anyone have a recipe for oatmeal/oatbran bread where the oats account for at least 40% of the grain content of the bread?

Floydm's picture

40% by weight?  I have a feeling you'd end up with oatmeal, not oatmeal bread, with that high a percentage, but I'm curious too if anyone has tried it and come up with anything they like.


Sue Hills's picture
Sue Hills

No Floyd, not 40% of the weight of the loaf - 40% of the grain content of the loaf.  All the recipes I have seen have tended to have 20% oats to 80% flour. 

Hearty Oats by Hovis state that the loaf is baked with 50% oats and 50% wheat flour.

Floydm's picture

Yeah, I meant "40% of the total grains by weight."

Mr Frost's advice is solid: oats contain no gluten, so you won't get much of a rise unless you use VWG or a very strong wheat flour to go with it.  I'll bet you that Hovis add quite a bit of VWG.

Good luck!

mrfrost's picture

This one looks promising, and even well over 40%.

I've never tried a KAF recipe that didn't turn out great.

However this one may be challenging, initially. Using their stronger bread flour as the recipe calls for will probably help a lot. If you don't have their bread flour, you might skip using the whole wheat(as the recipe allows), and use extra of whatever bread/ap flour that you use. You also might consider adding some VWG if you think your flour may not be "strong" enough.

KAF is always a great resource to check when looking for recipe requests like yours. I just typed in oatmeal in the search box of their recipe section. Several results popped up, but this one looked the most promising.

Good luck.

Sue Hills's picture
Sue Hills

Thank you, mrfrost, but what is VWG?

Floydm's picture
dabrownman's picture

at Whole Foods the other day.  If you find a 20% Oat bread that you like, you can always make an oat berry scald and soaker that equals 20% of the total flour weight dry.  This gets you to your 40%, gives the bread a chew, something we like around here, and allows the bread to rise better with less VWG.  Even more healthy too with the bran intact on the berry.

Good luck with your search and oat bread. 

Sue Hills's picture
Sue Hills

Thank you dabrownman, but I have never heard of oat berries.  I entered a search into and it didn't bring anything up.  And what is an oat berry scald?

dabrownman's picture

a grain, the seed of the plant,  like any other and oat berries look like very much wheat berries except a little shorter.  It is what they make rolled and steel cut oats from and when sifting out the bran during milling you get oat flour and oat bran.  I haven't seen them at Whole Foods oin the US before either,  but snapped them up a couple of weeks ago when they showed up on the bins.

For an oat berry scald just bring the berries up to a boil covered by 2 inches of water and simmer them for 10 minutes.  Let them cool down in the simmer water and let them soak for 24 hours.  Drain them off, save the scald water for the liquid in your bread, run a paper towel through them to try and get as much excess water off and then put them into the mix at the first S&F. 

You can make a scald out of any grain berry.  For sprouts, just soak the berries in water for 3-4 hours then drain them and spread them out between two layers of damp paper towels, cover in plastic wrap and let them sprout for 24 -48 hours until they chit.  The berries have chitted when you an see the white roots starting to break through the hull and are now ready to incorporate into bread.

If you keep them damp for 4-6 days and the roots get as long as the seed itself, then you can dry them in a oven at no more than 150 F to make diastatic malt (white malt) when ground into a flour - use rye, barley or wheat for malt.  Once you take off the fried berries for white malt then you can take the remainder and increase the temperature 25 degrees every 10 minutes or so until you get over 300F.  Make sure you don't burn them.   Grind them up and you have red malt or non distatic malt.

Scalds, soakers, sprouts and malts are great additions to breads of all kinds - and tasty too.  Then there are Toady Tom's, Tasty, Toasted Tidbits (Toadies) too.  But, that is a whole nuther bread additive of a different kind :-)

Happy baking!

Breadbabe's picture

I sell an oat bread - and its only 30% oat.  I happen to mill my own flour - so I use oat groats, described previously as oat berries (my 50# bag says groats, so I go with that). I mill the wheat and oat together - but I add some rolled oats and steel cut oats for texture.  By then I'm sure I'm near 40% oat. And yes, added gluten is necessary. One of my most popular breads.  maureen

Nickisafoodie's picture

I make oat bran muffins that have approx 40% oat bran by weight.  I suppose if you cut back on the liquid and sugar you could end up with a batter bread.  With the muffins they come out much better with an overnight rest before adding leavening.  Would suggest the same if you try bread for two reasons:


1) the bran will continue to absorb water well past the initial mix.  A batter type consistency when I mix all together is very stiff the next morning.  The benefit is the bran is very soft, much easier to chew and eliminates phytic acid (which can leach minerals out of our body/bones).

2) phytic acid is in the bran layer and is not a good thing.  Soaking overnight eliminates.  Google and you will see lots of info.

Be careful adding too much gluten if you decide to beef up.  more than a tablespoon or two results in a cardboard like taste in bread. 

While these tips largely speak to muffins, they may help you in your quest to make a bread with such a high oat content.  Another way to go is to start with a typical bread recipe, with 10% weight with bran.  Move up by 5% on successive bakes and you may find a point where is works for you.  I have made bread with 6% and 10% by weight and for what it is worth, there is a noticable differnce between the two re "chew factor".   If I was trying to maximize my oat bran intake above these levels, my personal preference is to go with the muffins.

Im curious as to how you make out, please keep us up to date, and good luck...




Bruce J's picture
Bruce J

There is an oatmeal bread recipe from Alton Brown that I tried that uses cooked old fashioned oatmeal.  I originally made it in a bread machine and it worked fine.


wet group

12 oz  cooked old fashioned oatmeal

2 tbl Agave Syrup  (I used honey)

¼ cup warm water

1 tbl Olive Oil

dry group

1/4 cup  uncooked rolled oats

1 package Active Dry Yeast

1 tsp  salt

11 oz  bread flour


Stir dry group into wet group in three installments by hand until thoroughly mixed.

Kneed dough by hand on floured surface for 10 minutes, adding flour as necessary. 

Lightly oil a bowl, insert dough, cover and let sit in a warm place for one hour.

Punch down dough

Roll it up so it will fit in a 9x5 oiled bread pan.

Cover with plastic wrap and leave in refrigerator for between 8-15 hours.

Take bread out of refrigerator and gently brush the egg wash over the bread then sprinkle uncooked rolled oats on top of bread.

Cook bread in 350 degree oven for 55-60 minutes (bread should hit 210 degrees).

Sue Hills's picture
Sue Hills

Thank you Bruce I shall give it a try

ken mitchell's picture
ken mitchell

Hi Sue

One of my favorite breads is Oat Bread from Modern Baking. This formula has a total of 32% oats. Go to Modern Baking Formulas and type in" oat bread that shouts flavor" in the search box at top right. You will like this bread and it is one of the best for toast.

Ken Mitchell

Sue Hills's picture
Sue Hills

Thanks Ken, will give that recipe a try

Reileysr's picture

I make a bread with approximately 40% oats and 60% bread flour with no added gluten.  The recipe is as follows:

1 cup oats (steel cut oat meal)

2 tablespoons honey

A dash of salt

1 cup bread flour and then more to knead until texture is right (about 1/4 to 1/3 cup).

Yeast as directed on package.  I do not proof my yeast.  I just add it to the dough while the dough is still warm.

I soak the oats (meal) for 24 hours in water that covers the oats.  The oats will be very soft at the end.  You can put in a dash of apple cider vinegar but it is not necessary.  At the end of 24 hours, I heat the oatmeal in the microwave for 1 minute.  The oats will be very hot.  Before putting in the microwave make sure the oats are not dry.  If they are, add a little more water but be careful as there is already enough water in this recipe.

Mix the oats and the bread flour together.  It will stir hard at first.  Only take 30 to 40 seconds in stirring, then add the salt, honey and yeast.  Stir well until it is mixed.  If it is too dry, add a little warm (110 degree) water.  Then put in a warm place to rise for a couple of hours.

After a couple of hours, knead the dough and add the additional flour so that the dough is not too sticky.  This will take 10 minutes and it is important to work the dough for the full 10 minutes.  Return to a warm bowl and cover.  You can add a little oil (I use canola very sparely) to keep it from sticking, but not too much.

I leave it over night.  In the morning I form a free form loaf.  I let it sit in the oven before turning it on for about 30 minutes which is called a resting period.  Then I turn the oven on (mine is gas so it heats up quickly) to 450 degrees.  It will take about 25 to 30 minutes to bake.  You will know it is done when the crust is a deep, rich, light brown color. A few darker spots here and there are the real sign it is done but for heaven sakes don't burn it.

This is the best bread that I make.  It is an old Irish recipe.  The oats were cheap in Ireland and white flour was very expensive.  This was a way to cheapen the cost of the bread.  Little did they know that it actually made the bread healthier.

I have tried the same recipe with all whole wheat flour and it was not good at all.  Could not get it to rise so it was way too dense.  Perhaps using added Vital Wheat Gluten would resolve that issue.

Please note that this is not your fluffy bread from the store.  It is a little denser than that.  It makes the best toast in the world.  My Mother actually makes this bread as a sour dough.  With fresh butter and homemade raspberry-huckleberry jam, I am in heaven.

My grandmother also used this recipe for a dinner roll.  Again, not particularly fluffy but a good roll for soup or to make a single sandwich.  The honey and the oats give the bread a great flavor.