Oatmeal Raisin Hearth Bread

Brown sugar and oats are a sweet and comforting pair. Their combination here makes a fantastic breakfast bread, especially when smeared generously with homemade jam.

Serves: 16Hands-on: 30 minutesTotal: 3 hours 25 minutesDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 16


  • 2½ cups boiling water
  • 1¾ cups steel-cut oats
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 Tbsp. plus ⅛ tsp,. kosher salt, divided
  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • ½ cup warm milk
  • 3 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1¾ tsp. active dry yeast (1 package)
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 6 cups bread flour
  • ¼ cup cornmeal
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup rolled oats (not quick cooking)


  • In a large bowl, combine water, steel-cut oats, raisins, 1 tablespoon salt, and butter. Stir together, then let stand 30–45 minutes, until oats have softened. Set aside.
  • In another large bowl, combine milk, brown sugar, and yeast. Stir to dissolve and let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
  • Add whole wheat flour and oat mixture; and stir to combine. Add enough bread flour to create a firm dough. Add flour only to reduce stickiness. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead 8–10 minutes. Return to bowl, dust the top with flour, and cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap. Rise at room temperature until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment, and sprinkle with cornmeal. Turn risen dough onto a floured surface, divide into 2 equal portions, and shape into oblong loaves. Place onto prepared pan, seam-side down. Dust with flour, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and set aside to proof for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Whisk egg with remaining salt and brush across the surface of risen loaves. Sprinkle liberally with rolled oats, and using a serrated knife, cut decorative slash marks into the surface of the dough, about ½" deep. Place a pan of cold water at the bottom of the oven to create steam, and bake until golden brown and hollow sounding, about 30–40 minutes. Cool completely on a rack before serving.