There is nothing like homemade bread. The way your house smells while it’s baking, the accomplishment you feel, the way it tastes… nothing else compares. I know bread baking can be daunting but it doesn’t have to be that way! There are some breads that are actually pretty fail-proof and don’t require a ton of finesse or technique. This No-Knead Honey Oat Bread is one of them. This loaf (or loaves, I should say) is a great first foray into bread baking. Requiring no-kneading and just a little patience, this recipe turns out a slightly sweet nutty loaf that’s perfect for sandwiches or the most delicious slice of toast so that everyone can enjoy home-baked bread.
This bread starts off a little strange. Or at least uniquely. First, you’re going to bring a cup of water to a boil on the stovetop. While that’s coming up to temp, you’ll add rolled oats, butter, honey, and some salt to a bowl. (You want a large bowl as this is where you’ll build your dough.)
Then, you’ll pour the boiling water into the bowl, stir everything together and let it sit for fifteen minutes. That softens the oats and melts the butter and honey (which makes mixing much easier).
In that time, you’ll heat the remaining cup of water to lukewarm, and then mix it into the oat mixture along with the flour, yeast, and egg. It helps to mix in half of the flour first, and then add the remaining flour and yeast in a second batch. Just stir until all of the flour is moistened — you don’t have to worry about mixing it super thoroughly.
Transfer it to a greased bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, and set it somewhere warm to rise until it’s doubled in size. It might take a little longer, and that’s just fine. Trust your dough more than you trust the clock. (That said, this dough is pretty forgiving and if it’s not completely doubled, it won’t affect your results.)
Once risen, turn your dough out onto a floured surface…
… and fold it just a couple of times. Fold it in half.
Then fold the sides in.
Then fold the bottom up.
Flip the dough over and cut it into two equal parts.
Transfer each loaf to a greased loaf pan and let them rise (covered, again) until they’ve doubled in size once more. That should take about forty minutes.
When they’re approaching readiness, you can go ahead and preheat your oven. Then, cut a slash in the top of each loaf and if you’d like, top them with some rolled oats. This is a denser dough and it’s more forgiving so you don’t have to worry as much about over-proofing or under-proofing.
Don’t stress. Just bake for forty minutes.
The crust should be a lovely golden brown and when you tap the bread it should have more of a hollow sound. You can also tell if it’s done by checking the temp with a thermometer in the center of the bread. You want to see it hit 190°F.
It is very, very tempting to cut into a warm loaf of bread but you’re actually much better off giving it a chance to cool a bit. There’s some residual cooking that happens and some cooling time helps prevent a gummy crumb.
And no one wants a gummy crumb.
This bread is soft with a lovely chew that’s perfect for sandwiches and toast. It’s lightly sweet with a little bit of a nutty flavor (thanks to the oatmeal). But best of all, it’s so simple to make yourself!
No-Knead Honey Oat Bread
Yield 2 loaves
25m prep time
40m cook time
1h 40m inactive
- 2 cups water, divided
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 5 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- Melted butter, for brushing the top (optional)
- In a small saucepan, heat 1 cup of the water to boiling.
- To a large bowl, add the oats, butter, honey, and salt. Pour in the boiling water and stir to combine. Let sit 15 minutes.
- Heat remaining cup of water until lukewarm. Add the warm water, egg, and half of the flour to the bowl. Stir until just combined. Stir in the yeast and remaining flour until just combined.
- Grease a large bowl with oil or butter. Transfer dough to greased bowl. Cover and set in a warm spot to rise until doubled in size about 1 hour.
- Grease two 8x4-inch loaf pans with nonstick spray or butter and set aside.
- Dust a countertop lightly with flour, then pour out dough onto it. Fold several times, then divide dough into two equal pieces. Transfer each piece to the prepared loaf pans.
- Cover and let rise (again in a warm place) until dough has doubled again, about 40 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Using a sharp knife, make a shallow cut in the center of each loaf.
- If desired, sprinkle tops with oats.
- Bake until bread is golden brown and internal temperature reaches 190°F, 38-40 minutes.
- Let bread cool in pan 15 minutes before removing to a wire rack to finish cooling. If desired, brush bread with melted butter before slicing.
Recipe adapted from Taste of Home.