Maple-Oatmeal Bread



I have one final entry for Massachusetts Maple Month. This is one of my favorite breads in the world—slightly sweet and filling. I always make a mess when I knead bread. How flour ends up on my face, I really don’t know! Luckily, the end product is worth the clean-up work. 




1 cup old-fashioned oats (do not use quick or steel cut)

2 cups boiling water

1 tablespoon butter

1 packet (about 2-1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast (not instant)

1/4 cup lukewarm water

1/2 cup maple syrup

2 teaspoons salt

5-1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour (more or less)




Place the oats in a large mixing bowl. Pour the boiling water over them, add the butter, and let the oatmeal stand for about 15 minutes, until it is lukewarm. After the first 10 minutes, place the yeast in a small bowl. Cover it with the lukewarm water. Allow it to bubble up for a few minutes.


When the oatmeal is lukewarm, stir in the maple syrup, the salt, the yeast with its water, and 2 cups of the flour. Stir vigorously; then add 2 cups more flour. Stir again vigorously for a minute or two; get as close to beating as you can with a mixture this heavy. Scoop up the dough (add a bit of flour if it won’t hold together to scoop), and place it on a kneading surface—a floured board or a silicone mat.


Knead the dough for 2 minutes, adding a little more flour to keep it from sticking to the surface and your hands. After those first 2 minutes, let the dough rest for up to 10 minutes; then resume kneading, adding more flour as needed. Knead for 5 to 10 minutes, until the dough feels smooth.


Place the dough in a large, greased bowl. Cover the bowl with a warm, damp dish towel. Let the dough rise until it doubles in bulk; this should take about 2 hours, depending on how warm the room is. If your towel dries out during the rising, be sure to dampen it again.


Remove the covering from the bowl, and punch down on the dough once with your fist. This lets out a lot of the air. (It’s also fun.) Cut the dough in half, and shape each half into a ball. Butter 2 bread pans, and shape each ball into an oval about the same size as your pans. Smooth the balls as well as you can with your hands.


Place the bread loaves in the buttered pans, and turn them over so that both the tops and the bottoms have touched the butter. Cover the pans with a damp towel as you did the rising bowl, and allow the loaves to rise again until they double in bulk. This should take a little less time than the first rising, perhaps an hour or so.


After 45 minutes, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. When the loaves have finished rising, uncover them, and bake them for about 40 to 45 minutes, until they are a warm brown color and sound hollow when you tap on them. Remove the hot loaves from the pans, and let them cool on racks.


Makes 2 loaves.



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12 Responses to “Maple-Oatmeal Bread”

  1. Grad says:

    Wanted to let you know that Betsy’s Breakfast Bread Pudding was a big hit with the house guests. I also baked bread this weekend (also flour everywhere). Two loaves of Basic White from Beard on Bread. I also started a rye sponge from Julia Child’s The Way To Cook (two of my Big Book Sale finds). I’ve never used a starter to bake bread, so we’ll see how it goes. The starter should be ready this evening. I’m going to try your Maple Oatmeal next weekend. As luck would have it, I already have all of the ingredients on hand, having sprung for real maple syrup a couple of months ago “just in case.” And I love adding grains such as oatmeal to my bread – so I’m apt to love this one.

  2. Grad says:

    Oh, one other thought. Do you think I could use bread flour with your Maple Oatmeal recipe instead of all purpose?

  3. tinkyweisblat says:

    Hi, Grad–Let me know how the starter works out; I’ve always wanted to do that! And, yes, you may certainly use bread flour. I tend to use either one for bread………..


  4. commonweeder says:

    I never imagined you could make so many things with maple syrup. And they all are so healthy. I’ve got to hurry back to the kitchen. I think the bread is done rising.

  5. jcgrady says:

    I have been making a variation of this bread for years. I sometimes substitute dark molasses or honey for the maple syrup. All are equally good. This bread is particularly delicious toasted, and is superb with turkey and cranberry sauce sandwiches.

  6. tinkyweisblat says:

    I have used molasses and even the honey, but I think the maple syrup has te most delicate flavor. I have NOT tried the turkeyberry sandwich idea with this bread; can’t wait for Thanksgiving. Thanks for visiting!

  7. Grad says:

    Day two of sponge – I think it’s sick – looks queezy – will keep you posted on the death watch.

  8. tinkyweisblat says:

    Uh oh! I think it might be time for some sponge research. Good luck……..

  9. Grad says:

    Oh dear. Tinky, the sponge is starting to look like a bad science experiment. I’m either going to have to throw it out or name it. Will begin again by making a sourdough sponge, and then just use that in rye bread.

  10. tinkyweisblat says:

    RIP, I guess! Keep me posted……….

  11. Margie says:

    The bread is beautiful. Can only imagine how good it must be. Need to try it.
    We don’t do much with maple in the South. Use more molasses or cane syrup, like Steen’s. Wonder what would happen if I substituted cane for the maple.
    Love baking bread.

  12. tinkyweisblat says:

    Hmm. I know molasses works. Cane syrup would be fine for consistency, but (only having tried it once and not remembering it very well) I can’t say whether it would have enough flavor. The molasses is robust; the maple a little more delicate….