Oatmeal Molasses Brown Bread Recipe

two loaves of oatmeal brown bread

This recipe for Oatmeal Molasses Bread is from my friend, Angie, from New Brunswick. She made this delicious bread for a Christmas get-together years ago when we both lived in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She lived in a lovely flat on the second and third floor of an old house near downtown Halifax with her husband and four children.

On that particular day, food, of course, was the theme of the party. Small tables overflowing with homemade cookies, cheese and crackers, and veggies and dip were scattered throughout the flat, so that you didn’t have to walk more than a few feet to grab something to nibble. And in the dining room was a huge oak table absolutely covered with plates, bowls and platters of traditional Christmas fare.

There was one table that really won me over. It was a small wooden table, at the top of the stairs by a window, with a cutting board, a bread knife, a bowl of butter and this lovely Oatmeal Molasses Brown Bread laid out on top, all ready for slicing.  It was so good. I don’t meet too many people that make homemade bread. Angie was a medical intern and mom to four young children, so I thought hosting a Christmas party was enough work. I was deeply impressed that she would also go the extra mile to make sure there was homemade bread at this event. I’m so glad she did!

This bread is very popular on the East Coast. As I’m from Toronto, it was very different to what I was used to: a sweeter, richer, earthier bread. I was super excited to sample some local cuisine – and even better that it was homemade. The sweet molasses flavour pairs well with cold creamy butter. I phoned Angie up a few days later and she gave me the recipe over the phone. This recipe was her grandmother’s and was the only bread she ever made. I can see why.


one loaf of bread with flour bag

I made this bread with some locally ground flour from Watson’s Mill that I bought at the Manotick Farmer’s Market and boy was it good.

two slices of bread on plate with butter

This bread smells amazing when it is baking: the aroma of whole wheat flour, oats, molasses and butter is so delicious you will want to eat it right out of the pan. But, let this bread cool awhile before slicing, as it’s so dense.

This bread is a dense and moist brown bread sweetened with molasses. The whole oats add some texture to each slice. The combination of molasses and oats is so perfect!

What I also love about this bread is that it’s so easy to whip up on a wintry afternoon. The taste is sublime spread with butter and served with cubes of cheese. It is also an amazing accompaniment to soup.



Oatmeal Molasses Brown Bread

Serves: 2 loaves
Cooking Time: 1 hour


  • 7 grams or 2 1/4 tsp of yeast (or one packet)
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 2 T butter
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 cups oats
  • approximately 3.5 cups of white flour and 2.5 cups of whole wheat flour.



Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water with 1/2 tsp of sugar.


Pour boiling water over the oatmeal and add the molasses and the butter.


Mix together the flours and salt.


When oatmeal and boiled water has cooled to a tepid temperature, add yeast mixture and stir together.


Stir in flour until a smooth, thick dough is formed. Knead the dough on a table sprinkled with flour until smooth and elastic. Only put a tiny amount of flour on the table, otherwise the bread will be too dry.


Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a tea towel. Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1.5 to 2 hours.


Punch down and knead for a few seconds to form an oblong shape. Cut the dough in half lengthwise. Place each half into a greased bread pan with the smooth side up. Cover the pans with a clean tea towel.


Let the dough proof in pans for about 1 hour until the dough as risen to the top of the pan.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake in oven for 1 hour, until golden brown and the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.


Let the bread cool before slicing.


orange gerber flowerThanks Angie! We’ll always remember the fun times we had with you and your family!

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  • Reply
    January 26, 2020 at 6:17 pm

    There’s no temperature listed and you didn’t say what to do with the salt.

    • Reply
      April 3, 2020 at 2:14 pm

      Hi, sorry, I just saw this. I have fixed everything now. Enjoy!

  • Reply
    Scott Mason
    April 3, 2020 at 1:17 pm

    For an hour…but what temp do you heat the oven too for oatmeal east coast brown bread

    • Reply
      April 3, 2020 at 2:02 pm

      Hi Scott. sorry, that should read 350 degrees fahrenheit. Thanks so much for checking out my blog!

  • Reply
    December 1, 2020 at 8:32 pm

    Just had to comment on your Brown Bread recipe! This is exactly the same as my grandmas bread. As a child, I watched her make this bread many many times. I even at age 69, have her bowl she made it in. She used to steam it over a pan of water with a cover with holes in it! Talk about yummy!
    I have only part of the recipe, so am so happy to have the instructions! Can hardly wait!

    • Reply
      February 1, 2021 at 10:44 am

      Oh, I’m so glad you found this recipe. Sorry, about my extremely late reply. I’m not sure how I missed your comment. I would love to hear back from you about your baking adventures. Happy Baking!

  • Reply
    March 4, 2021 at 1:03 pm

    I’ve made this wonderful bread a few times and it’s an improvement on a similar recipe for molasses brown bread I used to make. This generally works out to two 2 pound loaves. My baking time has been refined to 53 minutes at 350F

  • Reply
    February 18, 2022 at 2:51 pm

    I just made this today–I debated between this one and one listed on Crosby’s site, but the two cups of oatmeal in this one looked more tempting. I followed the recipe exactly and it is delicious. (I did one set of rolls for less time) plus a loaf. Thanks for sharing this!

    • Reply
      March 2, 2022 at 4:08 pm

      Hi Heidi, I’m so glad you enjoyed this recipe. I love this bread too. And you can never have too many oats. Happy Baking!

  • Reply
    March 2, 2022 at 4:06 pm

    Hi Steve, I thought I wrote back to you, but it seems like I did not. I’m so glad you enjoyed my recipe. I love this one! Happy Bread Baking!

  • Reply
    August 29, 2022 at 10:47 am

    Hello, Im trying your bread recipe however Im finding it a bit sticky even after adding more flour. I was hesitant to add more as I don’t want the bread to be too dried out. Maybe its the rolled oats I used or could be the altitude ? I dunno, Im letting it rise and will make one loaf and some buns. Will get back to you with the results. I love molasses bread so Im looking very forward to this with some homemade soup :)

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