Quick Whole Wheat Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bread
June 30, 2022
Quick bread is the secret to a delicious, moist, and versatile treat that you can enjoy all day and throughout the whole year. This version is made with quick oats and white whole wheat flour for a chocolate chip bread you are sure to love.
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This bread is one of those recipes that I’ve had in my back pocket for a long time, and finally got around to perfecting. It started as muffins, but I really love it in the form of these thick slices of bread, with some butter and jam or even on its own.
Since it’s entirely whole wheat and oats, this bread feels like a healthier choice, but still fills that carb-craving void that never seems satisfied. The melty chocolate chips take it up a notch to full-out decadent, but it’s still simple to pull together.
What You Need to Get Started
You can easily find all of the ingredients for this oatmeal and whole wheat chocolate chip bread at your grocery store:
- Pantry: Quick oats, White whole wheat flour, Cornstarch, Baking soda, Baking powder, Salt, Vegetable oil, Brown sugar, Vanilla extract, Chocolate chips
- Fridge: Milk, Egg
- Equipment: Mixing bowls, Whisk, Loaf pan
Let’s Make Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bread
Quick breads are essentially just giant muffins. Or maybe muffins are small quick breads? It’s hard to say, but either way this is considered quick because it uses chemical leavening – baking soda and baking powder, as opposed to yeast. The chemical reaction works much faster than working with yeast.
Since this comes together pretty fast, it’s a good idea to preheat your oven and prep your pan right away. Be sure you have a rack in the center, and set aside a greased loaf pan. I like using a glass one for quick breads like this, but steel or aluminum pans can also work well.
Begin by adding the dry ingredients to a medium bowl, starting with oats and flour. Quick oats are going to be your best bet here, as they are the perfect balance between breaking down and holding their shape. Rolled or instant oats will work in a pinch, but I’d avoid steel cut.
For flour, I like using white whole wheat, which acts similar to white flour, even though it is a whole grain. It will give you that lovely golden color inside the bread. The cornstarch helps with texture, due to the slightly heavier whole wheat flour. If you prefer, you can replace the white whole wheat flour and cornstarch with all-purpose flour for a lighter-colored bread.
Whisk these together along with the baking soda and baking powder for leavening, and the salt for flavor until everything is thoroughly combined.
In a second larger mixing bowl, add the sugar and oil. Brown sugar does a great job here of both providing sweetness and adding a richer, bolder flavor that complements the chocolate. I always use dark brown, because I love that molasses taste.
Vegetable oil is my favorite to use in quick breads because it gives you a small, tight crumb that has plenty of moist springiness to it. It’s also a neutral oil, which means it doesn’t add any of its own flavor. You could replace it with melted and cooled butter, but this will have an effect on the texture of the bread.
Mix these both together until they are combined and there are no large clumps of sugar. Then add in the other wet ingredients to help with flavor and binding: milk, egg, and vanilla extract.
Add the dry ingredients to the bowl with the wet. Then use a flexible spatula to fold them together just until you no longer see streaks of flour. When making quick breads, or anything that uses chemical leavening, it’s important not to overmix.
The baking powder (and baking soda, in the presence of any acid) will begin reacting as soon as it starts to contact those wet ingredients. If you mix for too long, you can cause the air bubbles it creates to collapse, leaving you with dense, chewy bread.
As soon as it’s just mixed enough, add and fold in the chocolate chips. Keep using that folding motion to prevent over-mixing. I like semi-sweet chips here, but you could easily use chocolate chunks, freshly chopped chocolate bars, or a darker chocolate chip.
Once you have the batter all mixed together, it’s time to transfer it into your prepared loaf pan. Use a flexible spatula to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl to ensure you are getting all of that goodness into your pan.
Use that same spatula to smooth out the batter, then add some fun toppings for decoration. I like to use a handful of oats scattered all over, but you could also use some additional chocolate chips or even mini chocolate chips.
Bake the oatmeal chocolate chip bread for right around fifty minutes, although it can sometimes take longer. Quick breads can be fairly dense, but the top center is usually one of the last places to be fully cooked, so it’s easy to check.
For these, I prefer to use a butter knife inserted into the center as opposed to a skewer. The knife will do a better job of holding onto any exceptionally moist or gooey bits, which leave streaks on the flat metal surface. You can also gently press on the top to ensure it bounces back.
Once the bread is ready, you will want to give it some time to cool in the pan. Letting it sit for at least an hour will assure it’s more stable and cool enough to handle. Remove the bread from the pan by flipping it over onto a plate or surface. Then let it cool throughout on a rack before slicing it.
This bread tastes best within one day of being baked, and after being allowed to fully cool. If you want to make it in advance, you can wrap the full loaf tightly in plastic wrap and store at room temperature for a few days. If storing it cut, be sure not to leave any cut surfaces exposed.
You can also freeze the loaf by tightly double wrapping it in foil for a few months. Before cutting and serving it, allow the bread to thaw at room temperature overnight. For single servings, you can also freeze individual slices the same way. These can be quickly thawed in the microwave.
How to Serve Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bread
As with most quick breads, I’m not here to limit your enjoyment of this one in particular. If you want a slice for breakfast, warmed up and slathered with butter and sea salt, go for it. Be sure to have a delicious coffee with it, like an iced caramel latte or a honey chestnut cafe au lait.
The flavors here are versatile, making this an excellent vessel for homemade jams, especially strawberry or raspberry. Serve it as part of a brunch spread, alongside a smoky gouda and cheddar broccoli frittata. Or make it into french toast sticks, replacing the banana bread in these, served with rum caramel.
More Ways to Use Chocolate Chips
- Graham & Chocolate Chip Cookie S’mores with Toasty Marshmallows
- Espresso Chocolate Chip Muffins
- Fig, Pecan, & Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
- Chocolate Chip Pecan Bar Cookies with Bourbon
- Super Moist Cherry Chocolate Zucchini Bread
How to Use Up Extra Oats
Whole Wheat Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Quick Bread
- 1 Cup Quick Oats
- 1 ½ Cups White Whole Wheat Flour
- 1 Tbsp Cornstarch
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 tsp Salt
- ½ Cup Vegetable Oil
- ½ Cup Brown Sugar
- 1 Egg
- 1 ¼ Cup Milk
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 ⅓ Cups Chocolate Chips
- Preheat the oven to 350°F with a rack in the center. Grease or spray a 9x5-inch loaf pan and set it aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the oats, flour, cornstarch, baking soda, baking powder, and salt until thoroughly combined.
- In a large bowl, mix together the sugar and oil until combined. Then add in the milk, egg, and vanilla and mix well.
- Add the dry ingredients to the bowl with the wet, and fold them together until you no longer see streaks of flour, but do not overmix. Fold in the chocolate chips.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan and smooth it out, then sprinkle with a handful of additional oats or chocolate chips.
- Bake for 45-55 minutes or until a butter knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan at least an hour, then remove from the pan and cool completely on a rack before slicing.
- Make ahead tips:
- Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store at room temperature for 2-3 days.
- You can also freeze by tightly double wrapping in foil for about 2-3 months. Thaw at room temperature overnight before cutting and serving.
- Freeze individual slices by tightly double wrapping in foil for about 2-3 months. Thaw in the microwave for 30 second-1 minute.
- Alternatives: If you prefer, you can replace the white whole wheat flour and cornstarch with all-purpose flour for a lighter-colored bread.