As a child, I would have hated this bread.  Back in those days I thought perfect white, fluffy Wonder Bread (which my family never bought) was the absolute best.  Instead, my family usually had some sort of wheat bread.  I wasn’t crazy about it – it tasted too healthy!  And the loaves of wheat bread that have little pieces of nut or seeds mixed in?  Forget it.  I’d spend an hour picking out every single nut or seed so my bread looked like Swiss cheese.

But now, I love wheat breads, and I love trying new variations.  I have another recipe that is still my favorite, but this version was wonderful and different from the usual.  The addition of the oatmeal gave it a really great flavor, and it had a gorgeous tender texture, perfect for sandwiches.  Not to mention, this loaf is a monster!  Seriously, I have never seen bread rise quite this high.  Now that’s partly my fault because I took a mini nap while it was rising, and it went a bit over the recommended time.  But I really started out with a lot of dough to begin with before the rise.  Ben was, of course, thrilled by the giant loaf of bread.  Next time I think I may try increasing the amount of dough by just 50% and then baking it into two loaves.  It’s always nice to end up with two loaves and then you can have one frozen for later.  And good news – even Andrew likes this bread.  Maybe he won’t be quite as picky a child as I :)



1½ cups rolled oats, divided
1 cup boiling water
¼ cup room temperature water
2 tbsp. + 1 tsp. agave nectar (or honey), divided
2 tsp. instant yeast
1½ cups buttermilk, at room temperature
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2½ cups whole wheat flour
2½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. salt


  • 01

    Set aside ¼ cup of the rolled oats.  Place the remaining oats in a medium bowl.  Cover with the boiling water, mix well, and let sit uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  • 02

    In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the soaked oats, room temperature water, 2 tablespoons of agave, yeast, buttermilk, olive oil, 2 cups of each flour, and salt.  Mix briefly on low speed until ingredients are combined.  Mix in the remaining ½ cup of each flour.  Switch to the dough hook and knead on low speed for about 10 minutes.  The dough will be wet, cling to the hook, and have a satiny finish.

  • 03

    Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turning once to coat.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let the dough rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.

  • 04

    Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, flattening it with your hands to release the excess air bubbles.  Form the dough into a 12 x 6-inch rectangle and position it so the long side is facing you.  Fold the two shorter ends onto the top so that they meet in the middle.  Starting with the closest end, roll the dough away from you tightly into a log.  Pinch the seam closed.  Transfer the loaf to an oiled loaf pan, pressing it so that it reaches all the corners.  Mix the remaining agave nectar with ½ a teaspoon of very hot water.  Brush over the top of the loaf, and sprinkle with the reserved oats.  Let rise for about 30 minutes, just until the loaf rises over the top of the pan.

  • 05

    Preheat the oven to 375˚ F.  Bake the loaf for 1 hour.  Remove from the oven, transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely before slicing.

  • this is my kind of bread! I think I’ll try it today!
    At the end of the instructions it says, “Brush over the top of the loaf, and sprinkle with the reserved loaf.” Did you mean reserved oats?

  • Annie

    Thanks, Melanie. I corrected that error. I was very tired when I typed this up!

  • I love the oatmeal top and the height! I have been making breads lately since I got my new stand mixer, and it’s so much fun. The whole wheat one is on my list, and I made the American Sandwich Bread this weekend. It’s great; probably my favorite dough so far because it’s so smooth and ‘fluffy’ :)

  • This looks delicious! A perfect everyday bread for toast and sandwiches. I love using buttermilk when baking, and will have to give this a try!

  • That is one lovely looking loaf of bread. I would love to dive into it :)

  • I’ve been reading your blog for a while now and don’t think I’ve ever commented. I just wanted to tell you that I absolutely LOVE it. Aside from the great recipes and the way you write about them, it’s just so… PRETTY. And your photos are stunning. Keep up the great work!

  • Ky

    Hi Annie,

    Your recipes are wonderful! I have tried a few already and cannot wait to try more of them. Especially this delicious looking bread!
    P.S. What size tip do you use to pipe the black-forest cupcakes?

    Thank you!

  • I’ve recently stumbled onto your blog and am loving it. This bread recipe looks like exactly what I’ve been looking for. I’m going to give it a try this week. Yum!

  • Annie

    Hi Ky,
    This is the tip I used. I’m not sure if it is actually labeled with a number for sizing.
    :) Annie

  • Noel

    Yum! I already had a bread picked out to make this morning, but then I saw your recipe and switched it. Can’t wait to try it. By the way, some of my friends and I who read your blog have decided you might be part human, part super-woman. You really get it done girl! And you do it so well! And on top of all this you’re a medical resident! Nice. Keep up the good work. Reading your blog is a bright spot in my day and a temptation to my stomach.

  • Liz

    This looks delicious! You bread recipes are always divine! What do you use to cut your bread?

  • Amber

    Can I use honey if I want to give it to my toddlers? I know honey is on the “no” list of foods to give to toddlers but I didn’t know if it is ok if it is baked.

    And I love your site. Keep up the good work!

  • Hi! Can you divulge information on “instant yeast”? I have looked for this in my Meijer, but haven’t found any. Is regular yeast the same as instant?

  • Annie

    I responded to this question the last time you asked it. It is the same thing as rapid rise or bread machine yeast. Basically, it doesn’t require activation like active dry yeast, and I have much better results with it. I buy it at Meijer all the time, and any other grocery store would have it too.

  • Annie

    Hi Amber,
    Honey is okay for kids 1 year and up. But, if they are under 1 year, don’t give it to them. Baking does not eliminate the potential botulism spores.

  • Annie

    Hi Liz,
    I just use the serrated bread knife that came with my knife set. It does a great job!

  • Stephanie

    I’d love to make this today but am out of whole wheat flour. Do you think it would still work with all purpose or bread flour? Also, the rolled oats, are they the instant kind?


  • Emily C

    This recipe looks amazing. I love oatmeal bread, but have never found a good whole wheat recipe.

    Have you read up on agave nectar? I just found your site and am LOVING it, but I recently, thanks to Apartment Therapy, found out that agave nectar is at least 70% fructose. Making it higher in fructose than HFCS; and essentially just as processed.

    If you have a few minutes, this link is very thorough.

  • There’s nothing like home-baked bread, and this loaf is gorgeous!

  • It has taken me a couple day’s to view your entire blog, I would like to say that you are amazing!!!

  • Annie

    No, I haven’t really read about it. I had heard some of that talk recently but honestly, I almost never use recipes that call for agave so I’m not that concerned about it.

  • Annie

    Hi Stephanie,
    It would probably still work, but the flavor definitely won’t be the same. You could Google for a substitution ratio. I used old fashioned oats. I’ve never used instant, so I’m not sure of the differences in baking.

  • Michelle

    To the poster that asked about which knife to use, I use an electric knife to cut my homemade bread and it works like a charm!

  • Bakingfamily

    Such perfect timing! I was testing a recipe and thanks to a shopping error (my lovely husband) now have a FRIDGE-FUL of leftover buttermilk — I am so thrilled to have a recipe that not only will draw down that supply, but sounds divine!

  • :) I made this bread this morning already! It was delicious! I actually divided the dough in half to form two slightly smaller loaves…which works wonderfully for just me and my husband.

  • Ooh an electric knife. Sounds dangerous…but effective.
    I’m gonna have to get myself one!
    Beautiful bread :)

  • I love the list of ingredients, I’m going to try this. Thank you! :)


  • Jane

    Hi Annie! How much is 1 cup of your ingredients in grams? I’ve googled it, but it seems that different ingredients have different measurements (flour, powder etc..) ?

  • Annie

    It is different for each ingredient. Think about it – 1 cup of something dense and heavy (like packed brown sugar) is sure to weigh more than 1 cup of flour. So, they will all have different weights that equal 1 cup by volume.

  • I love healthy breads! This looks fantastic!

  • I was a big white bread fan myself when I was a kid. Then one day I decided to go cold turkey and switch to wheat bread and now I’m so used to it I don’t think I could ever go back to white. This looks delicious! I have never made wheat bread before but I will definitely have to try.

  • I increased the ingredients by 50% and made two loaves. This is excellent bread! I am definitely making it again.

  • Natalie

    I just baked this bread and took a bite. It. Is. Fantastic. My daughter is 8 months old so I left out the honey and subbed in 2 T. of organic sucanat. She is starting to enjoy bread, so thanks for sharing such a yummy wholesome recipe! I feel much better feeding her this than the gerber rice puff thingies :)
    I’ve also made the lemon poppyseed muffins from this site and they were delicious. You’ve definitely won a loyal follower.

  • Jeana

    Hi Annie, quick question… Do you prefer to use the agave or honey in this recipe? I have both and can’t decide which one I should use. Thanks!

  • Annie

    Either is fine.

  • MLJ

    just made this bread. it was the first bread i’ve ever made.

    after the 10 minutes of Kitchen Aid kneading, the dough was still a lot wetter and stickier than i thought was advisable. so i added maybe another 1/2 cup of wheat flour. it was very warm and wet here today so maybe that had something to do with it.

    much to my surprise, it turned out wonderful. it rose properly, is cooked all the way through, and is excellent.

    now, i don’t anticipate it this bread lasting more than a couple days but i’m still wondering how i should store it. thoughts?

  • Annie

    Homemade bread unfortunately doesn’t stay soft for that long, even in an airtight container. I slice the loaf immediately and then freeze, and then just thaw out slices as I need them.

  • Val

    It is very cold out here today in Manitoba, Canada so it was a great day to stay indoors and bake bread. I made this loaf of bread today and I agree, it is a monster loaf but oh so hearty and good! It turned out so wonderfully. I sliced it and put half of the loaf slices in the freezer for another day. Yum! I’m excited to try some of your other bread recipes!

  • mlj

    back to the storage question. i ended up wrapping the bread in paper towels and then foil and kept it on the counter. it stayed soft for the 4-5 days it took us to eat it, and i live in a humid, beach environment so was pleased to not find any mold.

  • This bread is amazing. I love the monster-sized loaf. It got rave reviews from my family when I first made it, and it froze very well. This made one of the tastiest basic grilled cheese sandwiches I have ever had. Thanks!

  • Annie

    Isn’t it crazy how giant it gets?!

  • I tried this bread last night as my first forray into bread baking. (Before this, I thought the rising and yeasting were so intimidating.) It turned out perfectly! Wonderful texture, excellent flavor. And it wasn’t too hard to make, either. I might be shunning supermarket bread from now on and baking a loaf of this instead. Fantastic recipe!

  • I tried this bread last night as my first forray into bread baking. (Before this, I thought the rising and yeasting were so intimidating.) It turned out perfectly! Wonderful texture, excellent flavor. And it wasn’t too hard to make, either. I might be shunning supermarket bread from now on and baking a loaf of this instead. Fantastic recipe!

  • Lynn Laura

    I made one and a half of the recipe because I wanted two loaves. Well, I could have probably made three or four loaves. I also used larger bread pans. One of the loaves completely went over the pan. They were huge. I also made the mistake of forgetting to put the salt in, so the bread doesn’t have much flavor. I plan on using it for bread crumbs. Definately disappointed that it didn’t come out. I’m determined to try again making just one recipe and two loaves (along with some salt this time!).

  • Littlesmoky

    Made this today for the third time, and it didn’t rise like it did before! My yeast was alive when I mixed it in… any ideas anyone? It still tastes great, just super dense.

  • Anonymous

    Sounds like either the yeast was killed or it just needed to rise longer.

  • kellync

    I made this bread yesterday. It made two loaves… It may be the best bread I’ve made yet. So big and fluffy.

  • Flora

    Hi Annie, so enjoy your website. Thanks for all you do. You make my job of feeding the family so much easier thanks to your beautiful and creative website. Quick question: I have both a glass and a metal loaf pan. I noticed in your picture you used a metal loaf pan. Have you ever used a glass loaf pan for making bread? If so, does it affect the baking instructions? Thanks.

  • Anonymous

    I haven’t. I always use metal so I’m not sure how glass would affect the end result. I feel like I read that metal is best for baking, but I can’t remember for sure. Enjoy!

  • Flora

    Okay, so I made this last weekend. I was nervous about attempting bread baking because I had bought and used the “Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes” book with no success. I don’t know what it was but my breads just were not turning out right. After 4 different recipes, I gave up. Fast forward two years to last weekend when I thought, what the heck, it’s been long enough, get over your catastrophes and make some bread already. Well, I did. I’m so glad I did. This bread was fluffy, had awesome texture and color. I did everything by hand and needed it for only 3 or so minutes. Came out so good. Will use my brand new stand up mixer for next time and it’ll probably be even better. Seriously, thanks Annie.

  • Kendall

    I just made this recipe, didn’t read through the comments first. It turned out GREAT! Definitely will be making this bread again. And I did bake it in a glass baking dish, and didn’t have any problems, it was done in an hour like the recipe. Also kneaded it by hand for 10 min – it was a good workout!

  • Made this awesome bread tonight – my FIRST bread not using a bread machine. I was totally terrified but it came out awesome – and huge! Love it! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe and walking me through my first oven made bread!! :) <3

  • Bhairavi Shah

    Amazing bread – I’d never made bread freehand (without a bread maker) and it turned out perfectly! Thanks!

  • Katie

    This bread is so good! It really makes a huge loaf though, but I’m not complaining….We sliced it up and froze it, and the slices have been a delicious and easy breakfast for this whole week. :)

    The only little criticism I have is that 1/4 cup of oatmeal to top the bread seemed to be a little too much, since as the bread rose some more, the oatmeal fell off. Some of the oatmeal even fell off to the bottom of our oven while the loaf was baking.

    Other than that small note, this bread is perfect! Can’t wait to make it again.

  • Benja_west

    I don’t know what the technical terms are, but leaving out the salt will definitely have an effect on the yeast, so when you make it again you might not get enough for 3-4 loaves. I made a loaf of bread once that had an error in the recipe, so I put in 2 tbsp of salt instead of 2 tsp. It came out completely dense and flat (not to mention super salty) – I thought it was too disgusting to eat but my husband, who is a salt addict, loved it.
    There is a ratio of yeast to salt that makes the yeast work right, so too much or too little salt will change things.

  • Maria

    First of all thank you so much for your website. It saves me so much time, knowing that everything I make from here is a winner…no need to scope the Internet for the right recipe. They are all right here.
    I was wondering what size pan you’ve used for the bread, since you’ve mentioned That it’s a huge loaf and I kind of like the shape of the bread loaf from the pictures you’ve posted ( no overhang). I somehow don’t think my 9×5 pan would cut it. Thanks!

  • annieseats

    Mine was the 9 x 5 size. Enjoy!

  • Maria

    Yay..thanks for your reply! I can’t wait to make it!

  • Sue

    My bread came out burnt and stuck in the pan.

  • annieseats

    Sorry to hear that. Something may be going on with your oven. I’d recommend baking it less next time.

  • dbw615

    OMG!!! I’m making this bread right now. The dough came out really nice, but I couldn’t believe it was only supposed to be ONE loaf! Needless to say, it has risen so tall that it fell over in the oven! Gave us a good laugh as I tried to prop it back up. Hoping some part of it turns out so we can get a good taste. It smells delish. Next time it will definitely be 2 loaves

  • Amanda Brewer

    Making this for the second time today, it’s on its second rise now. The honey wheat sandwich rolls are in the oven now. I’m leaving Kelly and the baby to go with my 16 year old son Aaron to France for a 9 day trip and I want to leave them well stocked with carbs.

  • annieseats

    Awesome! Have a great trip!

  • Susan Rubin

    My bread sunk after it went the oven. Maybe it didn’t rise enough? Susan Rubin

  • annieseats

    Susan, did it sink during baking or only after you baked and then took it out of the oven? If it was the latter, I would think it was simply under baked. However, if it deflated in the oven, I’m not exactly sure what would cause that but inadequate rise before baking is definitely a possibility.