Sweet Molasses Bread

I should learn by now to never, ever, never-ever tell anyone that it’s been forever since I’ve been sick because the minute those words come out of my mouth, I swear to you, I have instantly the worst cold in a decade. Healthy pride goeth before the fall, I suppose. That’s my reality this week. After seriously not being sick in forever (I can say it out loud now since I’m already miserable), I feel like I’ve been hit by a bus. And for some strange reason, my HR department isn’t answering my phone calls about my allotted sick days. Weird.

Today, in the midst of feeling like my pounding head was stuffed inside too-small pantyhose, I remembered that I had a loaf of this sweet molasses bread hidden in the depths of my freezer and the realization almost made everything better.

A quick defrost in the microwave, several slices, and a healthy dose of butter later, I decided that sometimes self-medicating with bread is the best way to go (that and going to bed at 8:23 p.m. for several nights in a row).

Sweet Molasses Bread

We are in love with this bread and have made it too many times to count over the last few months. Most of the remakes were in an attempt to get the perfect variation of ingredients – a slight hint of sweetness with the molasses and honey while keeping the beautiful dark color.

I’m not entirely sure why my kids go crazy for this bread but they do. The last two kids to celebrate birthdays have requested this bread as part of their birthday dinner and it’s their favorite thing to see in their lunch box. If you’ve ever dined out at a popular steakhouse chain (like Outback and others), the sweet molasses bread they serve is always the best part of the meal, in my opinion, and the homemade version is even more delicious.

Sweet Molasses Bread

I’ve included some helpful tips and information in the notes below the recipe title but rest assured that this dough is a dream to work with. I hope you love it as much as we do. Just don’t forget to slather on that butter. It’s kind of a must.

While you contemplate why, how, when and where you’ll make this amazing sweet molasses bread, I’m off to arm wrestle my kindergartener for the last piece of our loaf and try to convince him he should try his 6-year old hand at making sweet molasses bread for his sick, old mother because it’s the right thing to do (actually, now that I’m typing that out loud, I’m not sure the mess would be worth it; maybe we’ll just dig in the freezer and hope for the good luck to find another misplaced loaf).

molasses bread buttered3

One Year Ago: My Favorite Lightened Up Egg Salad Sandwich
Two Years Ago: Candy Apple Pie
Three Years Ago: Spring Penne Pasta with Light Butter Sauce

Molasses Bread {Outback Knock-off}

Yield: Makes 2-3 loaves, depending on size

Molasses Bread {Outback Knock-off}

I've used all sorts of different oil making this bread: olive, avocado, melted coconut. You could also use canola or vegetable oil.

The vital wheat gluten is optional but I highly recommend it if you want a really soft, light, chewy loaf of bread. Another alternative is to use bread flour in place of the white flour (and omit the gluten). Also, if you don't have wheat flour, you can make this with 100% white flour. I haven't tried making this with all whole wheat flour - if you experiment, I'd suggest increasing the kneading time by a few minutes to really develop that gluten and get a soft, light loaf.

The oats in the recipe are more for looks - and they tend to fall off while slicing but I like the look and texture of them so I've kept them along for the ride. You could easily omit them if they're not really you're thing.

This recipe transitions very well to rolls (about 12-14) or any size of loaves.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups warm water (about 110 degrees)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons instant yeast
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon unsulphured molasses
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened, natural cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons oil (see note above)
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons vital wheat gluten (optional - see note)
  • 3 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 3-4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2-3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Old-fashioned oats for sprinkling

Directions

  1. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the dough hook (or in a large bowl with a wooden spoon if powering through this by hand), combine the water, yeast, molasses, cocoa powder, oil, honey, salt, gluten (if using), and 2 cups of the whole wheat flour. Mix until combined.
  2. With the mixer running, slowly add the rest of the whole wheat flour. Start adding the white flour gradually until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Knead for 5-7 minutes (about 10-15 if kneading by hand). The dough should be soft and slightly tacky but shouldn't leave a lot of residue on your fingers if you grab a piece.
  3. Turn the dough into a large, lightly greased bowl, cover with greased plastic wrap or a light towel, and let rise until doubled, 1-2 hours.
  4. Lightly punch down the dough and divide into three equal pieces. Form into tight oval loaves and place on parchment-lined or lightly greased baking sheets (I fit two loaves on one large, rimmed 11X17-inch baking sheet and the third loaf on another baking sheet). Lightly cover with greased plastic wrap or a light towel and let rise until puffy and doubled in size. Optional: right before baking, using a very sharp razor, knife or bread-slashing lame (I use this one from King Arthur Flour), cut three deep slashes in the top of each loaf.
  5. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Bake the loaves for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and lightly brush with about a tablespoon of butter. Sprinkle with the oats and bake for another 5-7 minutes.
http://www.melskitchencafe.com/sweet-molasses-bread/

Recipe Source: inspired by this copycat recipe (sent to me by a longtime reader, Lien) and this recipe on Frieda’s site

109 Responses to Sweet Molasses Bread {Restaurant Knock-off}

  1. Shoby says:

    Hi Mel, do I need both the gluten and bread flour for the light and chewy texture? I have the bread flour , but if I need both I will run get some gluten as well. Thanks!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Shoby – I wouldn’t add extra gluten if you are using bread flour – bread flour already has more gluten, just be sure to knead the bread fully to develop the gluten and give you a deliciously chewy loaf.

  2. Bryn says:

    Yum yum yum! If I use all white flour do I use wheat gluten?

  3. I do love your bread recipes. This one looks like another winner! So handy when they can be frozen too!

  4. Jessica says:

    Do you think the recipe would still work without the cocoa? My husband gets migraines when he eats chocolate so I would like to avoid this ingredient so I’m not forced to eat all three loaves with my 2 year old. 🙂

    • Mel says:

      Hi Jessica – the cocoa really adds to the flavor but also the dark color but you could probably leave it out and maybe increase the molasses by 1 tablespoon – the flavor will change a bit and it might not be as dark but you’ll be able to share. 🙂

    • Liz says:

      I’ll throw my 2 cents in here also as I have experimented with a number of dark and pumpernickel/rye type breads… some with cocoa and espresso and molasses. My favorite is a no-knead adaptation and it has molasses but no cocoa or espresso. It is plenty dark with the proportion of molasses to flours (mine has rye, www and white) being 1/2 cup molasses to approx. 3 cups flour.

      If I was making this recipe without cocoa I think I’d up the molasses 2 T and back off the honey 2-3T so it wouldn’t be super sweet.

      Mel, I know you saw my dark bread recipe and since you looked at it I’ve made it with the addition of vital wheat gluten, having learned that from your 100% whole what roll recipe. It does wonders, even in the high moisture/no knead recipes!

  5. Bess says:

    I tried making a similar version of this bread once and really enjoyed it. Each time I spot the recipe in my untamed recipe folder I tell myself I should make it again. I will try your version now (really!) instead! I hope you begin to feel better, even without sweet molasses bread, soon.

  6. Jackie says:

    So sorry you are sick! It is the worst when moms are sick because it’s not really possible to take a day off. I hope you feel better soon. I would bring you some of this bread if it would help but mine probably wouldn’t look nearly as good as yours.

  7. Jenny Conklin says:

    This looks delicious and is added to today’s menu! 🙂 Looking at the top photo, did you cut slits into the top of the bread before the second rise or before baking?

  8. Jodi says:

    Looks delicious!! There is nothing like homemade bread. . . especially when you’re sick! Get better soon!

  9. Lin says:

    I was just at Black Angus, and they serve the same bread. Love it!!! Now I will make it at home. MMMmmm…

  10. So sorry you are sick. Fire that HR department, they are slacking on their job…..just don’t look in those cute faces when you do it…..you will probably end up making them cupcakes.
    I guess I should get back to making bread one of these days. When I do it will be this one. Looks so yummy.

  11. Jenn M. says:

    I’ve never been to Outback Steakhouse before. Is this like the brown bread that is served at The Cheesecake Factory?

  12. Denise says:

    Hope you get to feeling better soon! 😉 I have a chocolate allergy too and had seen comments on omitting cocoa. Will leaving it out really affect the flavor that much? Also, if I added espresso in its place, how do you think that would taste?

    • Mel says:

      The cocoa helps balance the sweetness of the molasses and honey and also contributes to the dark color but you could try leaving it out and see how it works out. I haven’t tried it but I don’t think it will mess up the bread as much as contribute to a lighter color, possibly, and flavor.

  13. noshi says:

    mouth watering! i always look for your diffrent variation of breads…they are always a hit ! thanks for a new recipe!

  14. Danielle Hale says:

    I learned something new today. I thought for sure “lame” was a typo in your post….little did I know it’s a real live kitchen tool.
    Thanks for all your posts! 🙂

  15. Sheila says:

    Ah, so sorry you aren’t feeling well but so glad you had this wonderful bread to cheer you up. Sick and yet so capable. This post is so well written. I rushed to my food cupboard to see if the molasses I purchase for your Roasted Maple-Glazed Pork tenderloin (we love!) was unsulphured. And it is! I have the vital wheat gluten I purchase to make your best whole wheat bread. And once greatly fearful to cut the top of raised rolls has now disappeared from the multiple times of making your delicious pretzel rolls. You have taught me so much and it is exulting to have these once strange and unknown food items readily available in my food pantry. Thanks so much!

  16. I’m so excited about this! I saw a copycat recipe for Outback bread a couple of years ago and it had a ton of food coloring in it to make it brown and I thought – surely, surely that’s not really how they make it! Cocoa powder makes waaay more sense. :o) Totally trying this asap!

  17. Becky Lucas says:

    I made it tonight and it’s delicious!

  18. Renay says:

    I was so happy to see this post! I love the bread at Outback (and Cheesecake Factory) and have always wanted to make it. This is it! It’s soft, a little bit sweet, and just made to be slathered with butter. Yum! I just made it with dinner and it didn’t disappoint. I can’t wait to try making rolls out it. Very easy, very good bread!

  19. KAPP902 says:

    Can’t wait to try this recipe this week. Have you ever baked it in a loaf pan before? If so, does it come out the same? Also, of all the oils you’ve tried which was your fave? Thanks for sharing your recipes and responding

    • Mel says:

      I haven’t baked it in a loaf pan but I think it would work just fine (you’ll want to split it up into a couple loaf pans, depending on the size of the pans). I’ve been getting away from using canola and vegetable oils so my favorite for this type of bread is the light olive oil or avocado oil. Those are the ones I use almost exclusively now in breads.

  20. Maureen says:

    I was so happy to see you had tackled this recipe. I’ve had a copy cat one for years and have made it a couple of times, but not totally happy with it. Now I’m excited to try yours.
    Thanks for sharing.

  21. Nancy Robinson says:

    The last time I tried to make a molasses/pumpernickel bread it was a total failure. It had cocoa powder in it as well, I made it in a round cake pan, and it didn’t keep a nice shape but collapsed and spread into the whole pan. I wish I’d had a camera handy when my son-in-law dropped over, picked up a slice off the bread board, and popped it in
    his mouth–thinking it was chocolate cake. 🙂 I will try again Mel, with your recipe, which looks fantastic.

  22. Oooh, can’t wait to try this! I love dark, sweet breads! I tried another knockoff steakhouse bread recipe a while ago and was really disappointed with it, so I can’t wait to try this one. I’m sure it’ll be amazing and I’ll be happy! 🙂

  23. Kim says:

    In step 4 where it rises again after being formed into loaves, how long did it take your loaves to rise and double in size? I am not a bread-making person but I am going to give this a try and just trying to figure out how much time to allow. 🙂 Thank you for a yummy recipe! Feel better

  24. Kim in MD says:

    I’m so sorry to hear you’ve been sick, Mel! I came down with a horrible cold/virus about four weeks ago, and I am still not completely over it. I hope you feel better soon! I love the brown bread at Outback, and have always wanted to try to duplicate it at home. I can’t wait to try this!

  25. Monica says:

    Can you use dutch processed unsweetened cocoa?

  26. Mollie says:

    I have a half gallon of blackstrap molasses I bought a few months ago, and I think this is going to be the perfect use for (some of) it. Can’t wait to try it!

  27. amanda_ab says:

    Made it yesterday, and it was amazing. The only problem is that I think it might of done some permanent damage to my KitchenAid mixer. There was so much dough that it stalled out the mixer’s motor. Now there’s a clicking noise when I turn it on. Even though my life line (a.k.a. my mixer) is limping all I can do is wonder how I’m going to make this bread again without the aid of said mixer.

    • Mel says:

      Oh no! I hope the mixer recovers…

    • Jen says:

      I think I can help!!! I did the same thing to my KitchenAid (yes, it was ALSO Me’s fault after I started making all of her wonderful bread recipes, LOL)

      It’s a VERY common thing, b/c stupid KitchenAid uses a PLASTIC gear in their housing. (it’s actually meant to break in order to avoid overheating and killing the motor— so you shred the cheap, (somewhat) easily replaceable gear — versus the much more complicated and $$$$ repair of the motor)

      I am NOT super handy, but I managed to do the repair myself— I read a LOT of how-to’s on the internet, watched MANY youtube videos of how to do it— and was scared SHITLESS while doing so, fearing that I would ruin it.

      There is a LOT of grease inside that baby, believe it or not. That was the worst part of it for me.
      But a year later, my kitchenaid is working GOOD as new!!!!! So you CAN fix it without having to buy a $200+ replacement mixer!!! If you’re not handy, find someone you know who is and forward them the links on how to fix it! 🙂

      It is called a WORM GEAR – less than $7 on amazon. (there might be different versions for different mixers, just be sure to doublecheck)
      http://www.amazon.com/KitchenAid-mixer-4162897-worm-gear/dp/B000TR6JEU

      I used this youtube video for most of my help— (my mixer was assembled SLIGHLY different but I figured it out)
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VeCiivPt7hk

      This also breaks it down step by step
      http://www.ereplacementparts.com/article/5297/How_to_Fix_a_KitchenAid_Mixer_That_Isnt_Spinning.html

  28. Elizabeth says:

    What’s the difference between regular molasses and unsulphured molasses?

    • Mel says:

      I’m not sure what you mean by regular molasses – just the every day molasses in the grocery store? Unsulphured is a very common type of molasses (like the Grandma’s brand with the yellow label).

  29. Cameron says:

    I made this last night for dinner and Heaven help me, I may have stumbled onto a new obsession. This bread is phenomenal, heavenly, delicious, superb, oh my. I love it. Thank you so much for posting it. (Incidentally I also made the PB cookies you posted the day you posted them. They were really good too. Please never stop your wonderfulness that comes out of your kitchen. I’ve become such a better (and healthier!) cook for my family thanks to you.)

  30. queenann says:

    I made this. I followed the recipe exactly. I ended up needing quite a bit more flour, but the loaves turned out perfectly–they look just like yours in the picture.
    Thanks for a good “treat bread” recipe.

  31. Carmin says:

    Hi Mel, Your name is a noun, verb, adjective, adverb and pronoun at our house. We had another Mel meal tonight–steak kebabs and this yummy molasses bread. Your recipes are my main inspiration, so thank you for the effort you put in to testing and perfecting each one. Anyway, I wanted to tell you that these froze beautifully as pre-baked loaves. I took them out and left them in a warmed-then-turned-off oven for the better part of the afternoon, straight from the freezer. They were perfectly risen just as I was ready to slide them in to bake then pulled out the warm loaves in time for dinner. Perfection!!!

    • Mel says:

      Thanks for your sweet comment, Carmin! And I love that you checked in to let us all know about the pre-baked loaves. Love that so much and you better believe I’ll be using that same technique myself!

    • Jen says:

      thanks for the advice!!!

      LOL- I agree with the noun, verb, adjective, etc —- whenever I have a new recipe on the table, the husband always asks “is this from Mel?” 😛 Like we’re best pals who share recipes.

  32. Mollie says:

    I made it today, and it was super delicous, but mine doesn’t look nearly as dark as yours. I doubled checked the recipe, and I’m pretty sure I followed it almost exactly. I’m wondering if I didn’t use quite the right type of cocoa – I used Hershey’s natural unsweetened. I even cooked them an extra 5 minutes, because they still seemed a bit light. They are dark, but yours looks so dark. Do they darken quite a bit after adding the butter? Maybe I didn’t put it in long enough after the butter… Or maybe I didn’t use enough butter – now that would be a shame! But I guess none of this matters, because the bread is so delicious! My 6th grader is about to walk in the door, and I think he’ll be pretty pleased with his afternoon snack today!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Mollie – that’s the type of cocoa I used. What type of flour did you use? Part whole wheat and part white? Mine may look a bit darker because I use unbleached all-purpose flour (not bleached) but that shouldn’t make a huge difference. Is it the crust that didn’t look dark enough or the crumb?

  33. Mmmm….. This bread looks so good……

  34. Chris says:

    So sorry to hear you are sick. Hope you feel better soon..
    Now, about the bread!! The only reason to go to Outback was their bread…until they changed the recipe. It is awful now.. when I saw this recipe I knew I had to try it..
    Oh MY ! 3 loaves in the oven and 3 wrapped tightly, unbaked, in freezer..I made them small like outback loaves. I make a lot of bread..ALOT..and this is by far the prettiest, tastiest best ever bread dough! It tastes (raw, of course, I had to.. 😉 ) just like Outback’s old recipe…I am so excited. And the dough was such a pleasure to work with – I am tempted to take out my mixer and make another batch..that way I can eat a loaf (or two) before anyone gets home 🙂

  35. Nicole H says:

    I made this last week and we’ve (ok, mostly I’ve) almost finished off the second loaf already. I love the darkness of the bread and the flavor. My husband had a bite of my slice this morning and I asked him to guess the secret ingredient that makes it so dark. He rolled his eyes and smiled at me when I said unsweetened cocoa powder – I had to say UNsweetened because he apparently thinks I put chocolate into way too many things and they magically become a dessert 🙂 I actually used Dutch processed cocoa and it turned out phenomenal! I’ll definitely be making this again.

  36. Brianne says:

    This was delicious! My husband’s comment was, “This is really good. This is like restaurant bread.” Clearly the “knock-off” part is doing it’s job! Paired it with the chicken pot pie baked potatoes, making the whole dinner a hit. Love all your recipes–even though I’ve never commented before 🙂

  37. Helen says:

    Made it today as part of Sunday dinner in place of our usual rolls or biscuits

  38. Corina montreuil says:

    I am excited to try this… It will go great with dinner …but with three little ones is this recipe ok to put in my bread machine to make the dough and take it out to bake!!?? I need quick and simple around here! 😉

    • Mel says:

      Certainly worth a try although I don’t use a bread machine myself so I’m not sure how the dough amounts would fit into your particular model – just make sure it doesn’t overflow!

  39. Helen says:

    Ok Mel, I have a quick freezing question … I usually slice my bread before freezing .. Is this bread better if frozen as the whole loaf .. Or sliced ? I can experiment .. But if you already have .. I’ll totally take your word for it 🙂

  40. S.I. says:

    I used my bread machine to mix the dough both times I made this and I had good success. But my bread machine is a bigger capacity one, I think its close to a 2# capacity one. So if you have a smaller one, I wouldn’t advise it. This amount of flour gives it a good workout. Maybe try a half recipe? I baked it in my connected French bread pan with holes and it turned out so crusty and relish! Thanks for the great recipe, Mel.

  41. S.I. says:

    Umm I meant DELISH. Spell check…

  42. Ela says:

    Mel, what is a vital gluten and where do I buy it? I only have the unbleached wheat flour, can I use it for this bread plus the unbleached all purpose flour? Thanks.

    • Mel says:

      Hi Ela – vital wheat gluten is part of the wheat that’s extracted and processed so it can be added back into bread recipes – it helps develop the natural gluten and helps homemade breads have a chewy, soft texture (for instance, storebought bread flour is higher in gluten which is why it usually produces a really chewy bread). I’ve never heard of unbleached wheat flour, is it just regular wheat flour? Do you know if it’s white or red wheat? Either way, I think you can probably use it with the unbleached all-purpose flour. I usually buy my wheat gluten online (the HOneyville or Bob’s Red Mill brand on Amazon) or it can usually be found near the flour at a grocery store.

  43. Emily says:

    Holy moly this bread is delicious! I stayed up late last night to make this and it is AMAZING. I could probably eat the whole loaf in one sitting. Your yeasted bread recipes are always a hit in my house. Keep ’em coming. 🙂

  44. Sarah says:

    I got the email notification for this recipe and made it straight away. I have two dear friends going through rough patches so I took them each a loaf. We are all huge fans. It’s been a week, I’m thinking its time to make more bread!!

  45. Jocy says:

    I LOVE THIS BREAD!!!!! Thank you so much! It’s gonna be my go-to, can’t wait to make rolls from it too 🙂

  46. nosh says:

    I tried this bread recipe and i cannot stop making it since. Its become my favourite …best with ricotta and honey ! Thank you so much mel . Can you please share a multi grain bread recipe with seeds and all.i want to stop buying it from the market and i know if there will be something to replace that its gonna be one of ur recipes. Thanks a million 🙂

  47. Carrie says:

    Hi Mel!
    Just wanted you to know I made this over the weekend. It is the first bread I’ve made in 5 years and the first with wheat flour and gluten. I was nervous and incredibly shocked (because of my time out of the bread baking game) when it turned out fabulous! I may have eaten one loaf myself but luckily for my waistline the other two were popped into the freezer. Thanks a ton!

  48. Jocelyn says:

    I made this delicious bread today. It takes a bit longer to rise compared to other yeast breads, but it is well worth the wait! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  49. Mandy says:

    Making this bread today! I plan to freeze two loaves. How do you unfreeze it? (Very preferably in a way that does not use a microwave please!)

  50. Carly says:

    Hello,

    I had a question about bread flour v. ap flour in bread recipes. Why does this (any many other bread recipes) not use bread flour? If I used bread flour instead of AP flour what would happen? Thanks!

    • Mel says:

      I usually use all-purpose because I don’t often keep bread flour on hand but yes, you can generally sub in bread flour for a chewier loaf if you’d like.

  51. Robin says:

    Definitely need to try this–looks great! And so glad to find your website. Just bought a grain mill last month and have the 3 types of wheat (White (soft and hard) and Hard Red, Plus Einkhorn, and ahve been experimenting with % of each (with a lot resulting in flat bread!). Takes time to figure out what works. Love how you actually specify type of wheat in your recipes. I am wondering if you have made with less sugar–I typically add about 1 tablespoon and that’s enough for me. Will probably try this now with less and see! thank you, will subscribe!

  52. Melissa says:

    Hi Mel,

    If making these into rolls, do I cut the baking time down to 15 minutes? Thank you.

  53. Hope says:

    This recipe sounds wonderful, and I can’t wait to try it. I was wondering if you could add raisins to the dough?
    Thank you.

  54. Melanie says:

    We all sat down and took our first bites. As my brain was being flooded with dopamine and I was left speechless, my preschooler exclaimed, “Mom, this bread is gooder than 1000 thumbs up!” Seriously, this is the best. bread. ever. I have never eaten at any of those restaurants, so I had no idea what to expect. Warm out of the oven topped with butter…there is nothing better. Thanks Mel!!!

  55. Anna says:

    This bread is amazing! I just baked bread for the first time using you French Bread Roll recipe and decided to be adventurous and try this one. It turned out great! My 2 1/2 year old came down the stairs after his nap and happily called down the stairs “I smell something yummy cooking!” So, thanks for making this bread baking amateur a hit with her toddler!

  56. Jill Angell says:

    made this a few times this week and it’s amazing! served it at an etiquette dinner for the youth in our ward and it was a hit. everyone loved it. thank you!

  57. jc says:

    is there any way to move your blog sigh “see what we’re sharing? It covers up half your page and your recipes., and is very annoying. I thought it would go away after i followed you but it doesn’t.

  58. Dave says:

    Delicious, the wife and kids loved it thank you for the great recipes. Would add a pic but don’t know how to load it here.

  59. Pam says:

    Delicious recipe, I love the flavor! I used my KitchenAid mixer for the dough, though…the bread was more dense and not as fluffy as I would have hoped. The flavor is right on though…thank you!

  60. Yum. We had this with some potato corn chowder and it was the perfect rainy day meal. I’m thrilled that there are 2 more loaves!! Thanks!

  61. Laurie says:

    Tried this tonight and it was a hit. The youngest was delighted that there was chocolate in it, the oldest was mad that he couldn’t particularly taste the chocolate, but everyone was pleased with the bread! I really loved that it doesn’t even touch your counter–no last kneading and shaping step that requires spreading flour everywhere. So easy!

  62. Kathy B says:

    All I can say is YUM! This made 3 huge loaves so I might cut it in half next time since there are only two of us. I used all bread flour / no gluten since I didn’t have any white whole wheat and it was fine.

  63. Mary Ricki says:

    I made this bread today and it was wonderful. I gave one to the gentleman across the highway , he just called me to tell me that it was fantastic .. My husband has eaten 4 slices , and is headed to the kitchen for another slice .. I will be making this for the Thankgiving dinner at church. This is one “knock off “recipe that frankly is better then the original. Great Recipe

  64. Tenacee says:

    Hi Mel-

    This looks delicious! I am looking forward to making it this week. Thank you for the recipe.

    Quick question, I do not have instant yeast, but I do have active yeast. Would I need to change the way I make this bread? Thanks in advance.

    • Mel says:

      Usually you can proof the same amount of active dry yeast (maybe just a pinch more) in 1/4 cup of warm water and a pinch of sugar. Once it’s foaming and bubbly, you can add it to the recipe. Does that help?

  65. Heidi B says:

    Question for you: Can you use Graham Flour instead? If so do we still need the vital gluten stuff as well and would we do same measurements for the wheat/all purpose flour as shown only using graham flour in place of white/whole wheat?

  66. Mel says:

    This was the most delicious bread I’ve ever made! Yum. I served it with your Autumn Minestrone Soup. If you know the scene from What About Bob, when Bob is mming and aahing about every bite, that was how I felt about the meal. Scrumptious. Thank you!

  67. Cindy Hansen says:

    I totally impressed myself– this bread turned out beautiful! And absolutely delicious! Seriously delicious. I made 4 batches of this recipe to take to a colonial days activity with my 4th grader. The first batch I put the oats on top with the butter for the last 5 minutes of baking, as stated in the recipe. It was pretty, but those gorgeous oats fell right off when bagging the bread. The next batch, just before baking, I brushed on egg whites, sprinkled the oats, then dabbed some more egg white wash on to make sure those oats were glued down to the bread. During the last 5 minutes of baking I gave the whole loaf a good coat in melted better. Those oats stuck beautifully and was able to transport the loaves with without the oats falling off.

  68. Ryan says:

    My daughter is doing baking for 4H this year and her requirement is to use at least half whole grain flour. We have tried different recipes for rye, and whole wheat flours but nothing had come out right. I decided it was time to try bread flour as my white half. This was the first recipe we attempted with a bread flour/whole wheat mix. I mixed three cups of each into a bowl and whisked it together so no matter how much was used it would be a 50/50 blend. We didn’t have honey on hand so I substituted light corn syrup for that. Everything else was followed to the letter except the rises and I doubled the yeast. This caused it to nearly triple in size during the first rise. I then seperated in to two loaves and placed on a baking sheet. Which they became too large for upon second rise. Which caused me to have to reform them in to new loaves on individual sheets they then rose another time. Upon preparing for the oven by scoring the tops I noticed that the middle of one wasn’t uniform so I kneaded them once more making more uniform loaves and yet another rise. So after 4 rises I finally had them scored to my liking and ready to go in.

    I pulled them out when hollow sounding on bottom checked internal temp and was 185 I figured this was close enough. Let it cool slightly then sliced a piece off for my daughter and I. Yummmmmmmmm! We then went back for seconds and used a bit of butter on the slices. The butter took it to a whole other level.
    We may have found her recipe for judging!

    The only thing I have a question about is I didn’t brush in butter and continue baking, would that have caused my loaves to be very light in color compared to the picture? Ours looked more like a whole wheat sandwhich loaf color. It’s good no doubt but wanted a darker color for presentation. I could try upping the cocoa or brushing with butter if that would darken it up more.

    Either way thank you for this wonderful recipe.

    • Mel says:

      Hi Ryan – thanks for all the details! You can get better browning on the top of your loaf by putting your oven rack a bit higher in the oven (at least, this helps sometimes for me) and yes, the butter should help with browning, too.

  69. Jen says:

    Hi Mel,
    Just curious, what do you usually serve this with? I can imagine soup, but probably not pasta right?

    • Mel says:

      Actually, I think we’ve served it with just about everything! It’s slightly on the heavy/hearty end for pasta but I made it with a lighter pasta dish (I think garlic noodles) and it was great.

  70. Jen says:

    Ok, so I just made the dough and I don’t know what happened as I’ve made bread before. I used bread flour and it took me like 7 1/2 cups to get it to where I could manage it in my hands and not stick and looked like it’s supposed to! The only thing I could think is that maybe because it’s bread flour vs regular? The bread flour may have been a little old but I don’t think that would matter. Also, I kept it on medium/high in my kitchen aid and kept trying to knead it for awhile thinking it would come together but it didn’t so I just kept adding more flour. I finally got it right but it took 7 1/2 cups! I’m definitely scared to see how this turns out. :/

  71. Cory says:

    Hi, can you freeze the dough and bake later?

    Thank you in advance.

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