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Buttermilk Sourdough Bread With Honey and Oats

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This is the kind of bread that makes a sandwich exceptional. 

Pinterest collage image showing slices of buttermilk sourdough with text.

When I set out to develop this recipe I spent a lot of time testing different shaping techniques. I finally settled on a beautiful and functional sandwich loaf. Baking this rich bread in a loaf pan really supports the hearty oat-filled dough. 

The texture is chewy with rolled oats and has a semi-open soft crumb. It slices like a dream for making sandwiches and toast!

A sliced loaf of buttermilk sourdough showing the open and textured inner crumb.

Buttermilk: The Special Ingredient 

I really only started making this bread because I was churning so much cultured raw butter that I needed a use for my very tangy and delicious raw buttermilk. Buttermilk is the only hydrator in this recipe, besides the sourdough starter, and it adds a richness, more protein, and a lot more tang to this dough.

The tangy buttermilk flavor is balanced perfectly by the soft mild oats and earthy sweetness of the honey.

Because your buttermilk will undoubtedly be a different consistency than mine, I am including a range of measurements. Start slowly with 75% of the buttermilk, then if needed add in more a little at a time until all the dry ingredients are moistened sufficiently. 

A thinly sliced loaf of buttermilk sourdough bread with real raw butter and a second loaf in the background.

Two Loaves of Buttermilk Sourdough Are Better Than One

This recipe yields two standard sandwich-sized bread loaves. Perfect for the big and busy family who makes a lot of sandwiches, breakfast toast, and French toast. This bread also freezes really well so you can have one prepared in advance, or one for you now and one to give away!

Top view of a loaf of sliced buttermilk sourdough showing the semi-open crumb.

A sliced loaf of Buttermilk Sourdough showing the open and textured inner crumb.

Buttermilk Sourdough Bread With Honey and Oats

Yield: 2 Sandwich Loaves
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Additional Time: 14 hours
Total Time: 15 hours 35 minutes

Sweet and tangy buttermilk sourdough with honey and oats is the sliceable sandwich loaf you've been dreaming about!


  • 250 grams (1 cup stirred down) active sourdough starter, 100% hydration
  • 640 grams (3 cups) buttermilk
  • 120 grams (6 tablespoons) honey  
  • 18 grams (2 1/2 teaspoons) salt
  • 600 grams (4 cups) sifted whole wheat flour
  • 200 grams (1 2/3 cups) organic rolled oats


The Night Before

  1. In a large mixing bowl add the starter, 75% of the buttermilk, honey, and salt. Stir this mixture together well with a dough whisk or wooden spoon.
  2. Add the flour and oats and stir them in until they are fully incorporated.
  3. Add a little more buttermilk if the dough is too dry. Remember that the oats will absorb some moisture, so it is best to have it on the moist side.
  4. Let the dough rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Do a series of stretch-and-fold kneading in the bowl.
  5. Let the dough rest again and repeat this process two to five more times. Follow the video instructions for stretch and fold found here.
  6. Cover the dough and let it ferment at room temperature (65 to 70℉) overnight.

The Next Morning

  1. Do a series of stretch and folds in the bowl to deflate the dough. This is the punch down.
  2. Coat two loaf pans with butter.
  3. Flour your work surface and turn the dough out onto it.
  4. Divide the dough in half. Shape each half into a loaf. My technique follows:
  5. Working one at a time, pat the dough into a rectangle about as wide as the loaf pan. Fold the top third of the rectangle down toward the middle and gently press it down. Then roll the two top thirds over the bottom third. Let the dough rest with the seam side down.
  6. Once both loaves are shaped and rested for a few minutes, carefully transfer them to the prepared loaf pans for the final rise.
  7. Spray the top of each loaf with water and sprinkle them with oats if desired!
  8. Cover the loaves and let them double at room temperature.
  9. Preheat your oven to 400℉. Place the loaves side by side in the oven on the center rack.
  10. Bake the loaves for 35 to 40 minutes.
  11. When done, remove them from the oven, and remove them from the loaf pans to a wire cooling rack.
  12. Let them cool completely before slicing.


300 grams of bread flour and 300 grams of whole wheat flour can be substituted for the sifted whole wheat.

A sliced loaf of buttermilk sourdough with text overlay.

Sheryl H

Friday 24th of February 2023

I baked one in a Pullman loaf pan and the other in a traditional 9x5. They both turned out beautifully; the difference the Pullman loaf pan made was significant. Now I have to buy another one

Butter For All

Monday 27th of February 2023

Hi Sheryl!

That's great! I'm so glad it was success!

Jennie O

Friday 6th of January 2023

I put together the dough yesterday and seem to have a big fail. All I can think of is my starter wasn’t as ready as I thought. It has been bubbly and sour, but I knew I needed a cup so I didn’t discard. When I tested it from the top it floated. But after I stirred it, it sank in the water. I am not as experienced at this yet, so I went ahead with mixing everything. I started with 75% of the buttermilk and it was really dry so added the rest. The dough was so stiff and heavy. I never could really get the stretch and pull going, but still did my best with it. The house was in the cool side overnight at low 60’s. This morning the dough did not rise as all and still looks heavy and stiff :( Should I just throw it away or anyway to save it?

Butter For All

Wednesday 18th of January 2023

Hi Jennie,

I'm sorry I wasn't able to respond sooner. It sounds like your starter might not be strong enough (YET) for this recipe with all its additions. The buttermilk, oats, and honey can all slow down fermentation so you need a very vigorous and conditioned starter for this particular recipe. And, you may have needed to adjust the hydration by adding extra water. That is something you can always do, it wont hurt the recipe. I can't think of an instance where adjusting shouldn't be done based off instinct. A warmer environment for at least a few hours in the beginning would also be a big benefit to the dough. I'd love to help you get some of the kinks worked out. If you want to do a private consultation I offer 30,60, and 90 minutes. You can take a look at my calendar here.

I know it can be frustrating to feel like you are wasting ingredients and I'm so sorry that happened. I hope you'll try again!



Sunday 18th of December 2022

What size loaf pans? And when you fold right before putting in pans- fold what direction? Hotdog or hamburger way?

Butter For All

Tuesday 20th of December 2022

Hey Emilee,

The standard 9x5 loaf pans work great for this recipe.

For shaping, you want to fold lengthwise (hotdog) Step 4 and 5 cover this "Divide the dough in half. Shape each half into a loaf. My technique follows: Working one at a time, pat the dough into a rectangle about as wide as the loaf pan. Fold the top third of the rectangle down toward the middle and gently press it down. Then roll the two top thirds over the bottom third. Let the dough rest with the seam side down.

Of course you can shape it however you are comfortable making a regular loaf. I really should get on YouTube and make some shaping videos!

I wish you great success with this recipe!



Friday 28th of October 2022

I absolutely love the flavor of this bread! I have to score mine or they crack along the side, could this be a sign of underproofing? I thought maybe I had let it rise too long in the pan, but no sign of over proofing when it baked.

Butter For All

Monday 31st of October 2022

Hi Victoria!

It sounds like you are getting a great oven spring. Well done! I think you are doing it just right!


Tuesday 31st of May 2022

Hello Courtney! I have a question… I have a whole wheat bread flour. Can I use that instead of sifted whole wheat? This sounds so delicious. I am very new to sourdough, but I have been making another one of your loaves and it has turned out great. 🙂 I just really think my family will love this recipe too!

Butter For All

Friday 3rd of June 2022

Hi Angie!

Absolutely! You can sub whole wheat just know that the resulting bread may be a touch denser. Thank you so much for the thoughtful feedback! Happy baking!


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