Before I got married and had a family, I loved to bake. I still love to bake – IF I have time but back then, I’d come home each afternoon and make dozens of muffins to bring to work the next morning. I had so much free time, it was no problem to get this done each evening. It also was a great extra source of income as my co-workers gave money to buy fresh baked goods each morning. Win:Win.
Fast forward about 10 years and I have no idea how I was able to get all of that done each evening. My days are now filled with family and homework and muffling though each day to the next. Enter: No-knead Oatmeal Bread.
This recipe is amazing. I just mix the ingredients together and head off to work and let it do its thing. When I get home, I punch it down and get it ready for the second rise – this time in the pan it bakes in. Then, I pop it in the oven and bake it off to golden brown perfection. It’s heavenly.
I like this as toast but it makes a great sandwich, too. If you’re short on time, don’t like all the kneading of traditional bread recipes, or are a lazy baker like me, you’re going to love this recipe.
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- 4 cups Unbleached Bread Flour
- ¼ cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
- 1 cup Whole Wheat Flour
- 1½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick-cooking)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon instant yeast [See Note]
- 2¼ cups cool water
- Put all of the ingredients into a large mixing bowl. With a stand mixer, or with your hands, mix up a sticky dough. Work the dough just enough to incorporate all the flour.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let it rest at room temperature overnight, or for at least 8 hours; it will become bubbly and rise quite a bit, so be sure your bowl is large enough.
- After 8 hours (or overnight), turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. To make a single boule loaf, us 9" x 12" oval deep casserole dish with cover; or a 9" to 10" round lidded baking crock.
- Shape the dough to fit, and place it in the lightly greased pan of your choice, smooth side up. Cover and let rise at room temperature for about 1 hour, until dough has again becomes puffy and fills the pan about ¾ full.
- Garnish by sprinkling a handful of oats on top, if desired.
- Place the pan into a cold oven. Set the oven temperature to 450°F. Bake the bread for 45 to 50 minutes, then remove the lid and continue to bake for another 5 to 15 minutes, until the bread is deep brown, and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers about 205°F.
- Remove the bread from the oven, turn out onto a rack, and cool before slicing.
Yes, they can be substituted for one another 1:1. We’ve found that active dry yeast is a little bit slower off the mark than instant, as far as dough rising goes; but in a long (2- to 3-hour) rise, the active dry yeast catches up. If a recipe using instant yeast calls for the dough to “double in size, about 1 hour,” you may want to mentally add 15 to 20 minutes to this time if you’re using active dry yeast.