Whole Wheat Bread With Honey and Molasses

Oh man, are you guys gonna thank me for this one! You know how I’m learning to bake with freshly ground flour, and that one of my goals for this year is to learn to bake with molasses… well with this recipe I can kill two birds with one stone.

The man who runs the cannery in my area shared this recipe with me. I tried it out today for the first time, and boy, he wasn’t kidding when he said it was the best bread he’s ever tasted. It really is that good.

This recipe cheats and uses a bread machine to mix up the dough, but if you don’t have one, you could do it by hand. I’ll also include the directions for making this using a KitchenAid mixer, though I don’t have one myself.

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Whole Wheat Bread With Honey and Molasses Recipe

  • 1 1/2 cups hot water
  • 3 Tbsp oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp molasses
  • 1/2 Tbsp salt
  • 4 cups whole wheat flour (I used freshly ground hard white wheat)
  • 1/2 Tbsp yeast

Put the ingredients in order into the bread machine pan, and press the dough setting.

When finished, dump the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and use a rolling pin to flatten it into a rectangle, approx. 10×12 inches. (If using small loaf pans, split this dough in half and roll to the appropriate size for your pan. I use a 12″ loaf pan.)

Roll the dough up long ways, and pinch the ends together. Put in a greased and floured loaf pan, and let rise for 45 min – 1 hour.

Bake at 350* for 40-45 min. (30-40 min. for smaller loaves). You will know the bread is done when the top is nicely browned, and when you thump the bottom and it sounds hollow.

I like to rub butter over the top right after I take it out of the oven to keep the crust soft.

KitchenAid Directions

In a 5 qt mixer bowl, combine water, oil, honey, molasses and salt; mix well. In a smaller bowl, mix 1 1/2 c. flour with yeast. Add this to the liquid. Mix for 5 min on speed 3. Change to dough hook. Add remaining flour and mix on speed 2 for 5 minutes. Cover and let rise for 30 min. to 1 hour, or until double in size.

When the dough is finished, follow the directions same as above from after you remove it from the bread machine.

I let mine cool on a rack for about 5 min. before removing it from the bread pan to allow it to finish cooling on the rack.

This bread comes out just a tad bit sweet and so soft. It also slices perfectly for sandwiches.

48 thoughts on “Whole Wheat Bread With Honey and Molasses”

  1. This recipe is good. Almost all the reviews said it was good and that raised eyebrows (as if only friends posted fake reviews) but I can truly say this is really good. It reminded me of the bread at Cheesecake factory (but not as dark in color). I used sugar (bc I didn’t have honey on hand), an entire packet of yeast, and a teaspoon of salt. Threw everything in the bread machine and let it do it all on the “basic” setting. Four hours later, I had soft brown bread.

    THANKS so much! I tried other recipes but this one is a keeper.

  2. Kendra – I just tried this recipe for the first time. Our place is at 6,000 feet of elevation, and I do a lot of baking. It always requires a bit of trial-and-error before a recipe becomes reliable. However, I think this one is terrific with the first batch. I used King Arthur unbleached white whole wheat flour, and reduced the amount by about 1/2 cup. I added an extra 1/2 tbsp molasses, and just a pinch extra salt (Diamond kosher). As is typical of summer (we’re hot and arid), I added about 40 mins or so to the initial rise time, and then let it go a full hour once in the pans. This is the “just-right” slightly sweet wheat loaf I’ve been searching for. Thank you!

  3. Just wanted to let you know that I made this today. I have no bread machine and no kitchenaid mixer 🙁 Is the dough supposed to be sticky? I added just a wee bit more flour on the top and bottom when rolling out because it was so sticky that my rolling pin stuck to it. Any advice for this first time loaf maker would be great. I will say this though that even though my loaves were small (9″ pan) it was very good. I just want to perfect the recipe which may take awhile. I have a delicious roll recipe that I have finally mastered and that took me awhile to get everything just right. I love this recipe for the fact that it doesn’t use sugar which I am trying to slowly dwindle away from. I will also be attempting to use olive oil or butter next time to eliminate the vegetable oil. So overall I am super happy with this but was wondering about the sticky factor. I use Hodgsons Mill 100% Stone Ground Whole Wheat that is all natural as my flour could that be it?

    • Sarah,

      Sorry to hear it was too sticky still!! I HATE sticky dough. HATE HATE HATE it. (And I rarely say “hate”, lol!) There is almost nothing more frustrating to me than having sticky dough all over your hands and rolling pin! Next time I’d say add a little more flour, and mix it a bit longer. It shouldn’t be sticky. I’ve noticed that for whatever reason, sometimes I just have to add a little more flour than the recipe called for. Hope you have better luck next time!

  4. Kendra,
    I have to tell you this is the best tasting bread I have made so far. I am still having issues with getting it to rise properly but that’s my fault. This is my go to recipe.
    Anyway, to any one who has not tried this recipe, try it! It’s very tasty.

    Thanks for sharing.

  5. Hi,

    I sent you a note last week and I just wanted to let you know that I have now posted this bread on my blog and linked back here to you for the recipe.

    It was delicious with my home made raspberry jam!

  6. I’m eating a slice now and yes it works great. It is delish!!I melted coconut oil then cooled and added. We had BLT on this sandwich bread and it is wonderful.Thanks (i just answered my question..lol)

  7. Kendra,
    Love your site! Just found it today and I’m rising the bread now. One question. Have you ever tried coconut oil or melted butter in recipe instead of oil. (I am avoiding vegetable oils) I love the idea of honey and molasses. we love them both and can’t wait to eat this wonderful bread.

  8. I tried this recipe last week and it turned out great. Had a very nice taste and texture. I made it with the dough in the bread machine and then finished baking it in the oven.

    Thanks for a great recipe.

  9. I can’t wait to try this. I’ve been trying many recipes for awhile now and have not found one that everyone in my family likes. Tomorrow is baking day for the week and I am excited. Love your blog!

  10. Thought I would share with you…I talked with my husband this morning after he went to work and told him about this recipe…He brought home some molasses at lunch time and asked me to make two loaves, one for us and one for a guy at his work. It is rising now. Super easy too! Thanks Kendra

  11. I am just learning to make bread. I started with an all purpose flour recipe so I would know what was supposed to happen and how things were supposed to look. Turned out great. Then I ground my hard white wheat and started with a “strange” recipe. It called for plain yogurt (which is not something that I can store up). This recipe is wonderful. I can’t wait to try it. I will of course have to get molasses but it keeps well. Thanks for this post!

  12. Kendra,
    Well, I got to feeling adventurous today and decided to make this bread again and see how it came out letting it go ahead and stay in the bread machine to bake. I have a bread machine that makes the “traditional” shape loaf in a horizontal pan rather than the vertical pan that most of the models tend to use. Mine also can make either a 1 1/2 lb. loaf or a 2 lb. loaf. Since the amount of flour in this recipe is about the same as what is typically called for to make a 2 lb. loaf in my machine, I decided to give it a try. I went ahead and added 4 tsp. of vital wheat gluten “just in case” it needed the extra “lift”, so to speak. My only concern was if the recipe, with the particular ingredient proportions it has, was a good one to bake in the machine, since the machine bakes it more slowly than this loaf bakes in the oven. Well, I am so happy to say that it smelled great baking, it looked great when it came out, and it tasted WONDERFUL! The moistness and smooth texture of this recipe is incredible for a 100% whole wheat recipe. It is so much better than the 100% whole wheat recipe that is in the book that came with my bread machine. We ate it warm with butter melted into the slices…mmmm! And now it’s good to know that (if you have a machine that can do 2 lb. loaves)it can stay in the machine if you’re having a busy day. I used the 2 lb. setting, the whole wheat setting, and the light crust setting. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe, Kendra!

  13. Kendra, I’m back. I made the bread yesterday – successfully doubling the recipe to make two nice large loaves.

    I have to tell you.

    It’s our new bread recipe. It kicked the other one to the curb. This bread wins.

    It was that good. Dark and flavorful and yummy! So glad you shared the recipe 🙂

  14. I am going to make this. I have to. I have my “go-to” bread recipe, but this looks preeeeetty dang good. Maybe it will be my new one!

  15. Kendra,
    The flavor and texture were both fine. It wasn’t as dense/heavy tasting as some wheat breads can be, and the flavor was very mild. I just had some with some of my homemade pear butter on it…mmmmm! I’ve pretty much only used up to 50% wheat flour in recipes until now (when you’re trying to make changes with teenagers who’ve been used to pretty much just white breads most of their lives, you have to take things slowly!), so I’ve reached the point now where I’m starting to slip in more and more wheat! Also, we’ve been slowly trying to slip more things like beans into recipes, as well as just making more and more foods from scratch. It’s a process, but when I look how far we’ve come in a relatively short time, it is working. but like I said, I think the older your kids are (and husband, for that matter!), it takes a little more time. You have to slip things in slowly and let them adjust before you make more changes. You’re lucky your kids are young–mine are now 20, 18, and 14!

  16. Kendra,
    I had success with both the bread itself and baking it in the wood stove oven! I used two of my 9″ pans, and while it came out fine, it would have been nice to have a little taller loaf like yours in the photo, which obviously is because you did it as one loaf in a 12″ pan. I wasn’t even aware that they made 12″ loaf pans, but would love to have one. Do you know if they are commonly found with the pans in most stores, or are they more of a specialty item?

    Also, I liked how easy the dough was to work with when it came out of the bread machine. Great texture, not sticky at all–kind of fun, like playing with playdough!

    • Shannon,

      Yes, go to my recipes section, or do a search for “bread” 🙂 The dinner roll recipe makes a delicious loaf if left as one big piece and allowed to rise in a large bread pan for about 30 min. Then bake about 12 min, or until the top is browned. (If you don’t have bread flour, just mix 4 tsp vital wheat gluten in with regular flour)

      I really do need to work on organizing my recipes section, and making it easier to find stuff!!

  17. Kendra,
    This bread looks amazing so I had to go out on a limb and try it with white flour from the store. I am a novice bread maker, so I wanted to try this because it looked easy! I did it using my KitchenAid. The dough didn’t rise as quickly as I thought and unfortunately the bread turned out a little heavy (still better than my other attempts at bread making) and I’m sure not as good as yours. Do you think it’s because of the flour I used? I’m also at a high altitude-do you think I need to make any adjustments because of that?

    • Shannon,

      I’d suggest adding 4 tsp of vital wheat gluten to the flour to lighten it up… though the honey and molasses may not work well with white flour. I do have some other really yummy bread recipes that don’t call for whole wheat that you can try 😉 Your elevation may effect the baking time… not sure about that one.

  18. Kendra,
    Thanks for that reminder–I’m so glad you said that! I did know about needing to rotate them because of the firebox, but I haven’t baked in it real recently, and I know I would have totally forgotten to do that this time! 🙂

  19. Kendra,
    Yeah, it does sound like it makes a big loaf, especially if you use a 12′ pan. I’m getting ready to make bread now, so I’m going to try it using your directions with the bread machine kneading it. If…and that’s a BIG if…I can manage to get my wood cookstove oven at a constant temperature later, I might try baking in it that oven.
    I do more and more on the top of the stove now, but it’s tricky trying to keep a constant temperature in the oven, especially if it’s something that needs to bake for a longer time period.. We’re learning….:)

  20. Kendra,
    Sounds good! I wondered, though, do you know of any reason why this couldn’t also be left in the bread machine for the full baking cycle rather than taking it out after the dough is done? It looks like the ingredient amounts are pretty comparable to what goes into a 2 lb. loaf when I use my bread machine, so I’m wondering if it might be worth a try to see how it comes out that way.

  21. Oh goodness! This looks like the loaf I picked up today. I was sent by my father-in-law to get “the best bread in town” from the bagel shop… it was $8 (about 4 times the cost of really good bread here). Crazy! I’ll be making bread now! I’ll try this one when I’ve gone through my usual fare. ~grin~ Thanks for sharing it!

  22. sounds great! I had heard before with using the fresh ground wheat to sparingly use the bread machine. Its harder on the motor to mix the bread and can kill it machine pretty quickly. I use my kitchenaid and then bake in the oven. Just wanted to pass that along!


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