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A high top loaf of white crusty bread on a pale tea towel and wooden board with three slices cut off and lying in front of the loaf.
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4.84 from 6 votes

Honey Oat Sandwich Bread in a Steam Oven

If you’re looking for the best loaf of bread you’ve ever made, bake it in a steam oven! You'll get a fine, moist crumb and chewy, glossy crust.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time1 hr 35 mins
Course: Breads
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bread in steam oven, how to bake bread, steam bread, steam oven
Servings: 12 slices
Calories: 250kcal

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Put the oats in the bowl of a stand mixer and pour the boiling water over the top. Leave to stand for 15 minutes.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients, fit the bowl into a mixer with dough hook attachment and mix on low speed until a soft, sticky dough forms. Depending on your climate and altitude, you may need a little extra lukewarm water – I add anywhere up to half a cup.
  • Turn the mixer to medium-low speed for about 5 minutes, until the dough is a cohesive, fairly smooth mass and mostly pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
  • Set your steam oven to 95°F/35°C (or, if you can, lower - 82°F/28°C is perfect). Use the dough proving setting if you have one, or the steam setting if you don’t. Put the bowl into the oven until the dough has doubled in size, about 30 minutes. You could turn it into a clean, oiled bowl first but I hate washing up and don’t find there’s any difference in my finished loaf from leaving it in the bowl it was mixed in!
  • Scrape the dough onto a floured bench. Gently press it out into a rectangle about 30cm/12” x 20cm/8”. Fold it lengthways into thirds, gently press back into a rectangle, turn it 90° and fold again (you won’t be able to see each one distinctly but you’ll have 9 layers now).
  • Lift one of the seam ends of the dough and roll it away from you, tightly tucking it as you go, so you end up with a neat, somewhat loaf-shaped blob a little smaller than your pan. The point of the tight rolling/tucking is to make sure the exterior of the loaf is stretched and smooth, rather than wrinkled or torn. This will give you a nice even rise and a smooth baked loaf.
  • Gently put the formed loaf into your pan, seam side down (don’t grease the pan, there’s no need). Tuck the ends down if need be so it looks nice and neat on top. Cover the pan loosely with a plastic shopping bag or a damp kitchen towel.
  • Time for the final prove: either put the covered pan in the fridge for 8-12 hours, or leave it at warm room temperature (20°C/68°F) for an hour. The dough will rise, but this prove is less about size than doneness. When it’s done, you’ll be able to gently press a finger into the dough and it will spring back readily. If your finger leaves a dent, it’s not ready. If your finger makes the dough deflate and sag as soon as you touch it, it’s over-proved (there’s no rescuing over-proved dough, sorry. Your bread is going to have a more open, crumbly texture than a perfectly proved loaf. But if you get it into the oven quick smart you’ll hopefully still have something acceptable).
  • About 15 minutes before you think you’re ready to bake, preheat your oven. Set to 430°F/220°C, combination steam setting. If your oven has variable humidity, use 30%.
  • Bake the bread until it’s dark golden brown on top, about 20-25 minutes. I always worry it’s getting too dark on top and am tempted to take it out earlier than I should. If you suffer the same problem, ignore your instincts and leave it in for a couple of minutes longer than you think.
  • Remove the bread from the oven and turn it immediately out of the pan onto a wire rack to cool. It will keep for a day or two at room temperature, however if you’re not planning to eat it all the first day I’d slice and freeze it. Individual slices can be defrosted in your steam oven.

Notes

Although it contains honey, this is not at all a sweet loaf. The honey gives a lovely aroma, and feeds the yeast.
The oats break down almost completely but they give a nice toasty, nutty flavour without the nubbly texture of whole grains or whole wheat flour, neither of which my kids are keen on (sadly for me, as I love whole grains in bread). Oats are also more easily tolerated by the digestive system than modern wheat, so I like to use them wherever I can.
This makes one large loaf as shown or two smaller ones (I use one of these fantastic sturdy loaf pans but if you don't have one that big just use two smaller/regular sized pans).
I mix and knead my bread dough in a KitchenAid mixer, so that’s how I’ve written the recipe. You can certainly do it by hand if that’s your preference. You’ll want to knead the dough by hand for 5-7 minutes after bringing it together in the bowl.
 

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 250kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 2g | Sodium: 391mg | Potassium: 91mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 0.9mg