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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.

Denise

Wednesday 1st of June 2022

This turned out pretty good. I usually don’t like working with high hydration loaves, but practice helps! I will make again.

Butter For All

Friday 3rd of June 2022

Hi Denise!

I'm so happy to hear it! Thanks for leaving your feedback!

Linda A

Tuesday 31st of May 2022

My attempt at this is way too wet to really stretch and fold, or to shape in any way. It is acting more like batter. My starter was lively and floated nicely when a ball was dropped in water, so I don’t think the starter was the problem.

Butter For All

Friday 3rd of June 2022

Hi Linda,

You can always add a touch more flour until your dough is a consistency that is easy for you to handle. The oats absorb quite a bit of liquid overnight though so it should be on the moist side. Sourdough recipes need to be treated as more of a guide since there are so many variables with climate and ingredients. I hope you were able to have a successful bake despite the sticky dough.

Best, Courtney

Anita

Wednesday 18th of May 2022

Would you adjust anything if using steel cut oats?

Butter For All

Wednesday 18th of May 2022

Hey Anita!

Yes! You should soak them for 6-8 hours and then drain them well before adding them to the other ingredients. You may have to adjust your hydration a bit, so don't add all the liquid at once. Reserve 50g of water and only add it if needed. The dough should be tacky after kneading but not sticky.

Hope you have a great bake!

Courtney

George Wallace

Monday 25th of April 2022

https://i.vgy.me/3z56yx.jpg

Here you go with a slight spin. This time with golden raisins baked in a bread pan. Otherwise just as written. Great sliced thin and toasted. Thanks again for the recipe.

George Wallace

Saturday 7th of May 2022

@Butter For All,

I've shared this bread with a handful of friends and everybody loves it. Here's a cross section slice...

https://i.vgy.me/nt9B5y.jpg

Thanks again.

George

Butter For All

Saturday 30th of April 2022

Hi George!

That looks incredible! I'm drooling. I always love to see photos so thanks so much for including one!

Courtney

Tom

Tuesday 29th of March 2022

Finally, success! I tried this recipe 2 or 3 times with consistently poor results, usually with very soggy dough. Then I read the comments and made adjustments. I'm learning to go from "don't deviate from the recipe" to "adjust as needed". I decreased the water by a bit and increased the flour by a bit as I stretched and I could tell it was working. End result is delicious. I also had to laugh at the comments and say you were very gracious in your response to the person who basically rewrote the recipe and complained about the results. It would be like "I tried your martini recipe, but I didn't have any gin or vermouth, so I used milk and orange juice. It was terrible. You don't know anything about drink recipes." Thanks!

Butter For All

Thursday 31st of March 2022

Tom!

I really like your determination! You are 100% correct. It's all about the feel of the dough, knowing your starter intimately, and using that kitchen intuition. Well done, Sir! Also, thanks so much for the laugh. Most needed right now. Cheers to you and to milk and oj martinis. 😂

Courtney

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