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Sweet and Soft Honey Oat Sourdough

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My honey oat sourdough bread has a lot going for it.

If you like crusty, thick, chewy, slightly sweet bread made with whole grains, then this is your recipe!

A collage of loaves of honey oat sourdough bread with text overlay.

The crumb on this bread is surprisingly airy considering the amount of rolled oats incorporated into it. You don’t have to use only rolled oats, other rolled heirloom grains work really well. I use a combination of rolled oats, rolled barley, rolled rye, and rolled einkorn.

The addition of rolled grains gives this bread a toothy chewiness and a sweet earthy smell. You will not be disappointed!

Cutting into the crumb of this honey oat sourdough reveals a light and airy texture.

Finding the Right Grains

I’m extremely partial to my local mill; they grow lots of heirloom organic grains and sell them whole, rolled, or ground into cereals and flours. The good news is, their wonderful selection can be ordered online by visiting Camas Country Mill.

My absolute favorite is the Triple 200 series. I call for this finely sieved whole grain flour in many recipes. It’s similar to whole wheat pastry flour but with a very airy texture and wonderful full-bodied sweet flavor.

A big loaf of sweet and soft honey oat sourdough bread perfectly browned from the oven.

Process:

This bread is a high hydration dough. It has extra water and rolled grains added at the time of mixing. It is then left to ferment overnight at room temperature before being shaped and baked in the morning.

I like this long fermentation process because the bread has a chance to fully ferment. This allows the rolled grains to soak up extra water. It gives the lactic acid plenty of time to develop. The high lactic acid development neutralizes phytic acid in the whole grain making nutrients more bioavailable, and it breaks down hard to digest proteins.

Homemade sourdough is the healthiest bread available!

A perfect loaf of sweet and soft honey oat sourdough awaits being cut and devoured.

Start Here

If you are a sourdough beginner you might want to start out by reading my free sourdough guide, Demystifying Sourdough – Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Sourdough Starter – Why It’s Better for You – And How To Start One. This guide will give you so much valuable information on my sourdough process and what I’ve learned by trial and error over the years.

I also have articles about How To Feed Your Starter for Successful Baking and How To Bake the Perfect Sourdough Boule in Your Dutch Oven with videos that will show you how to mix and shape a perfect boule!

A loaf of honey oat sourdough bread with text overlay.

Tools of the Trade

This Dutch oven has changed my whole baking game!

A dough whisk keeps hands clean and is great for stretch and fold mixing.

A perfect loaf of sweet and soft Honey Oat Sourdough awaits being cut and devoured.

Honey Oat Sourdough

Yield: 12
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Proofing Time: 12 hours
Total Time: 13 hours 10 minutes

A sweet and soft sourdough bread with rolled grains and honey. This bread makes wonderful toast and incredible French toast!

Instructions

The Night Before

  1. In a large glass bowl mix all ingredients into a wet and sticky dough. I use my dough whisk for this step because the dough will stick to your hands. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes.
  2. Using the dough whisk do a round of stretch and fold. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes. Repeat this stretch and fold process up to five more times.
  3. Cover the dough and place it in a warm area of your kitchen. Ferment the dough overnight.

The Next Morning

  1. Uncover the dough and wet your hands. Do a stretch and fold in the bowl to deflate the dough and start the shaping process. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes.
  2. Spread a handful of oats out on your work surface. Small rolled grains work well – rolled einkorn is pictured. Turn the dough out onto the oats. Make sure the dough lands seam side up on the oats. Quickly shape the dough into a round so that the oats are covering the dough. Place the dough seam side down and shape it further using your hands and the tension of the surface. Leave the dough seam side down on the work surface for a few minutes.
  3. Prepare your banneton with a light dusting of flour. I use sprouted flour, oat flour, or rice flour as it's less sticky than wheat flour. Place the dough ball seam side up in the banneton and cover it lightly. Let the dough double at room temperature.
  4. Preheat your oven to 450°F with your Dutch oven inside. 
  5. Cut a square of parchment paper and turn the dough out onto it so the seam side is now down.
  6. Score the dough with a sharp razor blade. The oats can make it a little tricky to score so I use a nice wide cross pattern instead of something more elaborate. 
  7. Remove the hot Dutch oven from your oven and take the lid off. Carefully pick up the dough using the corners of the parchment paper. Lower the dough into the Dutch oven and replace the lid. Place the Dutch oven back into the oven and bake covered for 25 minutes.
  8. After 25 minutes remove the lid and continue baking for 15 more minutes. This bread should bake for 40 minutes total.
  9. Remove the bread from the Dutch oven and parchment paper. Place the boule on a cooling rack and let it cool completely before slicing.

A collage of loaves of honey oat sourdough bread with text overlay.

Shasta

Monday 7th of August 2023

I'm new to sourdough. I don't have a Dutch oven at home, it's on our trailer. (my husband cooks in it when we go glamping) What would be a good all around size for a Dutch oven for bread? (I've been baking yeast breads for years)

Butter For All

Saturday 12th of August 2023

Hi Shasta!

I really like the 5qt from lodge. It's a good size for bread and it isn't too heavy.

Marisa

Sunday 18th of June 2023

Made this for the first time over the weekend and it is absolutely amazing! The whole wheat taste with the sourdough tang along with a touch of sweet is hard to beat. My timing was way off mainly because I'm used to proofing during the day and then doing an overnight cold proof in the refrigerator when I make Tartine's Country Loaf. Levain was at peak at 11 am, so I forged ahead. This is a wet dough, but I was very surprised at how much the oats eventually absorb. Did 3 stretch and folds 30 minutes apart and then 3 coil folds, again, 30 minutes apart. I let the dough proof for another 5-6 hours (doubled), shaped, then put the shaped dough in the refrigerator overnight.

Final result looked pretty much like your picture - not super tall with a slightly tighter crumb. We also couldn't wait until it fully cooled and had it with a pat of Kerry Gold butter. So delicious!

I've been trying to find a whole wheat sourdough that I like, and I think this recipe is it. I'm a sucker for all things oat, so that is a bonus. Thanks for sharing this fantastic recipe!

Butter For All

Saturday 1st of July 2023

Hi Marisa!

Thank you for the detailed note! I love that you went ahead and proofed the way you are used to. Good work being flexible and using your acquired sourdough skills! I love hearing how it all came together, it sounds like you nailed it! I'll be looking forward to more reviews, as will all the readers!

Happy baking,

Courtney

Carla

Tuesday 25th of April 2023

I tried making this loaf but it was over proofed in the morning. I left it in the oven with the light on. Would it be better just sitting on the counter? It sounds like a delicious recipe but I'm not sure why it was a sticky blob for me.

Butter For All

Tuesday 25th of April 2023

Hi Clara,

Ah, yes, there is a good chance it over proofed in the warm oven. If you are planning a long ferment, it should be fairly cool. Of course it will vary for everyone because of the different starters, but if your starter is doubling in 6-8 hours there is no need for extra warmth. If it's faster, you might even need to cool your dough down a bit. This can be done in a cooler with a few blue ice just to keep the temp lower than room temp. Or, if it's working really fast you can proof during the day, shape, and refrigerate overnight so you still get the benefit of a long fermentation. In this case you would bake the fully proofed loaf cold from the fridge or if it needs to rise a bit more the next day, just let it come to room temp first. I hope this helps! And please try again with this recipe. It's so worth the extra effort!

Take care,

Courtney

Bread_Man

Friday 31st of March 2023

I'm definitely going to make this bread, and I will use a different method with the Dutch oven that works perfectly. America's Test Kitchen determined that there is no need to preheat your Dutch Oven when making bread like this. You simply put the risen and shaped dough in the cold Dutch Oven, and put it in a cold oven. Then set the oven to your desired baking temperature, and when the oven reaches the set temperature, start your timer. Follow the rest of the baking instructions as written. Try it and you will see there is absolutely no difference in the result.

Butter For All

Tuesday 25th of April 2023

Hey Bread Man!

I hope you loved this recipe! That's so interesting, I use my clay bakers that way, but usually I preheat the DO. I think I personally like the sizzle and burst of steam you can get when adding ice to a really hot DO! I'll have to mess around with your suggestion. Thanks for leaving a note. 😊

Courtney

Elizabeth

Saturday 18th of March 2023

I’d like to try baking in my Dutch oven but I don’t have parchment paper. Do you have a recommendation on how to do that? Thanks

Butter For All

Monday 27th of March 2023

Hi Elizabeth! A generous coating of oats on the outside of the loaf, and a layer of cornmeal on the bottom of the DO could work to keep the bread from sticking. But I wouldn't add any additional water to create steam inside the DO.

Hope that helps!

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