Honey Oat Pan Loaf (Episode 7)

Episode 7 Recipe + Notes

If there’s one baked good that could stand for a makeover while we’re rebuilding our food system for climate change, it’s sliced bread. On the final episode of The Sustainable Baker podcast miniseries, we heard from people taking our daily bread back to the drawing board and making it more nutritious and affordable. Dr. Steve Jones of the WSU Bread Lab discusses the nationwide project The Breadlab Collective, and we hear from Anthony Ambeliotis, a baker in Pittsburgh at Mediterra Bakehouse who makes “Approachable Loaves” for Steel City residents. And we also hear from Katherine Kehrli, founder of the volunteer-based Community Loaves in Seattle that spent the pandemic supplying emergency food system with healthy, sustainable bread. Read on for the Community Loaves bread recipe, and try making it at home! (It’s my favorite bread ever.)

Recipe: Honey Oat Pan Loaf

Recipe generously shared by Community Loaves in Seattle, Washington, and originally inspired by WSU Approachable Loaf. Reprinted below with permission from Community Loaves. Learn more about their work and how you can get involved here.

Yield: 4 ‘9×5’ pan loaves

Approx. loaf weight: 925g



  • 174g Trailblazer T85 high-extraction flour (you can source from Cairnspring Mills)
  • 174g water
  • 10g starter

Final dough

    • 695g Trailblazer T85 high-extraction flour
    • 695g Whole grain flour (use Expresso or Buck Pronto, also available from Cairnspring Mills)
    • 1000g water
    • 32g salt (Kosher or fine sea salt)
    • 7g instant yeast
    • 110g honey or molasses
    • 80g olive oil
    • 358g levain (from above)
  • Porridge
    • 244g rolled oats
    • 484g water


The night before

  • Twelve hours before you want to mix your dough, weigh flour, water, starter (should be active–meaning it doubles in volume within 4-6 hours after being fed with fresh flour). Mix together in a bowl and cover. Leave to sit on counter overnight; it will double in 12 hours.

Before mixing, make porridge

  • Combine water and oatmeal, microwave 5-6 minutes (or cook on stovetop).
  • When cooked, remove from heat and stir. Add oil and honey/molasses, stir. (The oil and sweetener prevent the porridge from clumping.) Set aside to cool.


  •  Mix flour, water & levain, by hand just until incorporated. Autolyze for 30 minutes up to 1 hour. (If you’ll be using a stand mixer in the next step, you can autolyze in the stand mixer bowl.)


  • Add remaining ingredients, salt, yeast and the cooled (about room temperature) porridge to the mixing bowl.
  • Mix by hand using a gentle motion or by machine (lowest speed) until incorporated and gluten starting to develop – about 5 minutes. (This is a sticky dough.)
  • Shift to medium speed (2nd speed on Kitchen Aid) and mix for another 8-10 minutes. Or by hand, slap-and-fold on the kitchen counter for 15-18 more minutes. Length and time of the manual slap-and-fold can vary by energy level of the baker. Gluten will develop but dough may be tacky and produces only slight window pane. Desired dough temperature is 74-80 ℉.

Bulk fermentation

  • Bulk ferment for one hour with one fold 30 minutes in. (View simple fold technique.)

Divide and pre-shape

  • Flour your work surface, since this is a sticky dough. Prepare a small bowl with water for dipping your fingers in for the same reason.
  • Divide the dough into roughly equal pieces, a scale is valuable.
  • Pre-shape and let “bench” rest, covered on the counter, for 20 minutes.

Shape and proof

  • Lightly grease 9″ x 5″ pans
  • Shape loaf
  • Garnish top with oatmeal by rolling top of shaped loaf on a damp dish towel then rolling on a plate of oats. (Alternatively, spritz top of loaf with water and sprinkle oatmeal on top, pressing down lightly to help it adhere.)
  • Proof, covered with dish towel, 60 minutes (60 minutes is often enough time, sometimes shorter. If kitchen really cool, could go longer.)
  • Preheat oven to 425℉


  • When ready to bake, place in preheated oven and immediately reduce temperature to 375℉.
  • Check in 30 minutes – if browning too quickly, lower temp and tent with aluminum foil. 
  • Bake for 40-45 minutes total.
  • When loaves are done, you can remove one loaf from pan and give it a thump on the bottom and listen for a hollow sound, remove from oven and place on rack to cool.
  • When cool enough to handle, remove from pan and let bread continue to cool on the rack. 
  • Allow to cool completely (up to a few hours), then package in plastic bags or plastic wrap, and freeze, eat, or donate!

Episode summary

Crackly sourdough loaves are sexy, sure, but with climate change looming, what we really need is better daily bread. In this episode, host Caroline Saunders talks with people giving the humble American sandwich loaf a nutritious, affordable makeover. Good bread can be radical, and they’re making it accessible. And Katherine Kehrli of Community Loaves shares a recipe for a Honey Oat Pan Loaf, available on www.sustainablebaker.com.

More resources

2 comments on “Honey Oat Pan Loaf (Episode 7)
  1. Frankie says:

    So I am a very novice baker that is not well versed in the terminology and I was having some trouble following the recipe and wanted to make sure my assumptions were correct. In the night before it refences mixing your dough flour and starter. I’m am assuming that is creating the levain then the next day I mix the final dough during the autolyze step. Is that all correct?

    The second question I have for the starter. The starter recipe I have is from a book called the pizza bible. But they reference two different starters a Tiga and a Poolish. Both starters but have different hydration levels (Tiga 70% and Poolish 100%). Does it matter what hydration I use for the starter?

    Please let me know. I am eager to try this bread recipe!

    1. Hey Frankie! Sorry for the delay, was away from my computer this weekend. You’re making some pretty wise assumptions for a novice baker. 🙂 Yes, you’re totally right about mixing the levain the night prior (so that it’s ready for use in the morning). Your second assumption is correct too about the autolyze stage.

      Regarding your second question, I’ve personally found this recipe to be adaptable to starters of various hydration levels, because the amount of starter used in the levain is pretty small (10g). That said, I try to use a 100% hydration starter.

      Good luck, and do report back! By the way, this was actually the first sourdough bread recipe I ever made, and I was definitely intimidated. But it’s extremely doable! Let me know if you have any other questions.

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