A whole-grain, Dutch-oven loaf to make whenever a bread craving strikes. (So, all the time!) This recipe was inspired by and adapted from Eat Up! by Ruby Tandoh. If you can't find whole-milk kefir, you can replace with whole-milk yogurt (thinned, if necessary) or whole-milk buttermilk. Either way, you want something full-fat, so the bread is tender and fluffy, not dry and crumbly. Serve with salted butter and jam, or cream cheese and smoked fish. —Emma Laperruque
Preheat the oven to 400° F. Line a 4-quart (or close enough!) Dutch oven with parchment. It doesn’t need to fit perfectly.
Combine the flour, oats, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Break up the brown sugar with your fingers to get rid of any lumps. Whisk everything together until smooth. Switch to a rubber spatula or wooden spoon and slowly add the kefir, stirring as you do, just until a cohesive dough forms. It will be sticky.
Scrape the dough into the Dutch oven and spread to even out. Use a small serrated knife to cut an X, about 1/2 inch deep, in the center. Cover the pot and get it in the oven.
Bake for 40 minutes. Remove the lid and bake for another 5. The bread should be springy to the touch. Cool in the pot until you can grab the bread without burning yourself. Transfer to a rack to cool.
Emma is the food editor at Food52. Before this, she worked a lot of odd jobs, all at the same time. Think: stir-frying noodles on the fly, baking dozens of pastries at 3 a.m., and writing about the history of pie in North Carolina. Now she lives in New Jersey with her husband and their cat, Butter. Stay tuned every Tuesday for Emma's award-winning column, Big Little Recipes (also the cookbook in October 2021!). And see what she's up to on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.