Honey and oat bread is a classic for good reason, and spelt flour adds even more flavour to this version. It’s one of the first breads I started baking when I was nine or ten, and has remained a solid favourite for homemade loaves over the decades.
While people are sometimes a bit nervous about baking with spelt flour, it can be used very similarly to standard wheat. The biggest caveat is that you can’t knead or mix as much as with a higher gluten flour.
This makes a wonderful sandwich or toasting loaf and it’s a nice way to get some more whole grains in. There’s plenty of texture here and the honey adds a nice flavour element, which will change depending on the type of honey used.
This recipe is adapted from my simple spelt bread recipe.
- Spelt Flour: while you can use whole grain flour, light spelt will result in a loftier bread. I usually use a mix.
- Rolled Oats: rolled is best but other oats can be used (see below).
- Yeast: fresh or instant dried yeast.
- Water: room temperature to ensure that the yeast isn’t slowed by cold water or killed by hot.
- Honey: this adds flavour to the bread and feeds the yeast.
- Salt: sea salt is added to strengthen the gluten in bread and add flavour, of course.
Step by Step
If you can’t see the accompanying video, please watch it here.
Tips and Notes
This loaf can be shaped the same way that you would any other loaf baked in a standard tin. Simply flatten and roll into a tight log, then place seam-side down in the tin.
While some oat breads soak the oats beforehand, this recipe has been developed with dry oats in mind. It has a slightly higher hydration considering that oats will absorb more of that water than flour alone would.
The dough does rest for a few minutes before kneading, which allows the oats to absorb some of the water. If you skip this step, you’ll need to add too much flour when kneading and will have a tough bread.
If you want a sourdough version, please try this honey and oat sourdough bread. I haven’t tried making this one with an overnight method, but that sourdough recipe also proves overnight and offers a yeast option.
The kneading time is always shorter with spelt based breads due to the lower gluten content. Over-kneading will result in a cake-like loaf.
You can substitute wheat flour in place of spelt. Use all white flour or a mix of white and whole wheat. The texture of the bread will change slightly and it will require a longer kneading time, but no changes to quaitities are needed.
I highly recommend sticking with rolled oats for this recipe. Quick cook oats can be used in a pinch, but steel cut are not appropriate.
Sub maple syrup for a vegan loaf. If you use a very dark honey, like forest honey, it will make a noticeable difference in the taste of the bread. Use a honey you like to eat.
More Spelt Bread Recipes
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Honey Oat Bread
- 250 ml water room temperature
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 2 ¼ teaspoons dry yeast or 1/2 cube fresh
- 100 grams rolled oats
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 400 grams spelt flour
- Add the water, honey, and yeast to a large mixing bowl. Whisk to combine.
- Add the oats, salt, and about a third of the flour (~150g or 1 cup) to the yeast mixture. Stir to combine.
- Add the remaining flour and stir until a shaggy dough forms. Cover and set aside to rest for 10 minutes, to allow the oats to hydrate.
- Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 5-6 minutes, or until a soft, smooth dough forms. Add a light dusting of flour as needed to prevent too much sticking but avoid adding too much.
- Place the kneaded dough back into the bowl and cover. Set in a warm, draft-free place to rise until doubled in size, about one hour.
- Grease or line a standard bread tin. Mine is 25.5 cm (10 in.) long but a slightly shorter one won't make a difference to baking time.
- Gently punch the risen dough down to deflate. Turn the dough out again onto a lightly floured work surface. Press into a rough square, about 24cm (9 in.) across or whatever the length of your bread tin is.
- Tightly roll the dough into a log, pressing to seal with each roll to ensure good contact. Place into the prepared bread tin seam-side down. Cover again and set aside to rise until almost doubled, about 30 minutes.
- While the bread is rising, preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F).
- If you want to top the bread with oats as pictured, brush with milk or egg wash and sprinkle with extra rolled oats.
- Place the risen bread into the oven and bake for 38-40 minutes, or until a dark golden colour. The internal temperature of the bread should be 90°C (194°F) when ready.
- Cool the loaf for ten minutes in the tin before removing and cooling fully on a rack. Store in a sealed container for up to three days or freeze for up to a month.
This post was originally published in August 2019 and was sponsored by Bob’s Red Mill. It has been updated with some improvements to the recipe as of March 2022.