Whole Wheat and Steel-Cut Oats Bread – A Long-Fermentation Bread


Making this bread is a bit of an undertaking, but I’m so glad that it’s now in my repertoire. The best thing about this recipe is that the dough can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to three weeks, which means you can make one batch, divide out some loaves as gifts, and still have enough left over to bake fresh for your family. It also freezes beautifully! Here are all the steps: 1) Combine yeast with water and sugar; 2) Stir in flour mixed with salt; 3) Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a towel and let rise at room temperature until doubled (about 1 hour); 4) Punch down dough by folding from the edges into the center. Divide dough into two equal portions;

prep: 50 mins, cook: 1 hr, additional: 20 hrs 45 mins, total: 21 hrs 95 mins, Servings: 24, Yield: 2 9×5-inch loaves


5 cups water

¾ cup nonfat dry milk powder

1 tablespoon water, or as needed

5 cups bread flour

2 cups steel-cut oats

2 tablespoons flax seeds, crushed (Optional)

6 tablespoons coconut sugar

3 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar (such as Bragg®)

3 tablespoons vital wheat gluten (Optional)

4 cups whole wheat flour

1 egg

¾ teaspoon active dry yeast

2 tablespoons kosher salt

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, or as needed

6 tablespoons vegetable oil


Heat a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the steel cut oats; cook and stir until lightly toasted, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Combine bread flour, whole wheat flour, toasted steel cut oats, dry milk, sugar, gluten, salt, flax seeds, and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Add 5 cups water, oil, and vinegar. Mix on low until all ingredients are moistened. Increase speed to medium-high; mix until gluten is developed and dough is elastic, about 5 minutes.

Turn dough into a clean, oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, 1 to 2 hours.

Stretch and fold dough 4 to 6 times. Place back in bowl, cover, and refrigerate 16 to 18 hours.

Remove from the refrigerator 2 to 4 hours before baking. Turn out onto a well-floured surface; sprinkle top of dough with flour. Halve the dough; flatten each half. Fold in all 4 sides like an envelope; press edges together into the dough. Shape each piece into a loaf with the smooth side on top. Place in 2 loaf pans; cover with a non-terry towel. Let rise until dough just crests above the top of the pan, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees F (260 degrees C). Place a pan of water on the lower rack to produce steam for the bread.

Whisk egg with 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl. Coat tops of loaves with the egg wash.

Bake in the preheated oven until browned, about 15 minutes. Remove the pan of water carefully; cover loaves with aluminum foil tents. Continue baking until an instant-read thermometer inserted into a loaf reads 200 to 205 degrees F (93 to 96 degrees C), 45 to 60 minutes more.

Remove loaves from pans and cool on a wire rack.

Nutrition Facts:

Per Serving: 188 calories; protein 6.8g; carbohydrates 29.9g; fat 5.1g; cholesterol 8.5mg; sodium 506.8mg.

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