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sliced brown molasses bread with oats on top
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4.83 from 74 votes

Sweet Molasses Brown Bread

Delicious sliced warm and served with fresh butter, or used as sandwich bread the next day, this sweet molasses brown bread made with whole wheat, molasses and honey is one of our family favorites!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Additional Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 45 mins
Course: Bread
Cuisine: American
Servings: 36 servings
Calories: 110kcal
Author: Amy Nash


  • 2 ½ cups warm water
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons instant yeast
  • cup molasses
  • 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 3 Tablespoons oil
  • cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons table salt
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3-4 cups bread flour
  • 3 Tablespoons salted butter, melted
  • Old-fashioned oats for sprinkling on top


  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the water, yeast, molasses, cocoa powder, oil, honey, salt, and 2 cups of the whole wheat flour. Mix until combined.
  • With the mixer running, gradually add the rest of the flour starting with the whole wheat, then adding the bread flour until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl (you may not need the last cup of flour). Knead for 5-7 minutes. The dough should be soft and slightly tacky.
  • Transfer the dough to a large, lightly greased bowl, then cover with a sheet of plastic wrap lightly sprayed with cooking spray, or cover with a light dish towel.  Let rise until doubled in size, 1-2 hours.
  • Punch down the dough and divide into two or three evenly-sized pieces (depending on how large you want your loaves).  Shape into tight oval loaves and place onto parchment-lined baking sheets, making sure they have space to rise without touching each other. Lightly cover with plastic wrap lightly sprayed with cooking spray or a light dish towel and let rise again until puffy and doubled in size (another 45-60 minutes).  Right before baking, you can use a very sharp razor, knife or bread-slashing lame to cut three slashes across the top of each loaf, if desired.  
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Bake the loaves for 25 minutes.  Remove from the oven and lightly brush with the melted butter, then sprinkle with the oats and bake for another 5-7 minutes, until browned and cooked through.  Cool before slicing.


The oats are more for appearance and texture, but they do tend to fall off when slicing the bread.  I keep them anyway because I enjoy the look and texture they give to the loaves.
If desired, the dough could be shaped into 12-14 rolls or 6-8 mini-loaves instead of larger loaves, just decrease the baking time depending on the size you are shaping the bread.
Recipe only slightly adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe.


Calories: 110kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 140mg | Potassium: 100mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 30IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 1mg