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.
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.
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
- 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.
Thanks Angie! We’ll always remember the fun times we had with you and your family!