There was one year – a whole year – where I made all the bread that AJ and I ate. It was amazing.
It was also a bit stressful. I LOVE making bread, and I really find it a relaxing activity. But I was always worried about having the bread made exactly when we needed it, and if I was busy one night and it didn’t get done I would feel bad and I’d stress out about it, etc. So now I just make it when the urge strikes. Every time I do, I ask myself why I don’t do it more often, but alas, life often gets in the way. Darn life.
I feel like people think that making bread is scary. Really, it’s not. Once you get a few loaves under your belt (ha.) it really becomes old hat. Most sandwich loaves follow a very similar protocol, so you don’t even need instructions – I often just write down ingredients when I make a new recipe!
It is easiest to make the dough in a mixer with a dough hook, but sometimes it is nice to make it with your hands. If you need help with kneading dough, this is a great video to watch. I made all my bread by hand for a while, until AJ got me a KitchenAid for my birthday one year. Boyfriend for the win!
And this loaf? It’s a great place to start. Half whole-wheat adds to its nutritional profile and gives it a great nutty flavor. The oats add a nice texture, and the maple syrup sweetens it beautifully. It smells sooo incredible while it’s baking. It’s difficult not to eat it the minute it comes out of the oven.
This is not a huge recipe. It definitely makes a loaf smaller than what you’d get off the shelf at the store. I kind of do that because 1) it is so full of flavor I think I prefer it smaller, and 2) the loaves at the store are ginormous! Let’s get back to normal portion sizes, yo. If you want, you could make 1.5x the recipe and still bake it in the 8×4″ pan and it should pretty much expand over the edges like the loaves at the store. Either way, it’ll be delicious!
Maple Oat Bread
A delicious, chewy sandwich bread recipe full of flavor from the oats, whole wheat flour, and pure maple syrup.It goes amazingly well slathered with a pat of butter, stuffed with peanut butter and jelly, or just one its own as a snack!
- Prep Time: 3 hours
- Cook Time: 50 mins
- Total Time: 3 hours 50 minutes
- Yield: 10 slices
- Category: Bread
- 6 oz white whole wheat flour*
- 6 1/2 oz (scant 1 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 3/4 oz (heaping 1/2 cup) old-fashioned rolled oats*
- 2 1/4 tsp yeast
- 7 oz (3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp) warm water (not hot!)
- 2 oz (1/4 cup) melted butter, vegan or otherwise
- 2 3/4 oz (1/4 cup) pure maple syrup
- Combine the flours, salt, cinnamon, and oats in a large bowl. Mix together well. Add the yeast and mix again until everything is incorporated.
- Add the water and maple syrup and mix into the flour a bit with a wooden spoon (if you are using a mixer to knead the dough, just use the dough hook to mix it together. Add the butter and quickly mix it together into a shaggy dough. Knead for 7-8 minutes until the dough is tacky but not sticky and it holds together nicely. If needed, add flour 1-2 Tbsp at a time until you reach the tacky point. When finished, it won’t become completely smooth due to the oats, but it should look rather smooth when pressed with your palm.
- Oil a bowl (I just use the one I mixed the dough together in), shape the dough into a rough ball and place in the bowl. Spray the top of the dough with more cooking spray and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Set aside to rise for 60-75 minutes.
- When the dough is done rising, it should have just about doubled in size and should maintain an indent when poked gently. Lightly spray a large wooden cutting board with cooking spray and turn the dough out onto the counter.
- Pat the dough into a rough rectangle about 15×8 inches. Starting at one end, tightly roll the dough up into a log. Seal the long edge with your fingers by pinching it gently with the dough beneath it; place this seam on the bottom. Tuck the short ends under the bottom so your get a nice fat log shape. If desired, roll the top of the dough in a pile of oats (really just for looking good).
- Oil an 8×4″ loaf pan and place the dough seam-side down in the pan. Cover with your same piece of plastic wrap and set aside to rise for another 60 minutes.
- minutes before you plan to bake the bread, preheat your oven to 350F.
- When the bread is done rising, it should be puffy and domed on the top and should have roughly doubled in size. It won’t quite have taken over the pan, but it should be mostly filling it up.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes, rotating once midway through, until it is a nice dark golden color on top and registers 190F in the middle (I use a meat thermometer).
- Turn the loaf out onto a wire cooling rack and rub the top with a stick or scoop of butter. Let cool for at least 2 hours (it’ll be gummy and undercooked if you cut into it before it’s cool!).
-If you have a kitchen scale (or are willing to buy one), I definitely recommend weighing your ingredients. It is more accurate and much easier!
-Do not use instant oats! You want the big flaky ones.
-King Arthur Flour makes a wonderful white whole wheat flour that I use in all my whole-wheat cooking. It’s a bit more mild than regular whole wheat (made from red wheat berries) and has a softer texture. Trader Joe’s carries some also. If you can’t find white whole wheat, you can use regular whole wheat, but you may want to use a bit less of it.