Give this No-Knead Seeded Oatmeal Bread a try! It's easy, versatile and so... delicious! The hands-on time is minimal and the fabulous results are maximum!
Yikes! Thirty-five pounds of flour later and many recipes rejected, I'm super happy to introduce you to this delicious, super-easy No-Knead Seeded Oatmeal Bread. Yes, thirty-five pounds of flour! Scott struck gold early one morning a few weeks ago and nabbed seven 5-pound bags of King Arthur flour at our local grocery store, as he knew I was working on a new bread recipe.
On top of that, a very kind reader from Utah, hearing that my supply of instant yeast was dwindling (and the stores in our area were experiencing a "yeast drought") mailed me a 1-pound package of instant yeast. "Yippeee!", I yelled when the lovely package arrived. I can now come up with fun new bread recipes "till the cows come home" (a saying that means a lonnnnnggggg time - and one you might not have heard, unless, of course, you originally hail from the fine Dairy State of Wisconsin like I do).
If you'd been a mouse in my house, you probably would have laughed as you watched me trying so many different bread recipes and variations (slow rise, quick rise, overnight in the fridge, rise on the counter...). It got to the point where I had so many bowls going, I had to label them to make sure I didn't get confused. Below is just one day of testing, see what I mean?
The one problem I ran across with many of the recipes was inconsistent results. Sometimes the bread turned out great and other times just so-so. Some recipes were too dense, some too puffy and light and some just didn't have a lot of flavor. So I kept going, working my way (fairly quickly) through all that flour.
In the end, I adapted and tweaked a simple recipe from Baking from Scratch. I'm happy to say that I think the recipe's perfect now and pretty much fail-proof if you follow the easy directions.
Don't believe me about the "easy" part? My daughter, Cait didn't either. Last week, I was scrolling through Instagram and saw that one of our nieces was attempting to make bread for the first time that day. Then I noticed that Cait had left a comment on the post. She said, "Haha, I've been trying too... mom swears it's so simple, but I haven't had much success yet, good luck!"
So I sent Cait the recipe and we did several FaceTimes to give her some tips and encouragement. Check out the pic below that Cait sent this week of her bread!
Gorgeous, right? (I'm wondering if Cait should be the one with the food blog!) Even if you've never attempted homemade bread from scratch, you can do this too!
Our daughter-in-law, Lindsay was also a bit reticent. She said, "I'm not a bread baker". It was so fun to, again, make a few loaves of bread with Lindsay via FaceTime and then see the great the picture she sent me with her iPhone:
Although this bread needs a stint in the refrigerator, the actual hands-on time is quite minimal. I like to mix the dough up at night (simply combine flour, brown sugar, yeast, salt and seeds in a large bowl, add hot tap water and stir well) then form the loaf and bake the next morning. After forming, the dough gets a little rest/rise on parchment paper while you get the oven and a large pot with a cover (or Dutch oven) nice and hot. Right before baking, the loaf is brushed with water, covered with seeds and then dropped right into the hot pot via the parchment paper. Cover the pot and let the oven do it's magic!
Since you and I can't make bread together via FaceTime, we took a few pictures of the process to help you out:
Your work's done for now. You'll just cover the dough with plastic wrap, let it sit out for an hour then refrigerate for at least 8, but up to 48 hours.
The dough is easy to form into a loaf. Starting on one side and, turning the dough as you go, fold the edges toward the center, pressing lightly to keep all the ends together. Once all the edges are turned in, flip the loaf over so the bottom (smooth) side is up. Now cup the dough all around the edges with the palms of your hands to form a smooth, tight ball.
At this point, transfer the ball of dough to a sheet of parchment paper that's been lightly sprinkled with flour. I like to put the parchment on a sheet pan so I can easily move the dough if needed. Give your pretty little ball of dough about 20 minutes to warm up and start to rise then place a Dutch oven or large pot into the oven and preheat it to 425˚F.
By the time the oven is nice and hot, your dough will be ready to go. Now's the time to add the seeds. Simply brush half of the loaf with water and sprinkle with the seed mix. I like to cup my hand right below the area I'm sprinkling to catch the runaway seeds. I just press those seeds onto the lower half of the dough.
Repeat the brushing and seeding then pick up the parchment paper and drop the whole works into the heated pot. Cover the pot and let the oven work it's magic for 40 minutes.
You'll be so delighted when you lift the cover and see the beautiful loaf of bread. It will need to bake another 10-20 minutes without the cover to brown and crisp.
The aroma of this bread as it bakes is unbelievable. If you have any family members, roommates or friends staying with you who are difficult to coax from the bed, this is a no-fail, no-coercing, no-words-necessary technique for getting them out of bed!
This No-Knead Seeded Oatmeal Bread makes delicious sandwiches and wonderful toast. I like to heat a little olive oil in a pan then add a slice or two of this bread and toast each side until crisp and golden - a wonderful accompaniment for soups and salads!
I love that there are so many ways to "do" this bread. My daughter, Cait's four children don't like seeds, so she's learned to make the bread with just oatmeal. It still makes a gorgeous loaf and is quickly gobbled up by her little herd. If there are certain seeds you don't like or don't have available, just skip them. I love to use sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, and flax seeds but pepitas, hemp seeds, amaranth, millet, and even flaked barley are all great candidates. The only seeds I wouldn't use would be chia seeds, as they soak up so much water and the recipe would need to be adjusted to compensate.
Café Tips for making this No-Knead Seeded Oatmeal Bread
- If you're using the American way of measuring flour (cups), be sure to whisk or stir the flour up a bit before measuring. If you don't, the flour will be compressed and you'll end up with more flour than is ideal for this recipe.
- Feel free to make this bread with your own mix of seeds. Keep the total amount the same, but adjust to your taste.
- No Dutch oven? No problem. This bread can be successfully made in any large pot. The pot should be at least 5 quarts or as large as 7 quarts. You can also divide the dough in two and make two loaves in medium-size saucepans with covers.
- I like to make the dough for this recipe at night, then it's ready to bake in the morning. You can also make the dough in the morning and bake it later in the day.
- If you like a really crisp crust on your bread, remove the bread to a sheet pan after the first, 40-minute bake in the Dutch oven then bake on the sheet pan for another 5-20 minutes, depending on how golden and crisp you like the crust.
- The water for this recipe should be hot tap water. Let the water run until it's nice and hot. If you check the water with your finger, it should feel hot but not so hot that you pull your finger back.
- Once you mix in all the water, if the mixture still seems a bit dry, you can add more water, 1-2 teaspoons at a time. It should be a shaggy, fairly stiff dough but it's important that all of the flour is well-incorporated.
- This No-Knead Seeded Oat Bread can be a little messy to cut with seeds flying here, there and everywhere. I find that place a cutting board on a sheet pan helps eliminate and contain most of the wayward runaway seeds.
- Be sure to cool this bread completely before slicing or it will become dense and a bit gummy.
If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It’s so helpful to other readers to hear other’s results and ideas for variations.
- 4¼ cups all-purpose flour (I use unbleached)
- ⅔ cup old-fashioned oats
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- ¼ cup roasted shelled sunflower seeds
- 2 tablespoons flax seeds
- 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
- 1 tablespoon light or dark sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 2¼ teaspoons instant yeast
- 2 cups hot tap water see Café Tips above in the post
- 3 tablespoons oatmeal
- 2 tablespoons sunflower or pumpkin seeds
- 1 tablespoon light or dark sesame seeds
- 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
- 2 teaspoons flax seed
Combine flour, oats, brown sugar, seeds, salt and yeast in a large bowl. Stir well to combine. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture.
Add about ¾ of the hot water and stir with a rubber spatula, scraping the sides of the bowl, then bringing the mixture to the center. Rotate the bowl as you stir. When the mixture gets difficult to stir, add more of the water in increments, stirring as you go until all of the water is added and all of the flour mixture is well-incorporated. The dough should be thick, but a little shaggy. If it still seems a little dry and all of the flour is not mixed in, add another tablespoon of hot tap water, one teaspoon at a time.
Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and allow to sit at room temperature for one hour then refrigerate for at least eight hours and up to 48 hours.
Place a piece of parchment paper on a work surface and sprinkle it with about 2 teaspoons of flour. Set aside.
Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of flour onto a work surface (counter). Transfer the dough from the bowl with a spatula to the prepared surface. Sprinkle the top of the dough lightly with a little more flour.
Gently press dough just to level and even it out a bit. Then, starting on one side and turning the dough as you go, fold the edges of dough toward center, pressing lightly in the center. Now turn the dough ball over, and using both hands, cup dough around the edges to form a smooth, tight ball. Place the dough onto the prepared sheet pan and cover it with a clean kitchen towel. Allow the dough to rise for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes of rising time, place a 5-7 quart Dutch oven on the center rack in the oven. Turn the oven to 425℉ and allow it to preheat for 30-40 minutes. The dough will be puffing up at this point, but will not have doubled in size.
Brush half of the top of the loaf with water, and sprinkle with the seeded topping. Cup one hand along the bottom edges as you sprinkle the seeds catching the excess in your hand, then gently press the extra seeds onto the side of the loaf. Once half of the loaf is sprinkled with seeds, brush the other half with water and repeat the sprinkling and pressing process. Don’t worry if some seeds are on the parchment paper.
Remove the Dutch oven (it's hot!) and place on the stovetop. Place the sheet pan with the dough next to the Dutch oven. Pick up the dough ball by the parchment paper and lower it into the Dutch oven. Be careful as the pot will be very hot. Cover the Dutch oven and return it to the oven.
Bake for 40 minutes, covered then remove the cover and bake for another 5-20 minutes or until the bread is a nice golden color. (Check it every 5 minutes at this point.)
Remove the Dutch oven from the oven and lift the bread, using the parchment paper onto a cooling rack. Gently slide the parchment paper (and excess seeds) away from the bottom of the loaf and discard.
IMPORTANT - Allow the bread to cool completely before slicing.
See Café tips above in posts for more detailed instructions and tips.
Recipe adapted from Bake from Scratch.
This bread stores well at room temperature to 2-3 days and also freezes well. I like to slice it before freezing so I can pull out just as many slices as I want.
This recipe calls for instant yeast. If you only have regular dry active yeast you can still make the bread, the steps will be just a bit different: start the recipe by combining all dry ingredients in a bowl EXCEPT for the brown sugar and yeast. When you get ready to add the hot water, first add the brown sugar and yeast to the hot water and stir. Wait 5 minutes until the mixture begins to foam and bubble a bit. Then add the water mixture to the dry ingredients and proceed as directed.
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