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Honey-Buttermilk Oat Bread at Madame Jeanne’s from Voyager

Honey-Buttermilk Oat Bread at Madame Jeanne’s from Voyager


A knock at the door broke the tension.  It was a small serving maid, with a tray of supper.  She bobbed shyly to me, smiled at Jamie, and laid both supper — cold meat, hot broth and warm oatbread with butter — and the fire with a quick and practiced hand, then left us with a murmured “Good e’en to ye.”

We ate slowly, talking carefully only of neutral things; I told him how I had made my way from Craigh na Dun to Inverness, and made him laugh with stories of Mr. Graham and Master Georgie.  He in turn told me about Mr. Willoughby; how he had found the little Chinese, half-starved and dead drunk, lying behind a row of casks on the docks at Burntisland, one of the shipping ports near Edinburgh.

We said nothing much of ourselves, but as we ate, I became increasingly conscious of his body, watching his fine, long hands as he poured wine and cut meat, seeing the twist of his powerful torso under his shirt, and the graceful line of neck and shoulder as he stooped to retrieve a fallen napkin.  Once or twice, I thought I saw his gaze linger on me in the same way — a sort of hesitant avidity — but he quickly glanced away each time, hooding his eyes so that I could not tell what he saw or felt.

Diana Gabaldon, Voyager, (Chapter 25)

Whoa — Voyager kills me — every time.  From the time Claire dons her Jessica Guttenberg, to her first steps through the door at A. Malcolm: Printer and Bookseller, to this first night at Madame Jeanne’s (and, to tell you the truth, long after that), I am unavailable to the real world.  It is my favourite reunion show ever.

DG’s rich, descriptive vision has the image of Jamie’s fine, long hands burned forever in my mind’s eye — I could describe those paws down to the last knuckle hair — but I’d much rather he used them to spread me another slice with butter.

honey-buttermilk oat bread

This oat bread from Madame Jeanne’s is a white loaf made tender with buttermilk and sweet with honey.

As I’ve assumed before, Jeanne was a Madame of exquisite taste.  She would have imported the finest milled flour for her kitchen along with other necessities from Paris. The oats are in there to keep her Edinburgian customers happy, but they also lend the loaf a delicious softness that is almost irresistible fresh out of the oven.

And, if it lasts, it makes for fantastic morning toast the next day.


honey-buttermilk oat bread

(Click on the title below for a printable version of the recipe.)

Honey-Buttermilk Oat Bread at Madame Jeanne’s

A slightly sweet, soft loaf made with white flour and oats.

Yield:  2 Loaves

  • Buttermilk – 2½ Cups (600 g)
  • Rolled Oats – 2 Cups (180 g)
  • Honey – ¼ Cup (85 g)
  • A.P. Flour – 5 Cups (625 g)
  • Butter, small pieces  – 2 Tble (30 g)
  • Salt – 2 tsp
  • Instant Yeast – 2 tsp
  • Butter – 2 Tble
  • Honey – 1 Tble
  • Oats – for garnish

Warm the buttermilk in the microwave or a pan on the stove until luke warm.  Stir in the oats and honey, then set aside while you gather the rest of the ingredients.

Combine the flour, salt, yeast and butter in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low speed.  Add in the oats and buttermilk mixture, and mix on low until a rough ball forms.  Switch to the bread hook and knead the dough on med. for 6 minutes.  You should have a soft, dense dough that is slightly tacky, but not sticky.

Form into a bowl, cover with clean towel or plastic wrap, and set aside in a draught-free place until doubled in size, about 1½ to 2 hours.

Grease (2) 8” x 4” loaf pans with butter.  If you have it, line the pans with parchment so that the honey-glaze doesn’t stick to the pans.

Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces.  On a lightly floured counter, press each piece into a rectangle about 5” x 8.”  Starting on the shorter end, roll up the dough one section at a time, using your thumbs to pinch the seam closed after each roll.  Pinch the final seam closed, then gently rock the loaf to even it out — do not taper the ends.

Transfer the dough to the prepared pans.  Ensure the loaf touches both ends of the pan to ensure an even rise.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a clean dishtowel and set aside to rise a second time, until the dough is doubled in size and cresting the top of the pans, about 1-1½ hours.

Preheat the oven to 375° F.

Melt the remaining butter, stir in the honey and brush the tops of both loaves gently, then sprinkle a few oats on top.  Put the loaves into the oven, then lower the heat to 350° F.  Bake 45-50 minutes, turning and rotating the pans halfway through.

Remove the loaves from the pans immediately and cool on a rack for at least 60 minutes before slicing.

Ith do leòr! (Eat Plenty)


  • No buttermilk?  Stir 2 tble fresh lemon juice into 2¼ cups + 2 tble milk.  Let it sit 5 minutes.  Voilà!  You now have clabbered milk, a good substitute for buttermilk in baking.
  • Substitute 2½ tsp active dry yeast in place of instant.
  • This dough is easily made by hand.  Knead for about 10 minutes on a lightly floured counter.
  • If you keep your house on the cold side, try rising your bread on top of a toaster oven set on low, or next to the woodstove, if you have one.
  • Once the dough is split, shaped and in the pan, wrap the loaves you want to save for later tightly with plastic wrap. These loaves will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.  Remove them from the fridge about 4 hours before baking to give the dough time to rise.  Defrost frozen loaves on the counter overnight, then unwrap and bake the risen dough off in the morning.

honey-buttermilk oat bread



  1. Donna R
    January 23, 2012 at 7:43 am

    Mmmmm! This sounds really good – I’m making this next time!!

    • Theresa
      January 23, 2012 at 11:20 am

      Donna — I thought you might like this! Enjoy…

  2. ruaTimeTraveler2
    January 23, 2012 at 9:25 am

    Bread….It has it’s own beauty!…… and boy is that a beautiful looking bread..I wish we had smell-a-photo!……exquisite! ..and as always ….YOU BRING IT! not half the way …you really bring it….going all out….I want to touch, smell,and eat …
    Bread makers are artists in my book!

    • Theresa
      January 23, 2012 at 11:19 am

      Vickie, stop it! You’re starting to go to my head…xoTheresa

    • jonnee
      May 10, 2015 at 7:19 am

      what is A. P? all purpose? not bread flour?

    • Theresa
      May 10, 2015 at 9:16 am

      Yes, all purpose.

  3. Yes, I’ve had a few fantasies….er…..thoughts about Jamie’s hands and fingers of my own. Of course, no one is that perfect (honestly, the man’s only flaw is that he can’t wink?) and has a fantastic personality. I guess that’s why this is fiction. 🙂

    Anyhow, the bread definitely works for me. I love oats in my bread and I love the way this looks; melt in your mouth tender. Bravo!

    • Theresa
      January 23, 2012 at 11:17 am

      I’m glad to see YOU know he’s not real Christiane! 😉 I know you’re a bit of an oat bread connoisseur, so if you ever try this recipe, please let me know what you think. Theresa

  4. Liz Staveacre (@lizzys39)
    January 23, 2012 at 10:02 am

    I’m definitely going to have a crack at this as the weekend. Delicious!

    • Theresa
      January 23, 2012 at 11:17 am

      Great, Liz! Love to hear how it goes…

    • outlanderfan
      January 23, 2012 at 3:58 pm

      My favorite reunion ever too- I cry every time I read it (and I do find myself reading it over and over…)
      Thank you so much for including a substitute for buttermilk- how noticably do you think it would affect the taste?

    • Theresa
      January 23, 2012 at 5:07 pm

      We’re all a bunch of lovable saps! You won’t notice any taste difference if you bake with the clabbered milk Jenn, it’s all really about replacing the acid found in the buttermilk. The acid helps to tenderize the bread. Great question! Theresa

  5. Ishtar Scott
    January 23, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    cant wait to try this

    • Theresa
      January 23, 2012 at 5:08 pm

      I’d love to hear what you think! Theresa

  6. Kiri W.
    January 23, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    I love honey oat bread, I’ve never tried a variety using buttermilk, though. Sounds and looks delicious!

    • Theresa
      January 23, 2012 at 5:08 pm

      Thanks Kiri…

  7. Lee Ann
    January 23, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    All these breads are killing me! I so love bread and this one sounds amazing! And I think Voyager is my favorite. I speed-read through the first half until Claire is walking down Carfax Close…LOVE!

    • Theresa
      January 23, 2012 at 5:08 pm

      Busted! Me too…Theresa

    • Lee Ann
      January 24, 2012 at 8:42 am

      I confess I revisited the book after reading this yesterday. Sigh…

    • Theresa
      January 24, 2012 at 10:58 am

      It feels good to bare the soul, aye? If it makes you feel any better, I read the whole reunion scene over again yesterday too! 😉

  8. Janet@FCTC
    January 23, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    Voyager was the first book I read in the series. I saw it in the bookstore one day with no idea that it was the 3rd in a series. I thought it sounds good, read it and the rest is history. I totally LOVE the whole series (though to be honest, I thought the last one was a rip off with all the loose ends she left) and completely agree with you about this one having the best reunion scene ever.

    Also… now I want to make bread hehe

    • Theresa
      January 23, 2012 at 5:22 pm

      Loose ends lead to eager readers, Janet… 😉

  9. Mycah
    January 23, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    These recipes are KILLING me! I can’t wait to try them all! I usually read the Outlander books at least once a year…I skipped last year and my reading was quite dull. Now that I can cook the food as well, my husband will really think I live in an alternate universe. But, let’s be honest, in that universe, I don’t have the demands of every day life!

    • Theresa
      January 24, 2012 at 11:02 am

      I don’t even want to know what my husband thinks of me when it comes to Outlander… 😉

  10. Charlene
    January 23, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    One of my favorites ever! You are right it is the best reunion scene! The bread looks yummy, too.

    • Theresa
      January 24, 2012 at 11:01 am

      Thanks for stopping by, Charlene!

  11. Lorry
    January 24, 2012 at 9:08 am

    I would like to “pin” this on Pinterest! Do you have a Pinterest link?

    • Theresa
      January 24, 2012 at 11:00 am

      You’ll find all the Outlander Kitchen recipes on pinterest, Lorry. My username is Island Vittles (my other blog) — I’d love to have you check it out. Follow me, and I’ll follow you right back…theresa

  12. Sue
    January 25, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    Oh my somehow reading the series, I never really thought about the food, as my thoughts were somehow directed elsewhere 😉 but this does look and sound verra tasty indeed!

    • Theresa
      January 28, 2012 at 11:17 am

      Oooh, so you’re a sex over food person, Sue? 😉

  13. MacZac
    January 28, 2012 at 8:21 am

    I’m making this today. I’ll let you know how it goes.

    • Theresa
      January 28, 2012 at 11:17 am

      Get the butter ready, Lori…picture please!

  14. Ryno
    January 28, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    Just made this recipe-awesome! Thank you for this website and your talents! It is truly a labor of love, and I appreciate the humor, good recipes, and pictures. Thank you!

    • Theresa
      January 29, 2012 at 12:46 pm

      Ryno, thanks so much for checking back to let me know you like it — and for your kind words too! Theresa

  15. Cindy
    February 2, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    I just found this website. How wonderful! The bread looks delicious – I’m going to bake some this weekend. I’ve recently finished rereading Voyager too ( I think it was the fourth reread). I just love the whole reunion story. Thank you for the recipes!

    • Theresa
      February 4, 2012 at 10:50 am

      Glad to have you in the kitchen, Cindy!

  16. Denise Twist
    February 5, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    Having a wee dram while mine raises. I make all our bread and am excited about this recipe. Having it with Shepherd’s Pie later in the Super Bowl. I’ll let you know how it works out!

    • Theresa
      February 5, 2012 at 6:05 pm

      Slainte to you, Denise…here’s to a successful rise! 😉

  17. Denise Twist
    February 6, 2012 at 8:58 am

    I had a wee dram while mine was raising yesterday afternoon. It turned out beautifully. We ate it for supper and again for breakfast!

    • Theresa
      February 6, 2012 at 11:56 am

      Glad you liked it Denise! I always prefer my baked goods with a wee dram… 😉

  18. Lesley
    February 13, 2012 at 4:03 am

    Hi Theresa,
    I made the bread a couple of days ago, soooooo good. The kids weren’t too keen but that meant more for me to which I’ve no objection whatsoever. They didn’t look as pretty as yours but I like the rustic look lol.

    And the reunion scene- sigh, sniff, sniff. The first time I read it my dh thought something really bad had happened I was sobbing so much, all I could do was point to the book, cue lots of eyerolling and laughing from him, then he took great delight in telling everybody !!

    • Theresa
      February 13, 2012 at 9:36 am

      Funny! I was just talking about blubbing with these books with someone else this morning…our most embarrassing Outlander crying moments in public! LOL

  19. tami hottinger
    March 5, 2012 at 10:00 am

    snow day here means no work for me which means a great opportunity to make the bread to go with a beef stew for supper! hands down voyager’s my favorite of the series also!

    • Theresa
      March 5, 2012 at 10:39 am

      Fresh bread with beef stew…and Outlander meal to be sure!

    • tami hottinger
      March 5, 2012 at 4:54 pm

      WOW!!! your bread was SOOOO GOOODDDD!!!! my husband really liked it which is saying a lot because he considers homemade bread a hobby! this will be a county fair entry in august! and again THANK YOU SO MUCH!

  20. Lynn Eyermann
    March 15, 2012 at 11:19 am

    I actually got hubby to make this a couple months ago. He did fine tune it a bit as he only makes regular yeast-type breads and whole-wheat flour, but other than those small changes (well, rising time as well) it was tremendous! So I now have to get him to make it again!

    • Theresa
      March 16, 2012 at 7:06 am

      I’m glad you liked it, Lynn!

    • Fionna
      March 24, 2013 at 10:45 pm

      Don’t suppose you’d post your hubby’s recipe with the “small changes” would you? I am trying to stick to Whole Wheat, and would love to see this recipe made with WW. Thanks!

    • Theresa
      March 25, 2013 at 6:40 am

      Have you seen Jenny`s Everyday Bread, Fionna? It’s 100% WW…gives you something to try while we wait for Lynn to answer. 😉

  21. Cristina
    May 19, 2012 at 4:18 am

    Delicioso! lo hice el otro día para probar y hoy tengo que hacer otros dos más, ha desaparecido, está riquísimo untado en mantequilla en el desayuno, para sandwich de mis hijos, para tomar con queso mi madre…

  22. bullrem
    September 16, 2012 at 11:52 am

    I am making this today….. yummy. And it will not be as ‘odd’ tasting or as complicated as gettting the Salt rising bread to the table….

    • Theresa
      September 16, 2012 at 12:46 pm

      This is a breeze compared to salt-rising bread, Helen! Send me a pic if you get a chance!

  23. Jennifer Harrell
    January 13, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    Do you think this would work to let the bread machine do the kneading and first rise? I don’t have a stand mixer and lack the strength to do hand kneading… well, that and the time it took with my hands in dough would probably mean the kids would have a prime opportunity for mischief. Never underestimate what a 9 month old and 2 1/2 year old can get into…

    • Theresa
      January 14, 2013 at 11:40 am

      It’s certainly worth a try, Jennifer! I can’t see why it wouldn’t work…and I know all about poor hand strength. Let me know how it goes if you give it a try!

    • Annette
      January 19, 2013 at 1:14 pm

      Hi there, I am soooo curious, did it work with the bread machine? I have RA and it would really help if I could do it that way!

    • Theresa
      January 19, 2013 at 7:04 pm

      Hi, Annette! I can report back in for Jennifer — I have seen the picture from her batch mixed and needed in the bread machine, and it was a total success!

  24. Robin Dalton
    March 22, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    Reblogged this on Josephine Robin Dalton and commented:
    I’ve never actually made bread. Being an eternal hippie chick even I find this fact surprising. However this post not only feeds my Diana Gabaldon fangirl dreams but makes me want to bake bread. Enjoy and take a look at this fabulous blog!

    • Theresa
      March 22, 2013 at 1:58 pm

      Thanks so much for spreading the word, Robin. And happy baking!

    • Robin Dalton
      March 22, 2013 at 2:34 pm

      My pleasure and thank you!

  25. Rowen G.
    March 31, 2013 at 10:55 am

    I always enjoy Mme. Jeanne’s reaction when he turns up with Claire. . . .

    I make most of my own bread, and as the last few batches have been assorted soda breads, I was in the mood for some yeast-raised and wanted to try this one. I was almost out of buttermilk, but had recently made yogurt cheese, so made up the volume with leftover whey. There were no rolled oats in the house, but I used a combination of oat-flour and some fine stone-ground oatmeal I use for porridge. I time things like bread-kneading by singing ballads as I work, and got through two rather long ones on this lot.

    Breakfast this morning was toasted bread, buttered eggs with fresh chives, bacon, and home-made raspberry-blackberry jam. (Plus rather a lot of tea.)

    Lovely bread. 🙂

  26. Christy
    April 9, 2013 at 9:42 am

    I mentioned last night that I’d like to try making my own bread, and my boyfriend said “homemade bread gets too hard too quickly.” I took this as a challenge – one that Outlander Kitchen can help me meet.
    I intend to try this recipe soon, and hopefully prove him wrong!

    • Theresa
      April 9, 2013 at 12:23 pm

      Christy…ever ask yourself why the store bought stuff stays soft? The answer is not good.

    • Christy
      April 9, 2013 at 12:33 pm

      Ooh! As a matter of fact, I’d never thought to ask that. Do tell!

  27. Colleen
    November 17, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    OMG!!! This is the BEST bread I’ve ever had. Couldn’t wait the whole hour before I cut into it. It was still warm in the center and the butter just melted. FYI…I’m at 6,035 ft above sea level so the dough tends to be dry and non-forming with the liquid measurement in the recipe. For this one I had to add 4 tbsp. of buttermilk to bring the dough to the right consistency. Thanks Lady for doing all the work bringing these recipes to life.

    • Theresa
      November 17, 2014 at 2:24 pm

      Can’t complain about feedback like that! Glad you enjoyed it, and thanks for recording here your changes. Your fellow high-altitude Outlanders thank you!

  28. Sheryl
    December 31, 2014 at 6:54 am

    Hi – ! I want to make the loaves today and bake tomorrow — it isn’t clear if I should wrap the unbaked rolls COMPLETELY around with plastic OR wrap the baking pan with the loaves in it! Please let me know which if you can and get this message today…. Happy New Year xo

    • Theresa
      December 31, 2014 at 7:09 am

      Leave them on the pan and wrap the pan. Good luck!

  29. Mary
    June 4, 2015 at 11:52 am

    Made this bread yesterday. It was great and shared the 2nd loaf with neighbor. Easy recipe.

  30. Mary
    June 5, 2015 at 9:11 am

    My neighbor love it too. Great recipe.

  31. Melissa
    June 10, 2015 at 7:03 pm

    I’m definitely going to give this a try. I’ve been wanting to make bread. Regarding Voyager, I’m so glad Diana wrote it so Claire found Jamie right away.

  32. Kylie Pearson
    June 28, 2015 at 2:46 am

    I really, really want to make this but I only have a hand mixer that does not have a paddle or dough hook attachment, How would I do this? Knead it on the bench?
    Thank you

    • Theresa
      June 28, 2015 at 1:39 pm

      Yes! Knead for 10 to 12 minutes…enjoy

  33. Viv
    August 14, 2015 at 6:28 pm

    Really enjoy the books and love this recipe. Will be trying out the others too.

  34. Tara
    August 19, 2015 at 9:05 pm

    I will be trying this recipe this weekend in a bread machine. I love fresh bread and what passes for bread in a grocery store is disappointing, perhaps because of the size of a loaf it always seems to get stale before I finish half of the loaf so the other half get turned into French toast, but French toast is delicious. I suspect that this loaf will get polished off before it gets stale.

  35. Patty Voga
    January 27, 2016 at 4:14 pm

    I made this bread last weekend. It is amazing!

  36. Sarah
    January 30, 2016 at 4:34 am

    I made this bread two weeks ago on a lazy day off.

    I cut the recipe in half (living the single bachelorette life here!), sliced it once it was cool and put it in the freezer. I’ve made several sandwiches with it and had two slices toasted this morning before work; one with Nutella and the other with butter and preserves.

    I bake a lot of bread and unless it is sourdough or some other fermented dough I tend to avoid white bread but the oats and buttermilk give this one an excellent flavor!

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