Oatmeal and Yeast: A Symbiotic Relationship for Bread Making

Oatmeal, a nutritious and versatile grain, is often enjoyed as a warm breakfast porridge or as an ingredient in cookies, granola bars, and other baked goods. However, can yeast, a microscopic fungus responsible for leavening bread, work its magic on oatmeal? This comprehensive guide explores the compatibility of yeast and oatmeal in bread making, providing insights into the science behind their interaction and offering practical tips for successful oatmeal bread baking.

Yeast and Its Role in Bread Making

Yeast, a single-celled organism, plays a crucial role in the bread-making process. When combined with warm water and sugar, yeast consumes the sugar and releases carbon dioxide gas as a byproduct. This gas forms bubbles within the dough, causing it to rise and become light and airy.

Oatmeal’s Unique Properties

Oatmeal, derived from oat groats, possesses a unique composition that influences its behavior in bread making. Unlike wheat flour, which contains gluten proteins that form a strong network when hydrated, oatmeal lacks gluten and therefore cannot form a cohesive dough on its own.

The Science of Oatmeal Bread

Combining yeast and oatmeal in bread making requires a careful balance to achieve the desired texture and flavor. The absence of gluten in oatmeal necessitates the addition of other ingredients, such as wheat flour or vital wheat gluten, to provide structure and elasticity to the dough.

Practical Tips for Oatmeal Bread Success

  1. Choose the Right Oatmeal: Use old-fashioned rolled oats for optimal texture and flavor. Quick oats, which are more finely processed, may result in a denser bread.

  2. Balance the Ingredients: Oatmeal bread typically contains a combination of oatmeal, wheat flour, and vital wheat gluten. Adjust the proportions depending on the desired texture, with more oatmeal yielding a denser bread and more wheat flour resulting in a lighter loaf.

  3. Hydration is Key: Oatmeal absorbs more liquid than wheat flour, so it is important to adjust the water content accordingly. A slightly wetter dough will produce a softer bread, while a drier dough will result in a chewier texture.

  4. Kneading Techniques: Oatmeal bread dough may require more kneading than traditional wheat bread dough due to the lack of gluten. Kneading helps to develop the dough’s structure and improve its elasticity.

  5. Rising Time: Oatmeal bread dough typically requires a longer rising time than wheat bread dough due to the lower gluten content. Allow the dough to rise in a warm place until it has doubled in size.

Yeast and oatmeal can indeed work together to create a delicious and nutritious oatmeal bread. By understanding the unique properties of oatmeal and adjusting the ingredients and techniques accordingly, bakers can achieve a perfectly balanced loaf with a light and airy texture and a hearty oatmeal flavor. Whether enjoyed as a warm slice with butter or toasted with your favorite toppings, oatmeal bread offers a versatile and satisfying addition to any meal.


In addition to its delicious flavor and texture, my Oatmeal Bread requires no kneading, which is another feature I think you’ll love. Because of a wetter dough than usual and a lengthy overnight first rise (also known as first proof, prove, or fermentation), we can skip this step. When combined, these encourage the production of gluten, which is typically accomplished by kneading. And it’s gluten which gives bread its rise and structure. Neat eh?.

We still obtain the beautiful, light, and open crumb that you would want to achieve with a kneaded loaf, as I hope you can see from the above.

If you’re ready to start, you can Jump to Recipe. However, for more advice and step-by-step instructions, I suggest reading on.

It is best to combine the dough the night before you wish to bake the bread because the lengthy initial fermentation must take place at room temperature for 12 to 14 hours. You can ferment the dough in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours if you’d like to extend the time even more, maybe for convenience’s sake or just to get more flavor development.

Just mix the flour, oatmeal, two teaspoons salt, and two teaspoons instant dried yeast to form the dough. Keep in mind that you can only use dried yeast that is labeled “instant,” “fast,” “easy blend,” or something similar for my method. This recipe will not work with dry yeasts that must be activated in liquid before being added to the flour. Compared to most of my other breads, I use an extra half teaspoon of yeast because the oats have almost no gluten.

I use half whole milk and half water for the beverage. This bread, in my opinion, has a nice flavor without being unduly rich for daily use. Since various flours absorb varying amounts of liquid, it is impossible to estimate how much you will need with precision. However, you’ll probably need about 360 ml to make a dough that is wet but not runny.

Now place a damp tea towel or cling film over the bowl, or place everything inside a reusable polythene bag and set it out on the work surface. As previously mentioned, you can place in the refrigerator if the room is extremely warm. Simply return it to room temperature before moving on to the following stages.

The dough might have expanded more in the morning than it did to rise higher. But don’t worry. This is perfectly normal with wetter, overnight doughs. Even though there are a few bubbles on the surface, the majority of the activity is below, as you can see from the pictures below. To demonstrate this to you, I used an exacto mixing bowl.

When you begin scraping the dough onto your work surface, what’s happening below becomes even more apparent—and exciting, in my opinion! Revealed will be a delicate, intricate network of gluten strands.

We give the dough a few folds, trying to add as little additional flour as possible to prevent sticking. It should become smooth and lively in a matter of seconds, which is astounding. In addition to folding the dough, I’m shaping it into a thick sausage to fit a 900 ml buttered loaf tin. That’s a 2 lb tin in old speak.

Now is the time for the dough to rise again, or proof, preferably somewhere warm. My main oven is preheated to 180°C / 160° Fan / Gas 4 / 350°F. It is then placed in the above unheated small oven. Depending on the temperature, it should have nearly doubled in size after 45 minutes.

However, poking a finger gently into this dough—or any other dough—is the best way to determine when it’s ready to bake. It is done when the dough slowly resprings but still leaves a small indentation. It’s not done if the dough bounces back easily; wait a little while longer and check again.


In recent years, it seems that oats have almost been lifted to the status of a superfood. Wholegrain, high in fibre, and a good source of protein, oats certainly have ahealthier than many other grains. Most notably, oats contain beta-glucan which can lower cholesterol.

But even though I incorporate oats into a ton of recipes—such as Scottish and Staffordshire oatcakes, savory flapjacks, and homemade digestive biscuits—I have to admit that I adore them for their adaptability and their slightly sweet, nutty flavor. And because of that flavor as well as their capacity to create soft, tender doughs, oats are ideal for adding to bread.

However, oats are also known for being naturally gluten-free, which means that bread made solely of oat flour would be extremely dense. For this reason, oats are typically only partially replaced with wheat flour. I use 450 grams of white bread flour and 150 grams of fine or medium oatmeal to make one medium loaf of my oatmeal bread.

does yeast work on oatmeal

Even though oatmeal isn’t often found in supermarkets (I get mine from a nearby health food store, which carries fine, medium, and coarse varieties), you can quickly prepare your own by pulverizing rolled or porridge oats in a coffee grinder or food processor.

Oatmeal bread made with oats and white bread flour has a texture that is light, soft, and tender, which I like. However, wholemeal bread flour can be used in place of part of the white flour. Nevertheless, I advise switching out no more than 50–100 grams to prevent a heavy loaf.

Might Want to Think Twice Before Eating Oatmeal


Does yeast work with oats?

You can make delicious and nutritious dough using oat flour and yeast, Oat flour has a nutty flavor and provides more fiber than other types of flour, while yeast helps the dough to rise and create a light, fluffy crust. Let’s look at how you can use oat flour and yeast to make your nutritious pizza dough.

Can yeast rise oat flour?

You can substitute oat flour for up to about a quarter of the flour in a bread recipe, also slightly increasing the amount of yeast in the recipe to help the bread rise. Oat flour is best used in baked goods that don’t need gluten to rise, such as quick breads and cookies.

Will yeast work with oat milk?

In a large bowl, combine oat milk, water, yeast and salt. Mix in the flour until combined. Lightly cover the bowl with a clean dishcloth. Place the bowl on a kitchen counter (or someplace warm) and let the dough rise for 2 hours until doubled in size.

Is there yeast in oatmeal?

Yeast-free grains include items made from corn, rice, oats, and dense wheat products such as pasta. It is not necessary to avoid gluten while following a yeast-free diet as yeast and gluten are not similar. Gluten is a protein found in some grains that helps them to keep their shape by providing a glue-like texture.

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