Easy Whole Wheat Bread Recipe with Molasses

by zesty on April 20, 2012 · 101 comments

Happy Friday everybody!

I went back to the zesty well from 4 years ago and decided to share a classic “impress yourself recipe”.

Homemade bread made easy.

The smell. The flavor. Melted butter.

Today’s post (like the rest of the week) is dedicated to super easy to prepare food that tastes great. I was talking to my great friend yesterday and I asked him what I should make and post about for Thursday. He said “Zesty, why don’t you make a killer loaf of homemade whole wheat bread that is super simple to make”. I said “JT, that is an awesome idea!” So here I am, getting ready to share with you a quick and easy

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version of whole wheat homemade bread.

This is a great and versatile recipe that is open for variations and additives of your favorite flavors.


  • 2 Tsp. honey
  • 2 2/3 Cup lukewarm water
  • 4 Tsp. dry yeast
  • 3 Tbsp. Molasses
  • 5 Cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 Tsp. salt
  • 1/4 Cup wheat germ
  • 1 Tbsp. Oatmeal (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 400 Degrees F.
  2. Stir 2 teaspoons honey into 2/3 cup lukewarm water.
  3. Sprinkle yeast over the mixture. Set aside for 10 minutes.
  4. Combine 3 tablespoons molasses with 2/3 cup warm water and combine with yeast mixture.
  5. Stir into flour. Add salt, wheat germ and 1 1/3 cups warm water. Dough will be sticky.
  6. Pour dough into a non-stick loaf pan.
  7. Smooth top with wet spatula.
  8. Sprinkle Oatmeal over top of loaf, if desired.
  9. Allow to raise to top of pan.
  10. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes.
  11. Cool 10 minutes on a rack, then turn out of pan.
  12. Cool before slicing.
  13. ENJOY!

Zesty Tip: When working with Yeast – it is very important that the yeast is still active (therefore not expired) so be sure to check your labels. Also make sure to dissolve all the yeast in the liquid before adding dry ingredients.

Wow, I must say I really do love homemade bread and it really does not get any easier than this recipe. As well, look at the ingredients… so healthy and natural - it really is that simple. Give this loaf a try and let me know how you do. Would you suggest any ingredient substitutions or additions?

Have yourself a great Friday!

Take care


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{ 77 comments… read them below or add one }

1 coco

great great idea Zesty to share with us easy recipe during the week because we’re all short of time. I’ve been wanting to make bread but always was afraid about the yeast. This one seems to be easy, but I don’t have molasses and wheat germ… can I substitute them for something else?

And don’t forget to share with us seven random facts about you.


2 Megan

I wish I had some of this bread for breakfast. Oh well! I love how easy this is and that you used molasses. I bet that gave it just the right amount of sweetness.


3 VeggieGirl

GREAT-LOOKING loaf of bread!!

How about a gluten-free version??? :-D


4 Cate

oh, so gorgeous! well, i’m a big fan of simplicity sometimes, so your bread looks just right.
love the molasses. will try this one over the weekend-and will give a link to this tomorrow for stuff that we’re making over the weekend. thanks, zesty!


5 Juliet

Looks delicious! My husband and I were just talking last night about finding a good whole-wheat bread recipe, I’ll give yours a try!


6 HoneyB

Looks great! I don’t always have the best luck with whole wheat. I’ll have to try it again soon to see if I can do any better.


7 Jason

Amazing looking bread!


8 Cajun Chef Ryan

Nothing fills the kitchen with such a pleasing aroma as that of fresh baked bread! Nice recipe post! =:~)


9 Laurie

Wow, this recipe is easy! And only one rising – perfect. I love to make homemade bread but too often I forget in the late afternoon to mix it up and my recipe takes about three hours total. The shorter time period makes this a perfect weekday bread and I have a bag of whole wheat flour in the pantry. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

Coco, I think you could just add more honey instead of the molasses. Don’t be afraid of yeast. It’s wonderful and addictive once you get used to it.


10 The Other Jessie :)

I really want to make bread, This is just tempting me to do so! That’s also a great looking bread :)


11 Jessie

Oh well done! Love the smell of bread baking in the house.

a.k.a. The Hungry Mouse


12 ZestyCook

Coco- You most certainly can just add honey in place of the molasses ( as Laurie suggested )and omit the wheat germ. No big deal or you could throw in some favorite nuts you likeor seeds.

Megan – thans – yeah I love molasses in bread.

Veggie-Girl – Let me work on that one :)

Thanks Cate, Juliet

HoneyB – try this one – it is super simple

Thanks Jason, Ryan, Laurie, The Other Jessie, and Jessie


13 Bob

That looks mad good, I love homemade bread.


14 hdalex

yes it looks very good ,but i would eat it with lots of butter mmmm ….:)


15 Jenn (eating bender)

Not only am I a foodie…I’m also a self-described “breadie” because bread is my favorite food! There is nothing like freshly baked bread and this recipe sounds perfect. I love it when there’s molasses!!


16 onoway

bread looks great but if you use instant yeast it’s even faster..measure/blend the yeast into dry ingedients, mix it up and away you go. The texture will be slightly different but the flavour is still as yummy.


17 Brooke

This bread looks DELISH! I added it to my favorites. I love the fact that there is only whole wheat flour in your recipe. I always am disappointed when I see an all purpose flour / whole wheat mix. Looks great!


18 Erin

Delicious Zesty! There is nothing like the smell of fresh bread or of the yeast bubbling. :)


19 HangryPants

This looks perfect! I love making my own bread and there could be some bread baking in my near future after seeing this.


20 Foong

I like quick and easy recipes. One question, how long do we have to wait for the dough to raise? Have never made bread before so…a bit of a novice here.


21 ttfn300

Ooh, i could totally go for a slice of that right now! with any of those perfect toppings from a recent post :)


22 Banu (BaL)

I can smell it toasted! Yummy


23 candidainfectiontreatment

very informative and nice blog will definetely keep visiting


24 ZestyCook

Thanks everyone – appreciate the comments

Foong – I let it rise until it came over the top of the loaf pan slighty ( about 30 minutes or so) on top of the stove with a large bowl over it


25 Happy Herbivore

wow! look how nicely it rose!


26 Usha

Zesty, I recently baked bread for the first time and loved it and have been wanting to do some more baking, this whole wheat bread sounds like just the thing I would want to try next….


27 Lindsey (Mrs. LC)

This is a great recipe! I just posted on my blog with a variation I made based off of your recipe. Thanks so much!



28 psuklinkie

Thanks for a great looking recipe.
I’m off to make this … I’ll post again to let you know how it works out!


29 Joanne

What is the purpose of adding the wheat germ? Is it simply a nutrition thing?


30 Casey

I know this is a silly question, but I need more info about yeast. I know you sprinkle it on top of the warm water. What if it doesn’t all get wet? Should I stir it? Should I leave it? If I stir it, am I breaking it? If I don’t stir it, am I not getting the full benefit of the yeast?

Who knew baking bread could be this hard?


31 ZestyCook

@Casey – That is not a dumb question by any means. Basically you can place the yeast on top and if some doesn’t get wet – it is OK – it will be incorporated in the mixture. That will just start the process so you will not hurt anything by giving it a quick stir.


32 chau

OH MY GOD. i made this tonight. had this recipe saved for the longest time in my email. it is so chewy and delicious!! i wish i had added some pepitas or sunflower seeds to make it nutty! :P thanks!


33 Jess

I made this bread over the weekend and it was really good, although mine was a little too moist. I think I didn’t bake long enough or added too much water. And yet, the bread was still delicious, so thanks so much for the recipe! I’ll be blogging about it today.


34 Emily

I’m making this bread asap!


35 K

I just wanted to thank you for this recipe! I’ve been afraid to make bread but I dove in yesterday and had a pleasant success!! It’s amazing! Thank you again :)


36 J

I LOVE your recipes. Just wish there was a print option so I could print them out without any of the “other” stuff on the page. Am I missing something?


37 ZestyCook

J – No you are not missing anything – Let me try and work on that for the future. Thanks for bringing it up.



38 Sondra

Hi Zesty…Can this be made in a bread machine. I just got one
and I’m dying to try it out. Thank You.


39 dave

Hey i made this and it just felt really heavy for some reason…sounds dumb. I mean it looks almost exactly like the picture and it tastes miraculous. Awesome!


40 Lindsey (Mrs. LC)

Zesty, I love this recipe. I just made it again and changed it up a little for a “Sunflower Oat Bread” variety.


Thanks for posting this, I use it as my stand-by bread recipe all the time!


41 Zanthess

I have this recipe in the oven right now! Smells so delicious. I didn’t have wheat germ, so I used flax instead. We’ll see how it turns out! :)


42 Zanthess

Oh my… I wish I had time to take a picture before it was assaulted upon by the family. It looked and smelled gorgeous!

A bit heavy, but great with a bit of butter and a glass of milk.

I’ll definitely be experimenting with it in the future, thanks so much for this awesome recipe!!!


43 zemeer

I just made this and it smells delicious. However, once in the oven, my bread failed to rise anymore. Did I over mix it or something?


44 ZestyCook

@zemeer – I am guessing that maybe the yeast may not have been fresh. I doubt you over mixed it. What type of flour did you use?


45 Amy

Does this recipe only make one loaf? What size loaf pan are you using?


46 ZestyCook

@Amy – Yes It made only one loaf for me. I would have to check the exact size of the loaf pan since it is all packed in storage but it was just a regular sized loaf pan ( medium). Hope this helps.



47 Gene

Wow, I as thinking of making this bread for a week and finally did tonight. It just finished cooling 5 minutes ago :)

This tastes Amazing, first slice with some butter was just awesome!
Thank you so much! I did use all Honey and not molasses, but I loved it. But it was so simple!

And Amy: I used a 10″ long, 4.5″ wide, 3″ high loaf pan, it fit Perfectly.

Thanks Again Zesty!


48 pete thomas

great rec ipes there zesty, thx :)


49 Amy

I have made this bread several times now. I am using a 9 inch by 5 inch loaf pan and it works really well. The first time I made it I let the loaf rise too high before putting it in the oven and had a mess to clean up. I have also made it with all honey and it turns out delicous.


50 zainab

Amazing recipe.


51 Joe

I made this bread tonight as directed. I let it rise to the top of the pan and then put it in the oven. The bread did no further rising whatsoever and I ended up with a brick not bread. This recipe did not work for me as is now in the garbage.


52 ZestyCook

@ Joe – I am somewhat perplexed as to why this happened to you. Numerous people have followed this recipe with great success. The first line of combat would be to ensure your ingredients are fresh.


53 Jul

Thanks so much, Zesty!

This was my first-ever homemade bread!

(And second, and third, actually.)


Love it!


54 ZestyCook

@Jul – That is so nice to hear. I am glad you like it!!


55 Jennifer Rizzo

I found that the bread tasted a lot like molasses. I think I will cut back to 2 tablespoons next time. Also, I didn’t have honey so I used maple syrup, I think it lent a nice flavor to the bread. Thanks for the recipe.


56 Amanda M

Wow. I just made this today and it is just as easy as it sounds and really delicious! I also like that it slices nicely enough for sandwiches…although at the rate my boyfriend is eating it, I’m not sure that I’m going to get a chance to make a sandwich out of it. Thank you for the recipe.


57 ZestyCook

@Amanda – That is awesome that you love this bread. It is really simple and we have the same problem when it comes to not having much for sandwiches. Thanks for the nice comment.



58 Gos

hey zesty,
i just made this bread to mixed success (mind you this is my first time making bread). the taste is great, but i found it to much to doughy. would cutting down on the water the next time i make it keep it drier? or could this doughyness be because i probably did not allow the loaf enough of an opportunity to rise enough (about 10 min) before i put it in the oven?


59 Mark

How long does it take to allow the dough to rise to the top of the pan?


60 ZestyCook

@Mark – I left it about 30-45 minutes.


61 funkitchen

I am in the process of making this recipe and I would have to agree with ZestyCook…so far I have left it for about 20 min. and it is just starting to rise visibly. looks yummy!!!


62 Layla

I cannot wait to make it myself!


63 snow

Zesty – I came across your site and wanted to try out this bread. For some reason, the dough doesnot seem to raise at all. Could you tell me what I am doing wrong here. I have never been successful with yeast breads except once. I appreciate your response. Thanks.


64 snow

Okay, The final bread did rise abt an inch during baking. But I was worried as it didnot rise during the ‘rise time’. The bread is very tasty and felt wholesome and healthy. Thanks for the wonderful recipe.


65 Jess

Excellent recipe for my first foray into baking at high altitude (about 4000 ft). I subbed three more tbsps of honey since I didn’t have any molasses on hand. After combining the ingredients, I kneaded the dough for about 10 minutes, and covered it with a damp cotton cloth during the rising process (about 15 min). I adjusted the temperature (electric oven) to 375 F, and baked the loaf for 35 minutes.


66 Some Guy

Okay this is my first time baking anything, I ground fresh wheat (hard red winter) for the first time and followed this recipe. The loaf took about 45min to rise and was almost like jello when I put it in the oven, very inflated and jiggly with some of the rise dropping as some holes poked out the top on its own…figured at this point it was time to put it in the oven as it seemed like it would not rise much above the top of the pan…I had the oven pre-heated to 375 because my oven tends to run a bit hot and set the timer for 30 min as a checking point…, pulled it out at 35 min. The loaf was a bit flat on top, did not crown, kinda like it fell a bit after I put it in the oven.

Tasted it and while its really not my favorite, it is edible..a bit dense but moist and a a strong molasses flavor, I am thinking next time I will try substituting the molasses with honey to get a sweeter less bitter bread…other than that it was a simple easy to follow recipe. Took longer to mill the flour than to make and bake the bread.

Just a note, I believe I waited too long for it to rise, 30min of rise and I should have put it in the oven, but its a learning experience.


67 ZestyCook

I think the substitution of Honey with Molasses is a great idea especially if you are opposed to the stronger flavors.


68 Molly

What a healthy and easy recipe. My mom and I have been experimenting with bread recipes for the last month, preparing for the best holiday ever– Turkey day! I can’t wait to make this one and serve it for my family.. We love bread, and the molasses add the perfect amount of sweetness. Yum.

Antique Jewelry


69 Phylicia Pickney

I spent a whole year as an exchange student in Kyoto Japan, and I have to say I probably wouldnt have survived if it werent for a delicious dinner of udon a couple of times a week! There is even one shop where you can eat for free if you do 30 minutes of washing the dishes after, but I cant say I was ever that poor! Anyway, I found a load more tasty looking ideas at this udon recipe site.


70 melissa

weird enough, I actually put a tad more flour and kneeded the dough and then let it sit for an hour.
baked it, spread the butter, and finished half the loafwithin 10 minutes.
It was deliciouse


71 bobbi

In the oven right now! Can’t wait to see how it comes out :)


72 dancinaimeeg

Believe it or not, I printed this recipe two years ago, and am finally getting around to make it! This was the easiest and most delicious 100% whole wheat bread recipe I have ever made. It is a hit with our whole family of 5. This is saying a lot because we are all picky eaters! Thank you so much, Zesty Cook. I look forward to trying out your other recipes! (I also jotted down to try Mrs. LC’s Sunflower Oatmeal Bread ingredients that follows the directions of recipe) P.S. I have to agree with many who said fresh ingredients are key.


73 Carmel


I am about to attempt this. I haven’t got molasses so will make do with honey…but is it 3 tblsp honey (for molasses substitute)…the recipe already calls for 2 tsp honey

also…I don’t quite get some of the comments here about kneading…from the pics above…kneading doesn’t seem possible…it is a pour job



74 zesty

Carmel, I did not knead the bread at all, but others have. As far the honey – you can substitute the molasses for the honey in it’s entirety.


75 Kathleen Richardson

Wow, I’m impressed. When I’ve made bread/rolls with ALL whole wheat, I’ve ended up with a rock hard product. Definitely need to try your recipe. Another good one, Zesty!


76 Baker-Muffin

I followed the recipe exactly, except substituted chopped nuts for the wheat germ because that was all I had. I was very careful about measurements. I let it rise for 35 minutes, and baked it for 40. Even after 40 minutes of baking, it is still doughy inside – good tasting yes, but very dense and doughy and already browned quite a bit. I put it back in the oven (don’t know if this is a no-no now that is was cut…) and let it bake for 20 more minutes. Seems the extra cooking time didn’t do any magic either as it was still doughy in the centre of the loaf. The bread is good, and I will eat it like this I guess; however, I am wondering if I need less water, more flower, or just use the dang wheat germ? Anyone?


77 zesty

Baker-Muffin, were all your ingredients fresh? It is a dense loaf but it should not be too doughy.


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