Jan 112012

Terry’s Oat & Flax Bread

Oat & Flax Bread

Have I mentioned lately that I love to make bread? I’m not sure where that comes from, unless you figure in the kneading as a form of therapy, and releasing one’s self of frustrations? I try to come up with a healthier version of bread than some of the store bought ones with their preservatives. I realize that some preservatives are necessary, but did you know that potatoes used in the recipe can help with how long the bread will hold up on your counter? Not that fresh, homemade bread will last very long.  I love oats and whole grains, and I try to fill in the good flavors of the bread with other good for you ingredients, too. Nick won’t eat it unless it tastes good to him, so I keep on trying to fill in with healthy and hope for a good balance. This recipe manages to fulfill both of our requirements! I hope you enjoy it as much as Nick and a few of our friends have!

1. In a large heat resistant bowl, measure out and add in 2½ cups of old fashioned, or rolled oats. I’m sure the quick cooking will also work here, but I prefer the regular rolled oats. Add up to ½ cup of additional healthy options, to include: ground golden flax, toasted wheat germ, chia seeds, and cooked black or red quinoa. I have used all flax, all red quinoa, and this latest batch, in which I placed 2 T toasted wheat germ and 2 T chia seeds into a ½ cup measure and finished filling it up with the ground golden flax. It was scrumptious! Now add in ½ C butter, cut into pieces, ¼ C molasses, and 3 T turbinado sugar (or increase the molasses). Set aside.

2. Peel and dice a medium russet potato and boil it in a quart of water. Cook until very tender, 15 – 20 minutes, then pour 2½  cups of the boiling potato water over the oats in the bowl. Let set for 20 minutes or so.

3. Pour 1/3 cup of the remaining potato water into a 1 cup measure and let it cool to 1100 . Once the water has cooled, stir in 1 tsp white sugar and 1 T flour. Mix well, and stir in 2 T instant (bread machine) yeast. Set aside to get foamy for 10 minutes or so.

4. Finish draining the potatoes (reserve any remaining water) and mash very well. Stir them into the oat mixture, adding some of the water to make a slightly loose mixture.

5. In the bowl of a bread mixer or a stand mixer, set up with the bread hook, combine 3½ cups of unbleached bread flour, 1 1/3 cups of powdered milk, 3 T bread enhancer or vital wheat gluten, and 1 T sea salt.

6.  Combine the yeast mixture and the oat mixture, then pour it over the flour mixture. Turn the mixer on low and mix for 2 – 3 minutes, until well combined. If the mixture appears too wet, add in more bread flour, a tablespoon or two at a time, just until the dough no longer sticks and comes away on your finger when you touch it. You want a nice soft, slightly wet dough, tacky, but not sticky. Now let the mixer knead the dough for 6 – 8 minutes to develop the gluten. If you don’t have a mixer, knead on a lightly floured surface for 10 – 12 minutes, trying not to add in any more flour than you have to, to keep it from sticking to your hands. After it is machine kneaded, you may wish to turn it out onto a lightly oiled surface, and with floured hands, gently shape into a ball, then proceed. Turn the dough ball into a large bowl that you have poured 2 T olive oil into, and turn to coat all sides. Cover and let rest until it doubles in size, about 1½ hours.


7a. For machine kneaded, go to next step.

7b.  If hand kneaded, very gently deflate, by slowly pushing your fist into the dough ball and turning it over, tucking the sides underneath. Cover and let rise again, for about 30 minutes.

8.  On a lightly oiled surface (a pastry and rolling mat works very well here), very gently dump the risen dough out and very gently flatten and shape into a rectangle, gently patting out any air bubbles. Divide into 4 even pieces, and tightly roll and shape into loaves, placing in oiled loaf pans. Cover and let rise until ¼ – ½” above the top edge of the pans. Preheat oven (convection oven, too) to 3500. I did three of these loaves in the convection oven in my RV, at one time, and put one loaf in my new Breville Smart Oven. They all look the same, and taste the same, but the one in the Breville baked 4 or 5 minutes faster. Of course, it was by itself and that makes a difference.

*A quick note here, notice the dollar store shower cap package? I use these clear, inexpensive shower caps to cover my bowl and pans during rising. So handy!

 9.  If have a clean spray bottle, lightly spray (mist) the tops of the loaves with water, and slash with a very sharp knife or razor blade, about ½” deep, JUST BEFORE placing loaves into the oven. (This will cause the loaf to spring into action and raise up very nicely as it starts baking.) Bake for 28 – 30 minutes, until well browned, and bread temperature reaches 190-2050 on an instant read thermometer, or the loaf sounds hollow when thumped. If desired, brush the loaves lightly with butter for a softer crust. Cool completely before slicing. This bread has a nice clean slice and is wonderful for sandwiches and toast!


  • 1 medium russet potato, peeled & diced
  • 1 quart water
  • 1 tsp white sugar
  • 1 T bread flour
  • 2 T instant yeast
  • 2 ½ C old fashioned oats
  • 1/3 C ground golden flax
  • 2-3 T toasted wheat germ
  • 2-3 T chia seeds
  • ¼ C molasses
  • 3 T turbinado or brown sugar
  • ½ C butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/3 C powdered milk
  • 3 ½ – 4 ½  C unbleached bread flour
  • 3 T bread dough enhancer (or vital wheat gluten)
  • 1 T sea salt


Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  7 Responses to “Miss Terry’s Oat & Flax Bread”

  1. Hello Terry

    Thank you so very much for the bread recipe. I had been wanting to write to you through Nick’s blog in order to get it. I am much like you in that I enjoy the hearty healthy breads.

    We are the couple that live in Allegan MI and I had offered help in the past if it was necessary in doing some leg work for you at Flashes. My husband Bob had a stroke and we were at Physical Therapy daily which is located right next door to Flashes. I am happy to announce that after a completed year of therapy…we have decided to take the snowbird route. After putting in such hard work at learning to walk again, I was not willing to let Bob just sit all winter long in front of a TV. Unfortunately, he still sits too much I think..but at least we are out and about and he walks more than he would if we were still in snow.

    We are presently in Baldwin County and just about ready to roll westward in hopes of possibly even making it as far as the Western Gypsy Rally..(.Here is hoping ) I will not know for a few weeks whether we are going to try to head all the way out ot Yuma or not…but maybe you could shed some light on whether or not there are still any handicap parking spots available yet.

    Back to my question…have you baked the bread in the Breville Smart Oven? I recently bought the Smart Oven and absolutely love it. I want to see how it does with bread.

    Here is hoping you and Nick get out and do a little kayaking..I envy you having the companionship that you share…I use to…and I sure do miss those days. Life is different…but we still try to make it good

    Thanks so much for what you and Nick do for us RVers. You have made a difference.

    Sue Thomson
    Just BS! (Bob and Sue)
    Allegan, MI

  2. Thanks for the bread recipe. Looking forward to trying. Have you ever frozen a loaf after cooking? Your recipe makes 4 loaves and for 2 people, I would be afraid we wouldn’t be able to eat it fast enough before it would go bad. Or do you have a smaller recipe for maybe only 2 loaves?

  3. Anne-Marie,
    This recipe freezes just fine, with only a small loss of tenderness. I double bag with zip-topped bags and squeeze all of the air out. You can also freeze the dough, once it is shaped for a loaf, by spraying a zip-top bag with non stick spray and putting directly into the freezer. Just place directly into a sprayed loaf pan to defrost, draping pan and dough with plastic wrap, and let it rise on the counter, then bake, as usual. Once the bread has baked and completely cooled, I keep it in a zip-top bag on the counter. After the third or fourth day (if there is any left) I will put it in the fridge and take it out to come to room temp, as needed. You can also halve the recipe. Just use a small potato and halve the rest of the ingredients. I hope you enjoy! Hugs,

  4. Thanks Terry, great ideas. Will try freezing the dough (uncooked) and take out as needed. Keep the recipies coming.

  5. It may be late but this winter in Florida, I was the very lucky recipient of 3 loaves (2 small- 1 large) of this wonderful bread as different batches were baked. It makes great toast (I toast almost all bread I eat because it doesnt stick to my dentures after toasting as most fresh bread does) The thicker the slice the better because it is just plain great. Thanks again Terry Al

  6. Hi Terry,
    The bread looks great. How big is your oven? I’m a rank beginner. We just made an offer on a used 5th wheel with truck. The oven looks big enough for 2 loaves of bread, but the current owner hasn’t used it at all.

    Could you blog about your weaving? I’m an avid weaver and wondering how that would work in a 5th wheel. I have a Schacht Mighty Wolf loom which does fold. I’m trying to figure out how to bring it along.

    The weather has been lovely all summer farther north. We’re in Arlington. The weather has been good enough to ripen tomatoes for the first time in a few years.

    Happy traveling, Becky

  7. Becky,
    I have a typical RV Convection/Microwave oven that, being 11 years old works okay for convection baking cookies but is less than efficient for baking cakes and 9X13 pans of rolls. The centers don’t get done. I do not microwave or combo-cook. I have a Breville countertop Convection/Toaster oven that does a wonderful job, regardless of what is baked or roasted in it. When doing batch baking, I divide the loaves between the built-in and the countertop and put 2 large loaves in the built-in and two smaller loaves in the counter-top. If they rise really well, I sometimes have slightly over-browned spots on the tops from the convection fans being so close, but I can turn that feature off in the Breville. Otherwise, the built-in never gets used! If you have a typical gas oven in your new to you RV, get a cheap pizza stone and place it in the bottom of your oven (on its floor) and preheat 20 minutes or so longer and you will have much better luck with your baking. It stops the bottom scorching and evens out the heat! I just left it in the oven in my first RV all the time. Eventually it cracked in half, but it still worked fine.
    I’ll try to keep you up on weaving, and am jealous of your Mighty Wolf! I am trying to find a used Mighty or Baby myself. I’d try to keep it if I were you and could find a way, especially if you really love weaving. You would miss it!
    Hugs and safe travels. Good luck!!

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