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Loaf bread and buns on white kitchen towel, whole and sliced

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Bread

They are soft but rustic, filled with good-for-you oats, and freeze wonderfully! If you like making bread from scratch, this bread will become a favorite, fast.

  • Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 30 dinner rolls; 12 burger buns; 2 loaves

Ingredients

Units

See Notes, below, for using different amounts of flour to get softer or coarser bread.

  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast (if using fresh yeast, use 3 times the amount)
  • 1 cup warm milk (not hot)
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1/4 cup of runny honey
  • 2 tablespoons oil (sunflower, olive, canola)
  • 1 cup superfine or fine whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup traditional oats
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 4 1/2 to 5 cups bread flour or all-purpose flour

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl (I use my Kitchen Aid) mix whole wheat flour, oats, and dry yeast.
  2. Add milk, water, honey, egg, and oil and mix well with a wooden spoon or spatula.
  3. Using the dough hook, start kneading at medium speed, adding salt and bread flour, a half cup at a time. You can also knead by hand, adding all you can in the bowl and then finishing on the counter.
  4. Using a stand mixer should take 6-7 minutes; around 10 if kneading by hand.
  5. The dough is barely sticky and should eventually leave the sides of the mixer bowl or the counter if kneading by hand.
  6. Always add 1/2 cup at a time and wait about 30 seconds until the flour is absorbed before adding more. You don’t want a very firm dough, it should be slightly sticky.
  7. Oil a large bowl and put the dough, turning it around to oil the top.
  8. FIRST RISE - cover with film and let double in volume, for 1 1/2 to 2 hours in a warm place. I sometimes wrap it in a sweater or blanket if the room is more cold than warm.
  9. Lightly punch the dough with your fist and transfer it to a clean counter.
  10. Carefully flatten it a bit. Divide in two.
  11. For dinner rolls: divide the dough into about 30 pieces. Make each into small balls pinching the dough at the bottom. Cover each ball with the palm of your hand and make circular movements to smooth and round the pieces. Repeat with all balls.
  12. For burger buns: divide the dough into 12 pieces. Repeat the process for the dinner rolls above, but flatten the balls after forming them so they bake with less inside crumb.
  13. For a sandwich loaf: make a rectangle, long side parallel to the edge) and roll away from you (as you would cinnamon rolls), pinching the dough together with each roll until you have a loaf.
  14. For all of the shapes: dust the pans with some oatmeal or polenta in the bottom and place the rolls or buns, or loaves. See the Notes below for finishing specifications.
  15. SECOND RISE - cover pans with clean kitchen towels and let rise until puffed, about 1 hour.
  16. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350ºF / 180ºC.
  17. If you want, brush the top of the rolls carefully with water and sprinkle some oats on top. Or with an egg wash, see Notes below.
  18. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes for loaves, about 20 minutes for rolls, and about 25 minutes for buns, or until golden on top and the bottoms sound hollow when lightly tapped.
  19. Remove from pans and let cool completely on a wire rack. Best eaten in the first 8 hours or so.

Notes

Softer bread:

Make this recipe with the ingredients mentioned above. I use this ratio of whole wheat and white flours for dinner rolls and sometimes for buns.

Coarser, more rustic bread:

Use up to 2 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour. This amount will be decreased from the white bread flour and it includes the first amount stated in the recipe. So it will be, for example, 2 cups whole wheat, 4 cups bread or all-purpose (maybe a bit more) and 1 cup oatmeal. The burger buns and loaf in the photos are made with these proportions.

Other tips

  • Additions: add 2-3 tablespoons of seeds (sunflower work great and I use them for the dinner rolls) or chopped walnuts which pair great with oatmeal and whole wheat.
  • Finishing: you can glaze before baking with an egg wash (lightly beaten egg with 1 tablespoon water or milk) and top with seeds. It will have a shinier finish. Or just a brush of water and the seeds.
  • Overnight rise: loosely wrap the pan/s with unbaked bread in plastic after they are formed but before the second rise. You need to give them space to grow. Let them come to room tº (it might take a couple hours) and let puff up before baking them as instructed.
  • Freezing baked bread: after they are baked, freeze rolls and buns, well wrapped, while still warm. Thaw them directly in the oven and eat warm. For loaves, I recommend slicing it first.
  • Author: Paula Montenegro
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Rising times: 150 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: International

Keywords: oatmeal bread