Variations on a Dutch-oven theme: No-knead Maple Oatmeal Bread

Big loaf made with 5 cups flour vs. usual 3 cups

Like many bakers, cooks and chefs everywhere, I’m open to trying out somebody else’s recipe in the same genre of an old or new favorite and so it is with this bread. The recipe* for this bread was linked inside a newspaper article on 10 easy breads for the home-bakers staying inside and safe because of the pandemic. As baking bread in the Dutch oven produces a crunchy crust and toast is a particular favorite, I couldn’t resist trying it today before the Seattle summer heat sets in for a stretch starting tomorrow.

With maple syrup content, though, it’s sweeter than I expected (or want) in toaster bread although it will make lovely French toast and the fat content makes it suitable for freezing slices for future use.

The light and the dark

*  If the reader clicks through to the recipe, a source of confusion is the amount of oats as it is not clear. I used 1/2 cup and then read through the comments after I’d made and covered the dough, learning it’s 1 1/2 cups. Nevermind. It worked out well. (By the way, rolled oats is regular oatmeal, not the quick or steel-cut types. Grains of oat are rolled to flatten them.)

So for me last night the recipe was: 5 cups all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons Himalayan pink salt, 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast, 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats, 1/3 cup maple syrup, 1/4 cup melted butter, 2 1/4 cups room temperature water. Dough was mixed by hand using a scraper in a big mixing bowl, then covered with plastic film and a towel and left overnight. This morning it was scraped onto a well-floured mat, left alone to rest for 15 minutes, then some more flour was sprinkled across the top and the dough folded over a few times to form a ball which went into the Dutch oven.

I used my own bake method in preference to the one in the link, putting the dough ball –with a few sprinkles of oats on the top — into a parchment-lined Dutch oven to raise for 1 1/2 hours this morning, then into a cold oven with the lid on, setting the temperature to 425 degrees (not 450! per the link), taking the lid off after 36 minutes and baking for 25 minutes more. It made a very pretty loaf.

Bee happy



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