No-Knead Oatmeal Toasting Bread

cut loaf

Before heading to the beach last week for a little vacation with the family, I spent some time in the kitchen preparing a few items to pack along: granola, granola bars (which, unfortunately, were inedible) and this no-knead oatmeal toasting bread, a tried-and-true family favorite. The goal was meal supplementation — to avoid eating every meal out — and in retrospect, I wish I’d prepared more, namely biscotti, which were sorely missed, and something chocolaty to satisfy our post-dinner sweet tooths — midweek we caved and stocked up on chocolate-almond Hershey bars from the local convenience store … never have they tasted so good.

But this bread was a savior. We ate it every morning toasted and slathered with peanut butter and nearly every afternoon, at times with lettuce, tomato and bacon wedged in between, at others with nutella and peanut butter, and at others with a thick layer of melted cheese and sliced tomato.

It is a cinch to prepare — true to the title, no kneading is involved — and the bread, chewy in texture and slightly sweet, is just straight-up delicious, a treat to have on hand on vacation or not. My only goal tomorrow is to restock my freezer with another two loaves, and thanks to the 100ºF forecast, I’m almost certain to achieve it. Perhaps insufferable heat isn’t all that bad? Just trying to stay positive. Hope you’re all staying cool.

soaking oats, brown sugar & butter

mixed dough

dough, risen

dough, punched down

generously buttered loaf pans

splitting the dough into loaves

loaves, about to rise

loaf, rising

baked loaves

baked loaves

baked loaf

No-Knead Oatmeal Bread

Yield = 2 loaves
Adapted from Kathleen’s Bake Shop Cookbook

3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 3/4 cups old-fashioned oats
3 cups boiling water
2 tablespoons of butter
1 pkg active dry yeast = 2.25 teaspoons
1/4 cup warm water
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups whole wheat flour

1. Place brown sugar, salt and oats in a large mixing bowl. Add boiling water. Add butter. Let stand till lukewarm. Note: This is the only place where you could mess up the recipe. The mixture must cool to a lukewarm temperature so that it doesn’t kill the yeast.

2. In a small bowl, sprinkle yeast over the 1/4 cup warm water. Let stand for about 5 minutes. Stir. Add this yeast mixture to the oat mixture and stir.

3. Add the flours a little bit at a time. My old recipe says to add it one cup at a time, but I’m never that patient. Add it as slowly as you can tolerate, stirring to combine after each addition.

4. Transfer dough to a lightly greased bowl and cover with a damp tea towel or plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm spot until doubled in bulk, about 2 hours. This is what I always do for my “warm spot”: preheat the oven to its hottest setting for 1 minute. TURN OFF THE OVEN. (Note: Only preheat the oven for 1 minute total — in other words, don’t wait for your oven to heat up to 500ºF and to sit at that temperature for 1 minute. You just want to create a slightly warm spot for your bread to rise.) Place covered bowl in the oven to rise until doubled.

5. Grease two standard sized loaf pans generously with butter. When dough has risen, punch it down. I use two forks to do this. I stab the dough in the center first, then pull the dough from the sides of the bowl towards the center up onto itself. Then I take my two forks and, working from the center out, I divide it into two equal portions. Place each portion into your prepared loaf pans. Let rise until dough creeps above the rim of the loaf pan.

6. Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Bake loaves for 10 min. Reduce heat to 350ºF. Bake for another 40 to 45 more minutes or until the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped — you have to (obviously) remove the loaf from the pan to test this. Turn loaves out into wire racks immediately to cool.

We had a wonderful time on vacation. We stopped in Williamsburg on the way to Virginia Beach (obviously to give Ella and Graham a little history lesson); we stayed in awesome cabins; we bought as-fresh-as-fresh-can-be fish (rockfish and sea bass) every night from Dockside, which we grilled whole and devoured; and we spent hour upon hour at the beach.

cut loaf


  1. says

    Sounds really nice. I love adding oats to breads and crumbles. I wonder if I can just halve the recipe though…..since I’d like to make one at a time…..or to freeze half the dough for a later time. I’ve frozen half the dough from cinnamon rolls before, so I think I’ll try it with this too.

    We also try to take some snacks along when we go out on trips…so much nicer than to have to eat only outside food the entire time

    • says

      Shalini — I will make a note of this in the recipe, too, but you can definitely freeze the unbaked loaves after the initial rise. Often, after the initial rise, I punch down the dough, divide it in half, place each half in a greased loaf pan, and wrap one pan with plastic wrap and stick it in the freezer. I bake off one loaf, and then when I’m ready to bake off the frozen loaf, I take it out in the morning and let it sit on the counter until it has risen to just above the rim. It bakes off beautifully!

  2. Vicki says

    I felt like you were talking directly to me. Enticing me to try my hand at bread making! FYI, I made your blueberry crisp and farro salad last night for a dinner party. Both were a hit, not a crumb left! Thank you for your wonderful recipes.

    • says

      Vicki, you must try it! I promise promise promise it is so easy. And I am so happy to hear that the crisp was a success. I love that one, too. Wish I could have been at your dinner party… how I miss San Clemente!

  3. Liz says

    Amazing bread! Great texture, too. I made it this morning and watched Wimbledon with hot slices in hand and a delicious smell permeating the house. My house guests loved it!

  4. says

    This bread is so good! I made it yesterday, and let it rise outside (well covered) and it only took an hour to double since it was so hot. Used two parts spelt flour to one part white (all-purpose) flour and was really happy with how it came out. Thanks so much for posting this–it’s a keeper.

    • says

      Lucy — I am so happy to hear this. Love the idea of using spelt flour. I’ve been wanting to experiment with different types of flours in this recipe. Thanks for the inspiration.

  5. says

    I am thrilled to have a recipe for a different no-knead bread from the well known one. I’m a huge fan of peanut butter on toast and know this will be the perfect bread of it. Thanks!

  6. says

    Can’t wait to try this one! I’ve found a bagel recipe that i love and is nice and reliable, but loafs have been a bit more evasive for me… This one looks so nice and hearty, with a beautiful crust – thanks for sharing!

  7. says

    Ali, yum! These are the loveliest loaves of bread… but of course I love the photos of your adorable munchkins best. Once I unearth my loaf pans, I’ll give this a try. Did you enjoy Williamsburg? I went once with my parents and thought it was so fun.

    • says

      Darcy — Williamsburg was a ball. I wish we had more time to explore the streets and shops and restaurants. Ben and I are going to revisit it sans kiddos as soon as we are able.

  8. says

    your kiddies are the cutest little people ever. wow, munchkins! And your trip to the beach sounds perfect, just what beach vacation should be like. I’m looking forward to trying this bread. I love the fact it is no knead, although I’m lazy and always just knead dough in my standing mixer. Hope things have cooled down since you posted.

  9. Mary says

    Made this today, and LOVE it. Your tips and photos are very helpful. I love the warm, nutty taste of this bread! Thank you!

  10. says

    I made this on Monday and it is oh-so yummy! Perfect moist, slightly nutty and sweet bread! I will certainly be making this again. Awesome!

    • says

      Donna — white flour will work just fine. The whole wheat flour makes it healthier and heartier, but you can’t hurt this recipe by using solely white flour. Good luck with it!

  11. says

    Hi, this recepy looks very nice.
    I have one question though.
    could you precize what a volume of your standard cup is?
    :) I usually measure each gram of ingridients when it comes to bread baking :)


  12. says

    Sorry you can ignore the previous comment!
    I saw in another of your recepies that 4 cups make 14 oz.
    which turns out to be 414 ml in volume.
    this would be enough info to go turn on the owen !

  13. Marisa says

    I don’t have enough kosher salt on hand. What would the amount be for regular table salt? Tablespoon for tablespoon seems a little salty …

  14. Monica says

    Love love love it!!! I have never made bread and this was super easy. My husband came home and said the house smelled amazing. I am so glad u posted this recipe. I am definitely making this again and again.

    • says

      Monica — So happy to hear this! I know, isn’t there something about the smell of freshly baked bread? Nothing beats it. So glad you liked it and that your first bread-making experience was a success. You’re a natural!

  15. says

    Have to say again how much I love this bread. This week’s batch was made with Bob’s Red Mill muesli and some chopped pecans (because I forgot to buy oatmeal!), and it’s so good. Even untoasted. Even two days after baking! Such an adaptable recipe. Thanks again for this. :-)

  16. melissa says

    I have tried making bread so many times and i have never had a loaf turn out…. i cant seem t nail down the rising?? i saw your recipe and decided to give it a try. i did everything exactly as you said…but my loaf was still very dense… not sure if you have any suggestions?? it smelled amazing though!!

    • says

      Melissa — hi! Bummer that you’re having some trouble with the rising. I have a few thoughts. Often when I make bread, whether the recipe says to do so or not, I make sure the yeast is alive by sprinkling it over warm water with a little sugar, and then I let it sit for about 15 minutes or until it gets bubbly and foamy. So, for this recipe, which called for sprinkling the yeast over a quarter cup of water, I would boil some water (my mom taught me never to use hot tap water, and I still listen), and then place 1 tablespoon of boiling water in a bowl with 3 tablesoons of cold water (the 1:4 ratio of hot to cold water gives a near perfect warm temperature for the yeast). Then I would dissolve a half teaspon of sugar into the water and then sprinkle the yeast over the water and let it sit till it’s foamy. If it’s foamy, you’re good to go. Something else to keep in mind is to make sure the flours are at room temperature (some people store them in the freezer). In this recipe, too, it’s really important to make sure that the boiling water mixture cools all the way down (the heat can kill the yeast.) Finally, I would note, that sometimes for whatever reason, doughs takes longer than you might expect to rise. For this recipe, if you’ve got the time, let it rise for four or five hours, or until it really has risen to the top of the bowl before you punch it down. And then, at the second rise, same thing — don’t stick it in the oven till the dough has crept above the top of the pan. The second rise might take as long as 45 minutes. One final final note, is that dough definitely rises best in warm environments, so if you can wrap the bowl in plastic wrap or cover it with a tea towel and stick it in a warm spot, you’ll likely see it rise faster.

  17. Whitney says

    I was wondering if this recipe would turn into rolls well? My husband is a minimalist and refuses to own a loaf pan so I do my best to make due with the accouterments I already have.

  18. Robin says

    Have you ever made this with all whole wheat flour, no bread flour? It looks great, but I am trying to find a recipe with 100% whole wheat so it will be healthier for my family.

    • says

      Robin — Hi, I have never made this with 100% whole wheat flour. I think you could certainly give it a try with 100% whole wheat flour, but the finished loaf might be rather dense in texture. Next time I make it, I’ll increase the percentage of whole wheat flour to 3/4 and see how it turns out. I’ll report back!

  19. Shella says

    This looks delicious,
    just wondering if it could be made gluten free?? using gluten free flours? anyone tried it :)

    • says

      Shella — I am not the best to ask about this sort of substitution. I have used gluten-free flours with quickbreads/muffins/etc, but never with yeasted breads. If I learn anything, I will get back to you.

  20. Shelly says


    Love your site and so many of your recipes have become family favorites, especially when we can cook with in season fruits and veggies.

    I’ve tried this bread twice now and both times have had the same problem. All goes well through first rise but then things stall with the second rise. I have two ovens so the second time I put the loaves in the second oven to rise both times (following the short heating that you suggested). I thought maybe the ceiling fan affected the rise on my first attempt. Still no luck. After 1hr. 10min things seemed to have stalled. I baked the bread. It smelled wonderful and tasted pretty good but was far too dense. Any suggestions?


    • says

      Shelly — hi, so sorry to hear that this recipe is causing problems! So, I am definitely a little stumped here. An hour and 10 minutes definitely is on the long side for the second rise. Is the dough really just not rising at all during the second rise? I hate to put a time limit on rises, because air temperature can certainly affect the rising time, but if after an hour and 10 min you still don’t see any action, then something is probably wrong. One question, during the first rise, do you allow the dough to double in size before you punch it down with the forks? I’m sure you do, but that’s the only thing I can think of that might cause things to go awry during the second rise — if the dough doesn’t get a really good rise the first time around, things will be slower the second time. I wish I had more suggestions for you.

  21. Allyson says

    Would steel cut oats be okay to use? I just got some from my CSA this week and looking for a way to use them. Thought this recipe would be great to try over the weekend. I LOVE your blog!

    • says

      Allyson, I don’t know for sure, but I think they will be ok. I wish I could give you a more definitive answer. I suspect that it will work just fine because the bread cooks for a fairly long time, and I have had success using steel cut oats in muffins, which bake in a fraction of the time: I mention this in this muffin post, but one of my favorite muffins is the millet muffin from Metropolitan Bakery in Philadelphia — the millet adds the nicest crunch. I’m getting off track a little bit, but I really do think that the steel cut oats will be fine, and the difference might not even be detectable. Report back if you make any discoveries! And I am SO sorry for this late response… I’m just realizing it is the end of the weekend now :( Hope you had a chance to fit in some baking.

  22. Danielle says

    This is quite similar to an oatmeal bread recipe that we love! It calls for kneading and all purpose flour though (I’ve substituted up to half with whole wheat and it was fine). I’ll have to give this recipe a try! Thank you for sharing.

  23. Merle says

    Glad you went to Williamsburg…my town…one of the prettiest towns in America…IMO!…for the kids…Raleigh Tavern bakery’s gingerbread cookies! Best…Merle

    • says

      Merle — thank you for the tip on Raleigh Tavern Bakery. We will definitely stop by there next visit. I LOVED Williamsburg. It absolutely is one of the prettiest places I’ve visited.

  24. Pam says

    How long do you let the second rise sit. I let it sit for 2 hours and it never got above the edge of the pan. Didn’t rise any after it was baked. What did I do wrong?? Thanks. Pam

    • says

      Pam — So sorry to hear this. Usually it takes no longer than 45 minutes to make the second rise. Couple of questions: how long did you let it rise the first time around? And had it doubled in bulk? I find that the longer I let it rise the first time around, the less time it takes for it to make its second rise. That said, two hours should have been more than enough time. Was your house particularly cold? It’s so frustrating when things don’t turn out.

  25. Pam says

    I let it rise in the oven using your warming method for 2 hours for the first rise. It probably had not doubled now that I think about it, but was close. I’m thinking about doing it like your peasant bread and let sit overnight. What do you think? Even my bread that didn’t rise made great toast!!
    Thanks tor the help!! Pam

    • says

      Oh Pam, I’m glad to hear the bread made great toast, and I am still perplexed about the second rising troubles. It kills me when recipes don’t turn out well for my readers. Well, I hope the peasant bread turns out well for you. Happy baking!

  26. Pam says

    Sorry Alenandra. That was another recipe I was looking at that leaves it out all night to rise. I still think I’ll try it with this recipe. But first I’ll make the peasant bread tomorrow. Ttyl. Pam

  27. Cate says

    This looks like such a great recipe, I am going to have to try it soon!

    I was just wondering, is it extremely important to use the wheat flour?

    I don’t have any on hand at the moment, and I was hoping that using all white flour would work. what do you reccomend?

    • says

      Cate — definitely go for all white flour if that’s all you’ve got…it probably will be tastier! If you wanted to sub all wheat flour for the white…then I might be worried. Good luck with it!

  28. says

    After great success with your Peasant Bread, I tried this Oatmeal Loaf today. I have just pulled it from the oven and eaten a slice warm with butter – it is delicious!! If I don’t finish the loaf this afternoon I will look forward to enjoying a couple of slices for toast tomorrow morning. Thank you for another great recipe. -Alex

  29. Victoria Brofman says

    Can’t wait to try this bread. I have a similar recipe that was my great grandmother’s but uses molasses instead of brown sugar and all white flour. My mother said sometimes my grandmother would use maple syrup. Haven’t tried that yet. Wanted to comment on your lovely pictures. When my kids were about that age we also went to Williamsburg and Virginia Beach They are grown now but often talk about the “educational” vacations we took. Even amusement parks can teach sience. Enjoy them because unfortunately they grow up all to soon.

  30. says

    Made the peasant bread a couple days ago and absolutely loved it. Tried this bread today, mostly b/c I have a son who is extremely picky – but loves oatmeal- made this today and he loves it!!! This is the first time he was excited to eat bread, lol! Great recipe! I did have the same problem as Pam though and didn’t get it to rise all the way during the second rise, but it still tastes great!

    • says

      Lisa — so happy to hear this! And I’m so glad your picky son approves. This is one of my faves as well. I’m sorry about the issues with the second rise. How long about did you let it rise second time around?

  31. Lisa says

    For the second rise I only waited about 1/2 hour, so maybe next time I’ll wait more like 45 minutes. Either way, totally worth another shot :)

  32. Karen U says

    I’m just wondering what precisely is the size of a standard loaf pan? I have two nonstick loaf pans that look like the ones you are using, but they seem so big! They are 4 1/2 x 10. My hubby uses them for banana bread.
    I also have some refrigerator dishes that are maybe 3×8 1/2.
    I think I’ll try the one big and two smalls to see how it comes out.

  33. Karen U says

    OK. So I made two smaller loaves and one regular.
    The larger pan was a good size, and the smaller ones worked out as well! This bread is delicious!
    I am a huge fan of your peasant bread as well. I also made that today!
    I’ve made the peasant bread many times now and its a huge hit with my whole and extended family. Of course I would love to have let them think I was a bread baking genius, but I shared your site with them instead.
    Keep sharing your brilliance! We sure do appreciate your delicious recipes!


    • says

      Oh Karen, thanks so much for this nice comment. And I am sorry I didn’t get to your previous comment before you began your baking, but I’m just glad to hear that this turned out well for you. I use two pans that are about: 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ x 2 3/4″ high. I bet your mini (or mini-ish) loaves were cute? Fun to serve at a lunch with a nice soup? You probably could have gotten away with dividing the dough in half and baking each half in the larger pans, but size doesn’t really seem to matter here.

      And I am so happy to hear that you like the peasant bread. I just want everyone to have the same results as you with that recipe — so easy and so good! Thanks so much for writing in.

  34. Mary says

    I’ve made this no-knead oatmeal bread several times now and it is SUPERB! Whole grains, great flavor, light texture, quick… And seemingly NO-FAIL! I let it rise in a warmed microwave. Though I DO knead it slightly, just to shape and ensure a springy but not sticky dough texture. I’ve tried different grains – musli, farro, raisins, … The kids like it… AND you get two loaves! This is my go-to bread recipe now! Excellent! Thank you!

    • says

      Mary — So wonderful to hear this! And I love your warmed microwave trick for letting the dough rise. My kids love this one, too — there is just something about it. So comforting and delicious. Thanks for writing in!

  35. Meg says

    A silly question: The bread is to bake at 425 for 10 minutes; reduce heat and bake for another 40-45 minutes. Do you remove the bread from the oven, wait for the oven temp. to cool and replace the bread? Or do you leave the bread in while the oven cools?

    Thanks for the recipe and thanks in advance for the help!

  36. Ravina says

    Hi, thinking about trying this recipe, just wondering if I could use instant yeast instead. If so do I still need to add the 1/4 cup of water? Thanks!

    • says

      Ravina — I would still add the water. I know it’s such a small amount, but I think the dough needs it. You can just add 1/4 cup more boiling water to your brown sugar, salt and oats mixture. Good luck with it. I love this bread!

  37. Kristen says

    This looks delicious. Can the first rise be done in the same bowl used for mixing, as in the your peasant bread recipe?


    • says

      Kristen, Yes. I have started doing this with all of these no-knead breads. Why dirty another bowl? Now, my mother is a firm believer that using a freshly buttered bowl both adds flavor and assists in rising, but I take my chances. If you do the warm oven trick and let the bread rise for two hours or until it is doubled, it will bake off just as nicely. Good luck with it!

  38. Kristen says

    Success! I left the dough to rise in the same bowl I mixed it in and it rose beautifully. I ended up adding an extra 1/4 c. or so of water to the dough to get it to fully combine, but other than that no problems at all. And the finished product is super yummy. Thanks!

    • says

      Kristen — thanks so much for reporting back! And I’m so happy to hear you like this. I’m bringing a friend a loaf tomorrow. Just so you, you can make the dough and let it rise overnight in the fridge. I have even frozen it after the first rise once I’ve placed it in its buttered loaf pan.

  39. Lisa Kus says

    I’m confused about the oven temp. for creating a warm space. Your peasant bread recipe has “highest setting” crossed out, but still visible, then says “lowest”setting. Now this recipe, which I am about to try for the first time, says preheat for one minute on highest setting. Which is it? I used lowest setting for the peasant bread and always wondered why mine didn’t rise as much as yours. I live at 4400 feet above see level, too. Still, love the peasant bread!

    • says

      Lisa – hieeee. Sorry about this confusion. The truth is is that I always just turn the knob up to the highest setting and then shut it off after a minute. The reason I switched the instructions in the peasant bread is bc i think a lot of people were not understanding my instructions and preheating their ovens for too long at too high a setting and so were par baking their loaves during what should have been the first rise. You can preheat your oven at whatever setting you want as long as the oven is on for no more than a minut total. Does that make sense? As for altitude, I can’t offer much guidance. But, what size bowls are you using for the bread? I think my bowls make the second rise look more dramatic than it actually is. When I make the loaves in larger bowls, they don’t seem to rise as much, but it’s all relative to the bowl. Hope that helps!

  40. Lisa Kus says

    Bingo! So excited! I made the peasant bread once more just to compare the oven temp methods. My first rise was much higher and the second also higher and faster than the results with the lower preheat. I am baking one loaf in the same bowl as yours (1.5 L). It was so pretty I had to buy one from eBay. I bake the other in my 2Q LeCreuset Dutch oven. They don’t come out the same size, but turn out equally well. I am so happy now ! Thank you!

    • says

      Oh Lisa, it’s wonderful to hear this. Maybe I should try to rewrite the instructions again so that it’s clear. I’m not sure why I’m having such a hard time making this step in the instructions clear. I bought my bowls on eBay too!

  41. Hannah says

    Enjoying a delicious piece of oat bread right now. The bread turned out perfectly, thanks so much for the recipe!


  42. says

    Greetings Alex,

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful bread recipe.
    I do like kneading it a little :-)
    The hardest part is waiting to taste it !
    It’s the second time I make it, and is really delicious :-)

  43. Becky says

    Hi, I tried your bread, but something went wrong! just looking for some advice…I found that 3 cups of water was far too much. I even added another cup of flour after the prescribed 6 cups. I use instant yeast, and had no troubles with both rising times. I did not use the extra 1/4c. of water. When I baked it, it continued to rise, but with so much liquid, literally oozed over the sides, instead of making a nice, bread dome. The only thing I can think of is maybe I’m using the wrong oats? Though they are the old fashioned kind. I read all the reviews, and no one seems to think it was too much water, so, any insight would be helpful…I’m not a very seasoned baker: Thanks so much.

  44. Julia says

    I have tried this recipe now 3 times and I love it! I have found that I much prefer the texture when baked in a cast iron loaf pan vs glass; it doesn’t rise as well but the texture is much nicer. Today I cut the recipe in half and it has turned out beautifully!

    I am not a bread baker by design. I want to be however I lack patience. This recipe was right up my alley! Thank you!

      • Julia says

        Yes it is; I actually have 2 loaf pans from them. Everything from bread, pound cakes, and meatloaf turn out AMAZING in the cast iron. You just need to really butter/oil the pans well.

        I also wanted to add I made another batch this week and left the 2nd “loaf” still in the original glass bowl covered in the fridge. It did continue to rise for a few days in the fridge, but other than that, the bread came out of the oven as if I had mixed everything together that day. This is such an amazing recipe! I can do 7 minutes of work and have bread for the week.

        Your blog is wonderful, a true gem! It has given me the confidence to expand my horizons and abilities. From one momma to another, thank you!

        • says

          Oh Julia, you are too kind! You are so so welcome, and thank you so much for your nice words and for writing in.

          I am so going to pick up some cast iron loaf pans the next time I am shopping (or perhaps later tonight if I take a peak at Amazon before bed :)). And I love that you can keep this bread in the fridge for a few days and bake it when you are ready. I have frozen the dough in the buttered loaf pan, and let it sit at room temperature for a few hours the day I plan on baking it — that works well, too. Hope you’re having a great weekend. You’re inspiring me to make bread tomorrow :)

  45. Mitzi says

    I attempted to make this bread twice yesterday and each time, I was able to get the dough to rise well in the bowl but once I put it in the loaf pans, it didn’t rise. Of course, my bread is flat and dense. I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong. Any thoughts? This recipe is much like my grandmother’s recipe for white bread. The flavor is amazing. I just wish mine was fluffier.

    • says

      Hi Mitzi, you are not the only one who has had trouble with this bread on the second rise. One question before I start brainstorming: Did you do the warm oven trick to let the bread rise? And if so, did you preheat the oven only for 1 minute total? Some people have made the mistake of letting their bread rise in a spot that is too warm and so the bread in fact cooks during the first rise. Let me know so that I can eliminate this possibility.

      • Mitzi says

        Thanks. I’m trying it again now. I did both of those things but I wondered if my oven got too hot in that short amount of time. Another question, are you able to stir all of the flour in with a spoon or do you use your hands. By cup 5 or 6 it was hard to get it to mix together. I’m relatively new to bread making. Thanks for getting back to me.

        • says

          Mitzi, it is a little hard to work in all of the flour, but I do use a spoon. It sounds as though you might have a bit of a heavier hand with the flour than I do, too. Try just scooping flour into your measuring cup with another spoon or measuring cup, then level off with a knife. It’s better to err on the side of using less flour than more. And if your oven got too hot, there is definitely a possibility that your bread partially cooked during the first rise. Sorry for the delay in responding here! Hope you are making progress with the bread!

  46. Fay says

    I use this recipe weekly and I love it!
    It works very well as a starting place for variations as well.
    Lately, I’ve sort of morphed it into a muesli breakfast bread, with raisins, dates, and dried cranberries, (I throw the dried fruit in at the 1st step to soak in the boiling water with the oats and sugar so they plump up), and either walnuts or pecans, depending on what I have on hand. I usually increase the sweetness a bit with molasses, and add cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and a few drops of orange and vanilla extracts.
    A few times I’ve even switched out the whole wheat flour for rye, which was delicious with molasses and dates.

    Basically, this recipe takes whatever I throw at it and still works.
    With all the additions, I almost never use as much flour as called for, but I do work a little more in after the first rise when I shape the loaves.
    Thanks for sharing this recipe with the world. It made the idea of baking bread a lot less intimidating and has saved me a lot of money on breakfast.

    • says

      Wonderful to hear all of this, Fay. I love the sound of a muesli breakfast bread filled with dried fruit and nuts — so healthy and such a great way to start off the day. Love the idea of the orange extract, too. I bet some zest would be good with all of those nuts and fruit, too. Definitely going to try some of these suggestions. Thanks so much!

  47. ces says

    Hi Alexandra!

    I just stumbled upon your blog searching for scones recipes and found instead your bread recipes and you got me hooked on the “no-kneading” part. 😉 I tried your peasant bread yesterday and my family and I enjoyed it very much! WE had it for breakfast today, toasted with a smear of butter —- and it was delicious!!!! — no more store- bought breads from now on.

    I really enjoy reading your blog and can’t wait to try other recipes 😉 Thank you!

  48. Kelsey says

    So, this bread is seriously delicious. It tastes exactly how I hoped it would – lightly sweet, but not overly so, perfect with just some butter spread over it (although it sounds delicious with peanut butter or any other sandwich fixings). I did have some issues with it, but I’m thinking they’re probably mostly due to my high altitude (I’m at about 5,000 feet). I always add a second rise to breads before I shape them into the loaf pan because at high altitudes, breads rise too quickly and it doesn’t give the gluten enough time to develop, resulting in bread with no structure that falls apart when you slice it. I normally also don’t put my dough in a particularly warm place, just to help slow down the rising process a bit that way, too. However, I started this bread kind of late last night, so I went ahead and stuck it in a warm oven to rise. It rose very quickly, after about an hour it was huge, so I punched it down and let it rise again, which again it did very quickly. So I decided I’d do the last rise in the fridge so the gluten could have more time to develop. So I put the two loaves in the fridge to rise overnight. Well, I decided to check on them about an hour later and they were already ready for the oven! So I took them out and baked them, and thankfully they didn’t really rise anymore in the oven (I usually get pretty good oven spring so I was worried they would be enormous or would cascade over the sides of the pans). Anyway, slicing the bread this morning, it totally falls apart – there’s no way I could toast it or make a sandwich out of it. I’m still really pleased with the loaves because they taste SO good, but I’m going to have to tweak some things to see if I can get a better structure to the bread. I was a little worried about this because of not having to knead the dough, so I’m wondering if I need to knead the dough a bit? I’ll definitely not put it in a warm place to rise next time, and will try again to do the last rise in the fridge. I’ll let you know how it turns out!

    • says

      Kelsey, hi! And thank you for all of this. It was so interesting to read. I am not familiar with high-altitude baking, so when I get questions about it, I never know how to advise. And I didn’t know that a fast rise inhibits gluten development, but, of course, that makes sense. I think your ideas make sense, and I think kneading will definitely help with the crumbling issue. A few other thoughts: what about decreasing the yeast some and letting the first rise happen slowly in the fridge, maybe even overnight? Then do the second rise at room temperature? You are inspiring me to experiment. I just made two loaves of Anadama bread from the Tate’s Bake Shop cookbook. I will report back if they are any good. Thanks again for writing in! Really appreciate your thoughts.

  49. Teresa says

    Dear Alexandra, hi! To give you just a bit of an overview, i am not a good cook. Not even by “home” standard. It gets worse with baking. Everytime i’m brave enough to attempt a cake or cookie or even the simplest brownie, 9 times out of 10 it’ll turn to a disaster and a huge waste of ingredients; let alone breadmaking.
    Then i stumbled upon your no-knead peasant bread. With a genuine intention of being able to provide homemade bread for my toddlers, i gave it a try. It wasn’t what you call a total failure, but it’s far from perfect because the crumb texture was gummy and not appetizing. But quite strangely, i didn’t give up. There’s something about how you write that inspires me not to give up, and instead of feeling deflated as usual i was even eager to try again (perhaps because i can feel how you love to cook and bake for your family); until on the third attempt i can proudly tell you that i managed to make a decent no-knead oatmeal bread. The kids dislike it, but hubby loves it!
    So to end this long story, i just want to thank you for sharing not only your recipe, but your spirit as well. Right now i’m waiting for the second rise of a new recipe, trying my hand on a kneaded bread.
    Wish me luck!

    • says

      Good luck! Teresa, thank you so much for writing in and sharing your experiences and being so honest. I wish I could spend a day in the kitchen with you making bread. But know that you are not alone — even the simplest bread recipes challenge many people. I am so happy to read that you persevered and have made an oatmeal bread you are proud of! Yay!! How did the kneaded bread turn out?

      • Teresa says

        Perfect, if i do say so myself! Yesterday i made my third and fourth loaf (we finished the first and second loaves, no leftovers, which is pretty unusual) and the magic still works! I LOVE kneading! Combined with the soft smell of yeast, it’s so therapeutic! Now that i can make bread, i can finally feel like a woman! Lol…ok, i got carried away….thanks for responding, Alexandra, have a nice day!

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