Keep up your clean eating habits with this easy recipe for healthy whole wheat molasses bread.  It’s a rustic, crusty loaf that’s slightly sweet—perfect for toast at breakfast or for sandwiches at lunch.  It also contains fiber and protein to keep you full.

Prep Time: 35 minutes
slices of whole wheat molasses bread with the loaf
Bread, Savory Bread

Homemade Whole Wheat Molasses Bread

Are you looking for a healthy recipe for beautiful homemade bread?  This whole wheat molasses bread is the answer!  It contains 25% whole wheat flour, which gives it extra fiber and protein. 👍 The slightly sweet, nutty flavor and delicious aroma of this easy-to-make loaf will have your whole house hungry in no time!

holding a slice of whole wheat molasses bread

What is dark brown bread?

Brown bread, as its name depicts, refers to any bread made at least partially with whole wheat flour.  Most brown breads contain molasses, cocoa powder, or even coffee to further darken the color and enrich the flavor.

holding a loaf of whole wheat molasses bread

Which is better: whole wheat, or whole grain?

Whole wheat bread contains the complete wheat kernel.  Whole grain bread contains the whole kernel of any grain that is in the bread (rye, spelt, oat, etc.).  This article has a good explanation of the two names.

How do you make molasses bread?

Gather all the ingredients: bread flour, whole wheat flour, yeast, salt, molasses, butter, and milk.

ingredients for whole wheat molasses bread

Pour the flours, salt, and yeast into the bowl of a stand mixer.  Make sure to keep the salt and yeast separate, because the salt can kill the yeast if it touches it directly.

dry ingredients in a bowl for whole wheat molasses bread

Mix in the butter and molasses until blended.

mixing in the butter and molasses for whole wheat molasses bread

Gradually add the milk until a sticky dough forms.  You might not need all the milk.

unkneaded dough for whole wheat molasses bread in a bowl

Knead for about 3-5 minutes on medium low speed, until the dough is smooth, not as sticky, and passes the windowpane test.  (See the recipe card below to learn this easy technique.)

kneaded dough for whole wheat molasses bread

Form the dough into a ball, place in a bowl, and cover tightly with plastic wrap.  Let it rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

before and after letting the whole wheat molasses bread dough rise

Punch down the dough, then shape it into a tight ball and place in a generously floured banneton (proving basket made from canes).  If you don’t have a banneton, use a greased and floured bowl instead.

loaf of whole wheat molasses bread in a banneton

Cover the dough with a linen cloth or tea towel and let it rise until about doubled in size.  The dough should spring back when you poke it with your fingertip.

covering whole wheat molasses bread with a linen cover

Carefully turn out the loaf onto a baking stone or cookie sheet, then score it with a baker’s lame or sharp serrated knife.  Don’t worry if the loaf deflates a little when you flip it out; it should rise back up in the oven.  Immediately put the loaf in the oven and bake at 425 F for 25 minutes, then bake it at 400 F for another 15 minutes.  The bread is done when it has an internal temperature of 190-200 F.

loaf of whole wheat molasses bread on a wire cooling rack

Be sure to let it cool completely on a wire rack before slicing and serving to prevent a gummy texture.

slices of whole wheat molasses bread with the loaf

Pro Tips for Making Whole Wheat Molasses Bread

  • Use a kitchen scale to measure the ingredients by weight.  It’s actually easier than using measuring cups, and measures out the ingredients much more accurately.
  • Make sure not to let the salt and yeast touch each other. Salt will kill or stunt the yeasts’ growth if it touches it.
  • Don’t skimp on the kneading. Knead for 3-5 minutes on medium low speed in a stand mixer, or 10-15 minutes by hand.  Test the dough with the windowpane test to check if it’s kneaded enough.  (See the recipe card below to learn this technique.)
  • Shape the loaf in a very tight ball. This will ensure a beautiful loaf when you turn it out of the banneton.
  • Bake the loaf at a high temperature for a good rise. Intense heat will help the bread rise better and brown more beautifully.
  • Let the bread cool completely before you cut into it. If the bread is warm when you cut it, it will make it gummy.  Hot bread is full of steam, and the loaf needs time to allow the crumb structure to firm up.

Craving more healthy, delicious homemade bread?  Try these ones–you won’t be disappointed!

loaf of multigrain bread in the pan loaf of oatmeal molasses bread holding a loaf of pumpernickel bread

Did you make this whole wheat molasses bread?  We’d love to hear how you enjoyed it in the comments below!

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slices of whole wheat molasses bread with the loaf

Homemade Whole Wheat Molasses Bread


  • Author: Emma
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 14 slices
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Keep up your clean eating habits with this easy recipe for healthy whole wheat molasses bread.  It’s a rustic, crusty loaf that’s slightly sweet—perfect for toast at breakfast or for sandwiches at lunch.  It also contains fiber and protein to keep you full.


Ingredients

  • 3 1/8 cups bread flour (375g)
  • 1 1/8 cups whole wheat flour (125g)
  • 3 teaspoons fast-action yeast (10g)
  • 2 teaspoons salt (10g)
  • 1/3 cup molasses (123g)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened (57g)
  • 1 1/3 cups whole milk (325 ml)

Instructions

Making the Dough (25 minutes + 1 1/2 hours rising)

  1. Warm the milk to 115 F in a small saucepan or in the microwave.  If you warm the milk in the microwave, put a small wooden spoon or chopstick in the milk to break the surface tension and prevent it from exploding.
  2. Pour the two flours into the bowl of a stand mixer.  Add the salt and yeast on opposite sides of the bowl and stir each one in with your finger or a spoon.
  3. Add the molasses and butter and mix on low speed with the paddle attachment until blended.
  4. Gradually trickle in the milk as the mixer runs, forming a sticky dough.  You may not need all the milk, depending upon the humidity and the brands of flour you’re using.
  5. Switch the attachment to the dough hook and knead on medium-low speed until the dough is smooth, less sticky, and somewhat elastic.  Test the dough with the windowpane test.  Break off a lump of dough and stretch it between the thumb and forefinger of each hand.  If the dough stretches until it’s translucent without breaking, it’s kneaded enough; if not, knead for a minute longer and check again.
  6. Shape the dough into a ball, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and set aside in a warm place to rise until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Shaping & Proving the Loaf (8 minutes + 1 1/2 hours rising)

  1. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and punch it down all over to knock out the gas pockets.
  2. Roll the loaf into a tight ball and place it seam side up in a floured, 10-inch round banneton.  (If you don’t own a banneton, use a greased and generously floured bowl instead.)
  3. Cover the loaf with the banneton’s linen cover or a tea towel and let it rise at room temperature until about doubled in size, roughly 1 1/2 hours.  The dough should spring back when gently poked with a fingertip.
  4. About 10 minutes before the dough is done proving, preheat the oven to 425 F.

Scoring & Baking the Loaf (40 minutes + cooling)

  1. Gently turn the risen loaf onto a baking stone or ungreased cookie sheet.  Don’t worry if the loaf deflates a little; it will rise back in the oven.
  2. Use a piece of thread to gently mark the loaf in quarters, then carefully score the loaf in the desired pattern with a baker’s lame or very sharp serrated knife.
  3. Immediately put the bread in the oven and bake at 425 F for 25 minutes, then lower the temperature to 400 F and bake for another 15 minutes.  The loaf should be deeply browned and have an internal temperature of 190-200 F.
  4. Let the loaf cool completely on a wire rack before slicing and serving.

Keywords: basic, molasses

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