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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.

Heather

Saturday 16th of October 2021

Hi, I have a 4.5 quart Dutch oven. Would that be big enough for this loaf? Also, what size of banneton on would you recommend? Thanks so much!

Dinh

Saturday 14th of August 2021

I have tried this recipe twice now. I weighed my ingredients both times, but each time it was just a wet blob. The first time I added more bread flour and wheat flour just to get some shape. It came out ok. A little dark on the bottom but probably just need less baking time. Had a nice crust on the top and a nice texture in the middle. The flavor is delicious. I decided for the second time to just follow the directions and not add the additional flour. Mistake. It’s just too hydrated. My sourdough is mature almost two years old. I made from it a 100% hydration for this recipe. I think I will reduce the water when I try it again… yes, I will try it again because I think this is a delicious flavor. *I just read someone’s comment who had the same problem. I will adjust the water and flour*

Butter For All

Monday 16th of August 2021

Hi Dinh!

It's so interesting how many people struggle with this recipe. Every time I make it it comes out beautifully. Reduce the hydration by feel. Make sure the dough is a consistency that feels easy to handle. If you've added a bit too much water, add a little more flour, and vice versa. If you have a quick starter, try slowing down fermentation so the oats have plenty of time to absorb moisture. Make sure you build a good gluten structure with stretch and fold and give the dough plenty of time to double before shaping. Then always at least double again before baking!

Good luck,

Let me know how it goes!

Hannah

Monday 26th of July 2021

Oh man, I was so excited for this bread and I think in over my head. The dough never shaped up, it was a soggy mess even after the overnight fermentation. I tried to power through and bake it and it didn’t rise/wasn’t good. I think I did a lot of things wrong. Would love to troubleshoot with you and show you photos of what I did so I can try this again and make a successful bread. From all the comments I’ve read this one is worth giving it another go!

Butter For All

Sunday 1st of August 2021

Hi Hannah!

Please send an email to courtney@butterforall.com

I'll do my best to help you troubleshoot!

Some important info to include would be: the age of the starter, how often it's used, how long it takes to double after being fed, what flour you use, the region i.e., temp and climate, and any photos you can share!

I'm always happy to help and I know we can get this loaf perfect for you!

Courtney

Jenn

Saturday 3rd of July 2021

Hi!

Could you please specify if this recipe calls for 250 grams of ripe fed just peaked started, or starter at any phase, discard, hungry, etc?

Thank you!

Butter For All

Monday 5th of July 2021

Hi Jenn!

Typically I always use an active fed starter for bread (unless I specify discard). An active, well fed, peaked starter will give the best, most consistent results! But honestly a starter in any phase will work, it just affects the time and taste.

Hope you have great success with the recipe!

Courtney

Emily

Thursday 24th of June 2021

Made the recipe exactly as written and, yes, it is a very wet dough, but the bread came out fantastic! Two recommendations that helped me, I shaped the final dough using a bench scraper to get better tension and I cut the baking time by 4 minutes because the bottom was browning quickly. Overall this is a well written and amazing recipe to practice sourdough bread making techniques. The crumb is so soft and chewy, my 3 year old and I polished off a quarter of this very large loaf while it was still hot, bad form not waiting for it to cool, I know. Thank you so much for this recipe! I can't wait to make it again.

Butter For All

Friday 2nd of July 2021

Hi Emily!

I'm so happy to hear you had great success with this recipe! Thanks for the tip and the positive feedback!

Happy Baking,

Courtney

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