Oatmeal Brown Bread


This is a special bread recipe, one that comes from a special person.

The secret, I think, is to knead by hand, with love.

Although it’s called Oatmeal Brown Bread, the “brown” part comes from molasses – it’s made with white flour and rolled oats.

It makes a heckuva big ball of dough. This baby will double in size.

Oatmeal-Bread3… er… the dough baby that is, not the baby baby, whose chubby fingers are about to tear off a teeny bit of dough for a taste. Although I suppose eventually he’ll double in size, too, won’t he…


When it’s done rising, you could snuggle your head into it and take a nap… or cut the dough pillow in four equal pieces using a bench scraper or chef’s knife.

Theo goes in for another bite. Or maybe he’s performing a windowpane test?


Roll the four pieces into nice-shaped loaves. When the loaves have risen to nearly double their size again, it’s time to bake.


Theo demonstrates how to tell they’re ready for the oven – when you gently press with your finger into the dough, it will leave an indent (except Theo forgot the “gentle” part).


For neat, thin slices, wait until it’s completely cool. If you have god-like patience.


I recommend keeping one loaf, and sharing three. It’s good juju. Slather them with butter and marmalade, or use to sop up baked beans.

Oatmeal-Bread4Gram Oatmeal Bread

Oatmeal Brown Bread
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10
  • 2 cups milk
  • ½ cup molasses
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats (not quick or instant)
  • 2 tbsp active dry yeast
  • ½ tsp granulated sugar
  • 10 cups all purpose flour (approximate)
  1. Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add milk and bring back up to a near-boil; remove from heat when steaming and small bubbles begin to form at edges. Add molasses, butter and salt; stir until molasses is dissolved and butter is melted. Add oats and let stand until only lukewarm.
  2. Meanwhile, combine yeast and sugar with 1 cup lukewarm water in your largest mixing bowl; set aside ten minutes to activate (it will become bubbly and grow).
  3. When the oatmeal mixture is cool, add to the yeast mixture, beating well with a wooden spoon to combine. Beat in the flour, a cup at a time, until it is too difficult to incorporate with the spoon, then dump it out onto a clean counter and start to knead, adding more flour as needed to create a smooth, workable ball of dough. Knead about 10 minutes total. Set dough aside to rise in a warm spot with a tea towel draped over top for about an hour, until doubled in size. Punch down, then divide into 4 equal pieces, forming each into a ball. Let rise once again, for another hour.
  4. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Dust dough balls with additional flour for a rustic look, then use a sharp serrated knife to make a few ½"-deep slashes. Bake 1-2 loaves at a time (refrigerating remaining dough balls in the meantime to prevent over-proofing) on the lowest rack of the oven. Bake about 45 minutes, or until well-browned and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped.

  • wvanillasugar

    This bread looks perfect. So yummy!

  • Manuela

    This looks wonderful. I am looking to start making my own bread at home and I just might start with this recipe. I am wondering, however, if whole wheat flour could be used in place of the all-purpose? I know that bread recipes don’t always respond well to substitutions, so I thought I would ask first rather than just experimenting! Thanks so much for any comments on this.

  • foodess

    @Manuela  I wouldn’t substitute all of it… but a third would be ok! Up to a half would probably still be fine, but the bread will be denser and won’t rise as much.

  • jayawitham

    CrosbysMolasses can’t wait to try this out on the weekend!

  • foodess

    wvanillasugar  Thank you!

  • Rena

    hes adorable!!!! and this looks yummmm!

  • Sandrablair67

    Hi Jen , I think that I recognize the older hands and sweet to see your little ones hands as well. I am enjoying your photography, recipes and writing. An amazing gift. Hi to you all from Halifax NS. Sandra & John

  • foodess

    Thank you, Sandra, so nice to hear from you!!! :)