Buttermilk Oatmeal Bread, Updated

January 28, 2016
1 Ratings
Photo by AntoniaJames
  • Makes One standard loaf
Author Notes

Food52 will not allow me to edit the Buttermilk Oatmeal Bread I contributed nearly six years ago, so I am posting here separately an updated version. The ingredient quantities are all the same; I have simply added metric unit measures. I've also simplified the recipe, providing instructions for making the dough with a stand mixer. ;o) —AntoniaJames

What You'll Need
  • 245 grams buttermilk (1 cup, 237 ml)
  • 30 ml (2 tablespoons, 1 ounce) melted butter, or a neutral vegetable oil
  • 15 ml (1 tablespoon, 15 grams) filtered water
  • 42 grams (2 tablespoons) honey, warmed
  • 6 grams kosher salt (1 heaping teaspoon of Diamond Crystal brand. NB: the density of kosher salts varies widely - another reason to use a scale)
  • 41 grams (1/2 cup / 120 ml) rolled oats
  • 405 grams bread flour (or 375 grams bread flour + 30 grams rye flour) (3 1/3 cups)
  • 7 grams (2 teaspoons + heaping ½ teaspoon) instant (rapid rise) yeast
  • Oil for greasing the proofing bowl and the baking pan, if using
  1. Put the ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer in the order stated. Use a big wooden spoon or a sturdy spatula to mix the ingredients together until mostly incorporated.
  2. Run the dough hook on medium speed, scraping down every so often if necessary, for about 2 minutes, or until the ingredients are all combined into a cohesive mass. Turn off the mixer, remove the hook and cover the bowl with a tea towel. Let rest for 20 – 30 minutes. Knead using the hook on medium fast speed for about 12 minutes.
  3. Shape the dough into a ball. Drizzle a bit of oil in the bottom of the bowl. Put the dough in and flip it over to coat with oil. Cover with a tea towel and let rise until doubled, 1 to 1 ½ hours, or more if necessary, which may be the case if your kitchen is cold.
  4. Punch the dough down gently and knead it gently by hand. Let it rest for 5 – 10 minutes.
  5. Line a loaf tin with parchment to create a sling overhanging the long sides of the pan. Grease the ends and corners. Shape the dough into a loaf and place in the pan.
  6. (Or, to make a cob, shape the dough into a tight ball. Using the sides of your hands, pull the dough down from the top, bringing it underneath and rotating a quarter turn each time. Put it on a piece of parchment on a cookie sheet that has at least one open edge.)
  7. Cover the dough lightly with a tea towel and allow to rise until nearly double; the top should stand no more than an inch above the rim of the pan. This will take 45 to 60 minutes, depending on the ambient temperature.
  8. About 30 minutes before you plan to bake the bread, heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. If baking a cob, use a pizza stone if you have one. (Otherwise, just bake it on the baking sheet on which it’s proving.)
  9. When the dough has risen, brush the top gently with olive oil, slash using a baker’s lame or very sharp knife, and place on a middle shelf of the oven. Bake for 15 minutes; lower the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for another 35 to 40 minutes.
  10. Let cool on a wire rack for at least an hour before slicing.
  11. This recipe was submitted by AntoniaJames on Food52. (I include this because Food52 shares many recipes with other sites, without requiring any attribution to the Food52 user who created and posted the recipe.)

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Roger Dube
    Roger Dube
  • AntoniaJames
  • smita

Recipe by: AntoniaJames

See problem, solve problem. Ask questions; question answers. Disrupt, with kindness, courtesy and respect. ;o)

5 Reviews

Roger D. November 4, 2018
Antonia, I just made this....step by step...(didn't check the comments)....IT IS INCREDIBLE!!!! Inside is as soft as a pillow and the crust is perfect!!!
AntoniaJames June 19, 2017
smita, I think that's an oversight on my part, when I was loading the recipe here. I have always made this bread with the baking soda, but your question make me curious, so I'm going to try making a loaf without it, to see what happens. My guess is that the buttermilk is probably not so acidic as to undermine the effectiveness of the yeast. As you say, some recipes call for it, and some don't. I just found an old James Beard recipe calling for a cup or more of buttermilk, but no baking soda. I love this quote from Beard: "It's a mysterious business, this making of bread. Once you are hooked by the miracle of yeast, you'll be a breadmaker for life."
I'll post here the results of my testing of this without the baking soda.
Also, smita, your comment about my kind replies to other bakers brightens my day! Thank you ever so much. ;o)
smita June 20, 2017
Thank you!
AntoniaJames June 20, 2017
smita, I just happened to need to bake a "quick" loaf (as opposed to making Tartine or similar artisanal bread) yesterday, so I jumped at the opportunity to test this Buttermilk Oatmeal Bread without the baking soda. It worked great! I followed the recipe fairly closely, but substituted 22 gram (2 loosely packed T) of light brown sugar for the honey. I put the dough into the fridge for the first rise, as I made the dough at lunchtime and wouldn't be back in the kitchen again until evening. I took the dough out of the fridge and let it rest in a ball on the counter for about 30 minutes and then shaped it and let it rise in the pan. My fridge is super cold so it took quite a while for the dough to warm up - it was ready to bake at about 7:30. Here's a photo, taken this morning. The crust is a bit darker than normal because my oven was hot, as I'd baked pizza and lavash crackers beforehand at a much higher temp.
(Lavash crackers: - another wonderfully cost effective snack, if you can get lavash from Trader Joe's, and so easy to make.)
This loaf has a lush, chewy crumb. You'll see immediately why kids love it so much. (No doubt, the sugar also helps. ) Cheers! ;o)
smita June 18, 2017
This recipe is almost like your previous one but you don't add baking soda here. I have seen recipes with buttermilk in yeast breads (some with big amounts as here) where baking soda is used and then sometimes not. Is it important to neutralize some of the the acidity of buttermilk in yeast breads? Or is it just about the flavor desired? In general how does buttermilk effect the flavor and texture of yeast breads? Thank you so much! I take courage to ask this because you have replied so kindly to many bakers questions!