Surviving Twenty Something

Harvest Honey & Oat Bread

FoodJordanna Rowan

It's about that time— that beautiful time of the year when everything is golden and wheaty and beautiful. At least, that's what I see. I actually spotted a rich, gold-orange leaf on my way home today. I smiled a small smile.

About this time last year I tried making my first honey-oat bread, and this is the bigger, badder, definitely improved version which tastes like the harvest, and fall, and everything golden. I made this bread with a stand mixer, but you can do it with your hands, which I love doing. There is something so meditative and restorative about making bread. Everything else melts away as you mix and knead, and the gorgeous golden smell of baking bread fills your house. I think you'll love it.

After the bread has risen for an hour, shape it into a rough loaf shape, place into a 9 x 5 pan sprayed with non-stick spray, and let rise for another 45 minutes to an hour, depending on how warm your location is. I chose to let mine rise for a bit in the oven— I turned the oven onto it's lowest setting for a minute or two, then popped the loaf in with a towel over top, and the oven door cracked open. Take care not to dry out the top if you're using this method. After the second rise, brush your loaf with melted honey, sprinkle with oats, and into the oven it goes for 40-50 minutes. If you think the top is browning too quickly but the inside is not yet cooked through, cover the top of your loaf with aluminum foil for the remainder of time.

Your bread is done when the top is a rich golden brown and is hollow sounding when you tap the surface. You could also use the clean-toothpick test.

Jam it up! I'm really hooked on this blueberry jam lately. The whole jar lasted... about five days. Is that bad? That's bad. In any case, it was really wonderful slathered on this bread. It's also toasted up beautifully and is really delicious with butter and a swipe of— you guessed it— honey.

The Recipe

makes one 9 x 5 loaf

  • 2½ tsp yeast (7g)
  • ¹⁄3 cup melted honey (125g)
  • 3 tbsp butter (45g salted or unsalted)
  • salt, to taste
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 2¼ cups all purpose flour (370g, bread flour in US)
  • 1 cup finely milled oat flour (100g) *
  • ¼ cup coarsely milled oat flour (25g) *
  • ½ cup of milk
  • ½ cup of water
  • Extra honey & oats for brushing & garnish

* With a food processor or blender, pulse 100g of oats until finely milled and powdery. Blend 25g to a much coarser consistency, like coarse whole wheat flour. If you don't have enough oats to make oat flour, you could easily substitute a whole wheat flour.

The Method

  • Preheat your oven to 350F.
  • In a stand mixer (though you could do this all by hand), mix the warm ½ cup of milk and ½ cup of water with the yeast, stir, and let stand until frothy.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, salt, cinnamon,  and oat flours (or whole wheat flour).
  • Once the yeast is frothy, mix in the melted butter, melted honey, and vanilla. With the dough hook attachment (or your hands), mix in the flour mixture in parts until well combined. On a medium-low speed, mix for about seven minutes until the dough is smooth (as smooth as dough with oats can be) and elastic.
  • Cover the bowl with a tea towel and set aside for two hours to rise.
  • Shape the dough into a rough loaf shape. Spray a 9 x 5 loaf pan with non-stick spray and allow the loaf to rest in the pan for about forty-five minutes until the dough has risen over the edge of the pan.
  • Brush the loaf with warm honey and sprinkle with oats.
  • Bake for 40-50 minutes until the top is a rich golden brown and sound hollow when tapped (or until a toothpick comes away clean).

Let cool for half an hour before slicing and serving with butter and blueberry jam or honey.

What are your favourite harvest season recipes? Let me know in the comments, I'd love to try something new!

Harvest Honey & Oat Bread: a gorgeous, simple golden loaf with a sweet oaty crust. Swipe with jam for maximum results.