Buttermilk Oatmeal Bread

This makes a sweet, yeasty, extraordinarily fragrant loaf of bread. The dough would make a perfect Pullman (sandwich) loaf, and yet is more flavorful than any we've tasted. We shaped ours into a round and it produced a plump, old-fashioned country boule. The crumb is dense but delicate, the perfect bed for shavings of salted butter. Note: We only used about ¼ cup of flour when kneading the dough

Buttermilk Oatmeal Bread

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  • Prep Time


  • Total Time


  • Servings

    Serves One


  • 1

    teaspoon of sugar

  • teaspoons active dry yeast, or 1½ teaspoons of “rapid-rise” or instant yeast

  • cup buttermilk (lowfat is fine)

  • ½

    cup rolled oats (old fashioned or quick)

  • 2

    tablespoons melted butter

  • 3

    tablespoons honey

  • teaspoon salt

  • 3

    – 3¼ cup bread flour (You may need just a bit more for kneading.)

  • ¼

    teaspoon baking soda

  • Olive oil for brushing the dough before baking


Proof the yeast by putting it in a small measuring cup with 3 tablespoons of water that is warm (no hotter than 115 degrees Fahrenheit), with a pinch of sugar. Set it aside for at least ten minutes. 2. (Please see the note below about kneading. You don't have to mix and knead this dough by hand, if you don't care to do so.) Mix together the buttermilk, oats, melted butter, salt, honey, 1 cup of flour and the baking soda. Beat well until combined. 3. Beat in another half cup of flour, then add the yeast and water mixture along with another half cup of flour, and beat some more, until combined. The dough should start to feel a bit stretchy. 4. Stir in another half cup of flour as best you can and then dump the contents of the bowl onto a lightly floured work surface. 5. Set the remaining ¾ cup of flour close to your work area. Knead, adding flour a bit at a time as necessary, using a bench scraper to lift from your work surface any dough that is sticking. 6. Knead for about ten or twelve minutes, adding only as much flour as you need to keep the dough from sticking hard to your hands. You don’t need to add the entire amount stated in the ingredients list. Remember, this dough has oatmeal in it, which will continue to soak up the liquids in the bread during the rise. (I put a small pile of flour – no more than a few tablespoons – off to the side, and use my bench scraper to pull over a teaspoon or two at a time, as needed.) 7. Let the dough rest for a few minutes while you prepare the bowl and your rising area, if necessary. (See note below about the latter.) 8. Wash in hot water the same bowl that you used for mixing the dough. Dry it and drizzle in the bottom a teaspoon or two of good, fruity olive oil. You can also use butter to coat the bowl, if you prefer. 9. If proofing in your microwave or in your oven, prepare as suggested in Step 17. 10. Gently form the dough into a ball, put into the bowl topside down, and then flip it over to coat with the oil. 11. Cover the bowl with a piece of parchment and a tea towel. Allow to rise until doubled, for about an hour to an hour and a half. 12. Punch down gently, knead a few times, and set aside on the parchment you used to cover the bowl. 13. Allow to rise a second time about 45 minutes or until nearly doubled in size. (If you want to use this bread for sandwiches, you may find it beneficial not to let it rise quite as much. A loaf that’s a bit more dense is easier to slice, and holds up better when constructing sandwiches.) See notes below about shaping, and about using a clay pot for loaf bread. 14. Brush with olive oil, slash the dough a few times with a sharp knife, and bake at 350 Fahrenheit (for regular ovens) for about 55 minutes, or until the loaf sounds hollow when the bottom is gently tapped. 15. Allow to cool on a rack for about an hour before slicing


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