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.
Why You Should Try This Recipe
Not only does spelt bread need less kneading time than normal wheat loaves, this particular recipe doesn’t need soaking time for the oats, either. Excellent flavour, not much work, win win.
- It’s great sandwich bread: not only is the crumb great for sandwiches, the flavour is perfect for just about any filling you can think of.
- The dough is easy to work with: in addition to the shorter knead time, the dough is also not very sticky and easy to shape, great for beginners.
- It uses whole grains: you can use light or whole grain spelt or a mix of the two, but in any case, you have rolled oats in the mix adding extra fibre and nutrients.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Spelt Flour: 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 quantities are needed.
- Rolled Oats: 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.
- Yeast: fresh or instant dried yeast.
- Honey: 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.
Step by Step
1. Mix the wet ingredients: dissolve the yeast and honey in water.
2. Add dry ingredients: part of the flour, the oats, and salt are stirred in.
3. Mix: add the remaining flour and mix into a shaggy dough.
4. Knead: use your hands to knead until a soft, smooth dough forms.
5. Rise: set aside to rise, covered, until doubled in size.
6. Roll: roll or press the dough out into a rough rectangular shape.
7. Roll it up: roll into a log or spiral to get the loaf form, as tight as possible.
8. Place in the tin: seam-side down, so that the edge of the roll is facing the bottom of the tin.
9. Rise: rise for about half an hour, then top with oats.
10. Bake: for about 40 minutes, or until quite golden brown.
If you can’t see the accompanying video, please watch it here.
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.
How to Store
Storage: keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days. This is a yeast bread and doesn’t last quite as long as sourdough.
Freezing: freeze the whole loaf, well wrapped, or do individual slices. Freeze for at least a month. It tends to dry out a bit after freezing for any longer but makes excellent toast.
- Don’t over-knead: 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.
- Check your yeast: if you’re not sure if the yeast you’re using is still active, wait about 15 minutes after step one. If the mixture hasn’t bubbled up, you need new yeast.
- Refrigerate yeast: on the same note, dry yeast should be stored in the refrigerator for the longest shelf life. Don’t store it in the pantry, as it can get too warm and won’t be active enough for bread baking.
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.