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.
- 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)
Making the Dough (25 minutes + 1 1/2 hours rising)
- 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.
- 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.
- Add the molasses and butter and mix on low speed with the paddle attachment until blended.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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)
- Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and punch it down all over to knock out the gas pockets.
- 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.)
- 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.
- About 10 minutes before the dough is done proving, preheat the oven to 425 F.
Scoring & Baking the Loaf (40 minutes + cooling)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Let the loaf cool completely on a wire rack before slicing and serving.
- Use a kitchen scale to measure the ingredients by weight. It's actually faster than using measuring cups, and is much more accurate.
- Don't skimp on the kneading, or the bread won't have a good rise or the best texture. Use the windowpane test in the instructions above to see if it's kneaded enough.
- Shape the loaf in a very tight ball. This will help the bread rise up, not flatten out.
- Bake at 400 F for the best color, rise, and crust.
- Let it cool completely before slicing. This allows it to finish cooking in the middle.
- Category: Bread
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: basic, molasses