oatmeal molasses bread

$2.57 recipe / $0.21 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.91 from 20 votes
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I’ve had a few people ask for an oatmeal molasses bread recipe so I thought I’d break this good ‘ol recipe out of my vault of .txt files from about ten years ago. This recipe was one of my first forays into budget cooking. Back in the day, when I had first moved out on my own, I cooked a batch of this bread every couple of weeks. I’d eat one loaf that same week and the other would go in the freezer for the next week. I lived a very exciting life as a 21 year old, let me tell ya.

This is not a quick bread recipe by any means, it’s more of an all day event. Most of the time the dough is either resting or rising so it doesn’t take a whole lot of attention, just a lot of time. So, make it on a day when you’ll be at home doing other chores. Also, this might not be a beginners bread because the molasses makes it slightly more difficult to determine if enough flour has been kneaded in… but hey, I broke my bread making teeth on this recipe so maybe you can too!

This was literally the first time I’d made the bread in about ten years and it was slightly different than I remembered. But then, While writing an article about molasses, I realized the difference. Before, I used sorghum molasses and this time I used regular, dark molasses. Sorghum molasses is made from sorghum, while regular molasses is made from either sugarcane or sugar beets. Don’t get me wrong, they were both delicious, just slightly different. For more info about molasses, read What is Molasses?

Oatmeal Molasses Bread

Loaf of oatmeal molasses bread cut in slices

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Oatmeal Molasses Bread

4.91 from 20 votes
Oatmeal molasses bread is a rich and tender loaf that is perfect for toast or sandwiches.
Servings 12
Prep 4 hrs 20 mins
Cook 40 mins
Total 5 hrs


  • 1 cup quick or old fashioned oats ($0.17)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp butter ($0.11)
  • 2 1/4 tsp 1 envelope yeast (active dry or instant) ($0.18)
  • 1/2 cup molasses ($1.10)
  • 2 tsp salt ( $0.10)
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour ($0.32)
  • approx. 4 cups all-purpose flour ($0.59)


  • Place the oats and butter in a large bowl and pour two cups of boiling water over top. Let rest for 1 hour to allow the oats to soften.
  • In a small bowl, soak the yeast in 1/2 cup of warm water for 5 minutes. Add the molasses, salt, and dissolved yeast to the bowl of soaked oats. Stir to combine.
  • Stir in two cups of whole wheat flour. Begin adding the all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until you can no longer stir it with a spoon.
  • Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and continue to knead in all-purpose flour until you have a soft, pliable, not sticky ball of dough. You want to knead for at least 5 minutes to properly develop the gluten and you should have added 5-6 cups of flour total (whole wheat and all-purpose). The dough may be slightly tacky due to the sticky molasses, but it should not be super sticky.
  • Place the ball of dough in an oiled bowl, loosely cover, and let rise until double (1.5 hours). Punch the dough down, divide into two, and shape into loaves. Place the loaves in oiled bread pans, loosely cover and let rise until they are about 1-2 inches above the rim of the pan (another 1.5 hours).
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake the risen loaves for 35-40 minutes or until deep brown on the surface. Turn the loaves out of the bread pans and onto a wire cooling rack. Let the loaves cool completely before slicing!

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Serving: 1ServingCalories: 301.15kcalCarbohydrates: 61.58gProtein: 8.17gFat: 2.87gSodium: 411.98mgFiber: 4.14g
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Close up of sliced oatmeal molasses bread

Step By Step Photos

oats and butter in mixing bowl
Start by placing the dry oats in a bowl with the butter. You can use either quick oats or old fashioned. I’ve used both with success!

Water added to oats in bowl
Pour two cups of boiling water over top and let it soak for 1 hour. After one hour the oats will be very soft and pretty close to room temperature.

yeast soaking in water in mixing bowl
Soak the yeast in 1/2 cup of warm water for five minutes.

molasses, salt and yeast added to mixing bowl
To the bowl of soaked oats, add the soaked yeast, molasses, and salt.

oatmeal ingredients stirred together in mixing bowl with wooden spoon
Stir it all up.

Flour added into ingredients in mixing bowl
Stir in two cups of whole wheat flour. It will be a very sticky mess at this point.

all-purpose flour being mixed in
Begin stirring in the all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until you can no longer stir it with a spoon.

dough on counter with flour being kneaded in
At that point, turn the dough out onto a floured surface and continue to knead in flour until you have a smooth, soft, ball of dough. Knead for at least 5 minutes.

dough ball on counter top
This time, I used a total of almost 6 cups of flour whereas my notes from 10 years ago say 4 2/3 cups total… but I guess thats the difference between A) using a different kind of molasses and B) using old fashioned oats instead of quick oats. The point is that you have to use your judgement about how much flour is enough… which is why this may not be a beginners recipe. Also, due to the molasses, this dough tends to be stickier in general, which makes it even more difficult to gauge if enough flour has been added. But, anyway, somewhere around 5-6 cups total should do it!

dough in mixing bowl, punched down
Let the dough rise until double in size (about 1.5 hours) and then punch it down to deflate. Molasses is a slow fermenting sugar which is why it takes the yeast a little bit longer to do its job.

dough ball cut into two pieces
Cut the dough into two equal pieces…

two pieces of dough being shaped into loaves
And then shape each piece into a loaf. I did this by flattening each half into a rectangle (approximately the same length as my bread pan) and then rolling it up.

two bread pans with dough in them ready to bake
Place each shaped loaf into an oiled bread pan and let rise until it grows to about 1-2 inches above the top of the bread pan (another 1.5 hours)

two risen loaves in bread pans
When the loaves are nice and risen, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

baked loaves of oatmeal molasses bread
Bake the loaves for 35-40 minutes or until they’re a deep golden brown on the surface.

close up of loaves cooling on rack
Turn the loaves out of the pan and onto a wire cooling rack. Let the loaves cool completely before cutting or else they’ll look like this…

loaves with two slices cut
See, I didn’t wait until they cooled to cut them and so the hot, steamy bread gummed up on the knife and made a “pilled” surface. But, I was running out of daylight to photograph so I had to work quickly! Anyway, when I sliced up the rest of the loaf later, the crumb was beautiful and a perfect size. So let the loaves cool! I know it’s hard!

This bread is not super sweet as it may seem. It has a nice, deep, rich flavor with just a hint of sweetness. I love eating it for breakfast with either peanut butter or jam. It’s a very hearty, filling bread!

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  1. This is my favorite bread lately! It’s incredible mist and tender and toasted is SO GOOD! 

    1. I posted too quickly, ha! It’s a MOIST bread, and light and fluffy. Definitely a favorite and I’ve made a lot of bread over the last 20 years. Try this one! 

  2. I love the taste of this bread! I do add some sugar to the yeast while it activates and have never had an issue with rising.

  3. Taste good but did not rise. Turned out almost like a cake. Too much flour?

  4. I’ve mainly only made no knead and quick breads in the past, so I would call myself a novice. And even though I probably could have let my bread rise a bit more, it is delicious! I only made a half recipe in case it was a flop. I realized halfway through making that I had bread flour, not whole wheat flour, in my “other” flour container. I used it instead, and it worked just fine. Now I wish I had made two loaves. Makes *perfect* toast.

  5. Perfect sandwich or toast bread, definitely not sweet. Comparable to a honey wheat.

  6. I use a proofing element on my oven and my question is do I have to remove the bread from 
    the oven to preheat it?? If not, should I reduce the baking time??

  7. I use a proofing element on my oven, which works great. My question is when I am ready
    to bake, do I remove the pans of bread from the oven to preheat my oven or can I leave them
    inside and perhaps reduce the baking time????

    1. No do not leave them in while the oven preheats. Definitely take them out while it warms up.

  8. Can’t wait to try this. One question. If using instant yeast do you still dissolve in warm water?

    1. No if you are using instant you will not have to use the warm water.

  9. I made this bread last week and it didn’t rise very well, but it tasted great. I made it again today, and added one teaspoon of sugar to the yeast, water at 100 – 110 degrees F, and let it stand for 10 minutes. That was recommended on the yeast, and that has made a huge difference, as my bread is rising really well today. Thank you for this great recipe.

  10. Delicious molasses bread! Tastes just like how my father made it when I was a kid. Not too sweet and mild flavour overall. I gave it four stars out of five though because the dough almost didn’t rise at all. My yeast and flour are pretty new so maybe too much salt? Not sure. Followed the directions to a T, besides halving the recipe to make a single loaf. Ended up with a short, small and dense loaf, although it does taste good. This was my first attempt at making bread in the oven and not a bread maker, so I’m sure with practice I could figure it out.

  11. Can you use white flour instead of whole wheat?  I have AP and bread flour but no whole wheat and the stores are out of most types of flour right now.

  12. I’m wondering how I can go about baking this in a Dutch oven instead of bread pans. 

    1. We haven’t tried it in a dutch oven yet, but you can and let us know how it goes!

        1. I just made this recipe using a stand mixer. GREAT recipe!!
          Here is what I did:
          Yeast and 1/2 cup water in the bowl of the stand mixer.
          Add the molasses, and salt to the oats. Stir to combine, then add to the dissolved yeast in the bowl of the stand mixer.
          Using the paddle on the mixer, add 2 C whole wheat flour, and when well-combined switch to the dough hook.
          Add the white flour and keep the mixer on low until the dough is all off the sides of the bowl.
          I added 3 C of white flour, so 5C total.
          Turn the dough out on your kneading board and knead once or twice to form into a nice ball and proceed from there.

          Well received by the family and will be making this one again!!!

  13. Hi Beth! I’ve recently discovered this site and I’ve been loving it so far–you have such great recipes! I want to try this one out but I have a couple of questions for you. Firstly, would rolled oats work instead of steel cut or old fashioned? Secondly, how long would a loaf keep in the freezer? I have a big bag of rolled oats that will expire soon so I need to use it up stat! Thanks!

    1. Yes you can use rolled oats, just not the instant. Also it should last in your freezer for a few months if stored properly :)

  14. Just made this recipe, which was the first time I’ve baked bread in at least a decade. It turned out absolutely delicious!! It didn’t rise quite as much as it says it should, but I realized that is likely because my pans are 9″ x 5″ instead of 8.5 x 4.5. But if the shape isn’t a concern, then it probably doesn’t matter. I’m psyched!