A simple and warming loaf, this easy oat bread is made with toasted oats, whole wheat flour, and bran. It's a great everyday loaf for toasting. This is inspired by A Diet for a Small Planet bread, and I grew up eating this super quick loaf toasted with nut butter and jam. It's perfect when you want homemade bread but are short on time and uses shelf-stable pantry ingredients.
With no rising time needed for this bread, it is truly quick, and ready from start to finish in a little over an hour – including baking time! It uses a lower temperature to start off the bake, giving the bread a little time to rise in the oven before turning up the temperature. Genius, right?
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Oats: use rolled oats. These are toasted to add a more noticeable oat taste to the bread.
- Yeast: if you want to use instant yeast, add it with the dry ingredients and a skip the bloom step. Your bread will rise a little faster so keep an eye on it.
- Whole wheat flour: you can use a mix of half whole wheat and half white flour if preferred.
- Bran: if you don't have bran, it can be replaced with more whole wheat flour.
- Honey: for a fully vegan bread use maple syrup. For a slightly darker loaf, use 1 tablespoon molasses along with honey or syrup.
How to Make Oat Bread
Step 1: bloom the yeast in warm water and honey.
Step 2: toast the oats and set aside to cool slightly.
Step 3: add the remaining wet ingredients to the yeast mixture along with the oats and salt, and rest for 10 minutes.
Step 4: add most of the flour and the bran, then mix into a rough dough.
Step 5: knead with the remaining flour, then shape into a loaf and top with more oats.
Step 6: bake until golden, about 50 minutes total.
- Start at a lower temperature: this bread doesn't have any rising time. Starting off at 275°F lets the yeast work a little before turning up the oven temperature to bake the bread fully, and lets you skip any counter time. It's not an error!
- Check your yeast: if you're not sure that your yeast is still active, test a sprinkling in a spoonful of warm (not hot) water. If it doesn't bubble up after a few minutes, you'll need new yeast.
- Don't skip the oats resting: oats absorb a lot of water, and if they're mixed in without being allowed to rest with the liquids, you might end up using more flour than is needed.
How to Store
Storage: keep at room temperature for up to 5 days, wrapped in beeswax wrap or something similar. You can store the bread in a large dutch oven or bread bin too.
Freezing: slice the fully cooled loaf and freeze the slices in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Toast directly from frozen.
Can I bake bread without letting it rise?
Usually you can't, and it's not advisable to skip rising times if indicated in other recipes. This is a special kind of recipe developed specifically without a rise required.
Can I use a different type of oats or flakes?
You can use quick cook oats, but not steel cut. I haven't tried this bread with any other type of flake (like spelt or quinoa) and they'll absorb different amounts of water, so I don't recommend switching it.
What temperature should my water be for bread?
While I usually go for a skin-temperature test and go for water that's slightly warm to the touch, you can check the temperature if you have a kitchen thermometer. It should be 110-115°F or 43-46°C.
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Easy Oat Bread
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Mixing bowl
- Parchment paper
- bread tin
- 1 cup rolled oats toasted, see below
- 2 cups warm water 110-115°F or 43-46°C
- 2 ¼ teaspoons traditional yeast 1 packet
- 3 tablespoons honey or maple syrup divided
- 1 ½ teaspoons fine salt
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 2 tablespoons bran
- 3 cups whole wheat flour
- Line a bread tin with parchment paper and lightly oil. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 275°F (135°C).
- Add the oats to a baking sheet and toast for 15 minutes in the oven.1 cup rolled oats
- Meanwhile, add the water, 1 tablespoon of honey, and yeast to a large mixing bowl. Mix well and set aside to bloom, about 10 minutes. The mixture should look foamy.2 ¼ teaspoons traditional yeast, 2 cups warm water, 3 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
- Add the remaining honey, salt, oil, and toasted oats to the yeast mixture and stir. Set aside to let this rest for 10 minutes to allow the oats to absorb some water.3 tablespoons honey or maple syrup, 1 ½ teaspoons fine salt, 2 tablespoons oil
- Add the bran and 2 ½ cups of flour, and stir will to form a shaggy dough. Turn out onto a work surface and knead with the remaining ½ cup flour until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.2 tablespoons bran, 3 cups whole wheat flour
- Roll the dough into a log and place it into the prepared bread tin seam-side down. Optionally brush the top with a little milk and sprinkle with some more oats.
- Bake on the centre rack for 15 minutes at 275°F (135°C) before increasing the heat to 350°F (180°C) and baking for another 35-40 minutes. The bread should sound hollow when tapped once it's ready.
- Cool for 10 minutes before removing from the tin and cooling fully on a wire rack. The bread will keep for about 5 days at room temperature and freezes well.