Yogurt Bread with Molasses

By • December 8, 2013 87 Comments

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Author Notes: This recipe is adapted from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2007). It is hearty, healthy, moist, and just barely sweet. Be sure not to overmix.
A few notes:
- Use any flour you'd like; I like a mix of rye and white whole wheat, but you could also use spelt or regular whole wheat.
- Honey will work as a substitute for molasses; it will just yield a milder flavor.
- I measure flour by aerating it, scooping it with a spoon into my measuring cup, and leveling it off with the back of a knife.
- You can use a combination of milk and yogurt; just remember to add a bit of vinegar in proportion to your milk.
Marian Bull

Makes one loaf

  • 2 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour, measured as described above (I also like a mix of white whole wheat and rye, but use whatever you have on hand)
  • 1/2 cup medium- or coarse-grind cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 2/3 cups whole milk yogurt, or 1 1/2 cups whole milk + 2 tablespoons white or apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • Optional: 1 to 1 1/2 cups cranberries, chopped fruit, or nuts
  • Butter, for greasing the pan
  1. Preheat your oven to 325° F. If you're using milk, mix it with the vinegar and set it aside.
  2. Mix together your dry ingredients in a wide bowl (rather than one with straight sides; this makes it easier to mix). Whisk your yogurt (or vinegary milk) with your molasses.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients in 2 or 3 batches, stirring in round, sweeping motions. Make sure to incorporate the flour at the bottom of the bowl. Mix until just combined. The dough should fizz, subtly, like a science experiment. It will be thick! If you're adding in fruit, etc: Fold it in when there are still a few small pockets of flour.
  4. Slice a pat of butter into either a loaf pan or a 7-inch cast iron skillet. Put it into the oven until the butter melts. Remove, then swirl the butter around to grease the pan. Transfer batter into pan, without mixing it any further. (Be gentle!)
  5. Bake for one hour, or until a cake tester comes out clean when inserted. Touch the top of the bread: it should give a little bit, and feel supple, but it should still resist your touch and not feel like there's goo beneath there. Very important: Let the bread cool before you slice it. Yes, I'm serious.

Tags: quick bread, quickbread

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Comments (87) Questions (1)

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2 months ago Jr0717

I didn't have any molasses on hand, and decided to make this for breakfast at the last minute, so I substituted maple syrup and found the taste quite lovely! I also halved the recipe, and found that it still worked out really well. Thanks for a good, reliable recipe Marian!

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4 months ago wenz

Thank you for this healthy, tasty, easy recipe!!! I baked today. The loaf is a little bit dry but still taste good. I replaced 1/2 cup whole wheat flour with multigrain flour; added 1/2 cup chopped cranberries, 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, 1/3 cup white sesames. I wonder I can reduce the molasses to 1/4 cup, and salt to 1/2 tsp. Has anyone tried that?

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4 months ago maurerjc

Blue cheese?!?! I never thought of that, but it does sound good! Thanks for that good idea!

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4 months ago Taylor Stanton

Very different but delicious nonetheless. Even after 6 days this bread retained the hearty wheat flavor without being dry. I ate this with tea, with some strong blue cheese, and with some honey and all combinations were great!

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7 months ago Ingrid M. Stabile

I have been making yeast and quick breads for 40 years. So I always have some leftover this and that. When I had some yogurt which was getting old in the fridge I looked for ways of using it up. I also had a
little honey and maple syrup,just enough to make 1/2 c. and leftover pecans from a previous recipe. Used 2c. white flour and 1/2 c whole wheat mixed with a little leftover rye flour.
I was pleasantly surprised by the result. Nice and moist. Great for breakfast with sweet butter. I'll definitely make this again. But I 'll try it with half the salt. Thanks for this one!

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8 months ago starvingfoodie

Nice. Thoughts on subbing sour cream for the yogurt? Or maple syrup for molasses? Tis what I have on hand.

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8 months ago Marian Bull

I've used maple before and it works! I've never used sour cream, but I think that would be an excellent substitution -- you should be able to sub 1 for 1. It will just be a bit richer -- no harm there.

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8 months ago Sonali

I used white whole wheat and substituted corn meal for almond meal, since I didn't have any corn meal. I also used 1/4 cup brown sugar in place of molasses. Added about 1/2 cup dried cranberries and 1/2 cup pistachios. I thinned out the yogurt with 1/2 cup milk, but the mixture was barely moist, when compiled as directed. I had to add water - about a cup. Not sure if that's what messed it up, but the bread was very, very dense and doughy. We don't use cornmeal at home, and I tend to reduce the sugar by half in almost any recipe, since we don't like very sweet things. How could I make the bread a little lighter?

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2 months ago Kris

white whole wheat has a tendency to make things dry. I just started baking with it and was startled initially because whole flour doesnt do that. I think you need the moisture from the molasses. I used honey instead and it was great. I used semolina instead of corn meal and that also worked. I think almond flour also tends to require a lot of fat/moisture, which is where the whole milk yogurt comes into play ( which you thinned out )

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2 months ago Kris

since this recipe doesn't use eggs and is easily , half-able or even quarter-able, I tried a smaller quantity but followed the original recipe as much as possible.

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10 months ago Beth100

Used a whole wheat pastry flour/ground oats/buckwheat combo and Greek-style yogurt thinned with milk. We could not stop eating this and can't wait to make it again! Suggest trying it toasted and thickly spread with soft goat cheese, served with butternut squash soup.

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9 months ago Marian Bull

Awesome! So happy to hear this.

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11 months ago maurerjc

How about pbnj? And, just plain.

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11 months ago Yw Yw

What spreads go well with this bread? I made the bread and liked it a lot. I've tried spreading cream cheese and ricotta cheese. What else could I spread or put on it that would complement the flavor of the bread? Thank you.

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11 months ago Marian Bull

peanut butter! or just regular butter. or butter and jam!

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about 1 year ago Kylie

I only have blackstrap molasses, would that be okay?

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about 1 year ago Rebecca Robles

Just tried the recipe for the first time with blackstrap molasses (and added raisins) and it turned out great. it assume the flavour is just stronger!

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over 1 year ago maurerjc

Ah, I like the cranberries idea. Will have to use them next time I make it!

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over 1 year ago Scott Silverman

Came out GREAT. I used 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour, 3/4 cup oat flour, and 1/4 cup ground flaxseed. I also added 3/4 cup cranberries, and 3/4 cup of slivered toasted almonds. Cooked in a loaf pan for 55 minutes. The texture and flavor of this bread could not be more enjoyable. Definitely a keeper.

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over 1 year ago Bonny

I couldn't leave this one alone. First I adjusted the proportions for my 10inch skillet. 3 cups ww white flour, 1 cup cornmeal, 2 1/3 cup yogurt. Leaving the soda, sweetner, salt alone. Added 1 egg, 2 tab. melted butter, a teaspoon of baking powder, And the best part, 1 1/2 cups toasted walnuts. Baked only 50 min. Moist, excellent keeper

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over 1 year ago lindapindakaas

LOVE THIS. I subbed some of the whole wheat flour for oat flour and it worked brilliantly! My dough wasn't as thick as many of the comments mention, but it still worked out fine and the end result is nice and moist. Will definitely be making this again!

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over 1 year ago Marian Bull

Oh, I'm so glad!

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over 1 year ago I_Fortuna

Kefir or buttermilk work well too. Just be sure to add the baking soda as it reacts with the dairy to leaven the bread. This bread is supposed to have a thick batter. I bake quick breads all the time and this recipe is fine and does not need more liquid than is called for.
One very important thing for quick breads like this, do not over mix. If using a mixer I blend the dry ingredients well, add the liquid and mix only until all ingedients are incorporated for just a very few seconds. If it is overmixed, it will come out tough and rubbery. Since it is a thick dough, it is sometimes difficult to mix by hand.

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over 1 year ago Bompalomp

Can you substitute almond milk in this recipe?

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over 1 year ago I_Fortuna

The recipe will not come out leavened as well with almond milk. The yogurt, milk/vinegar combo, buttermilk, or kefir that can be used react with the baking soda that leavens the bread. This is not a cake so it does not have to be light and airy but as a bread it will be too dense if this is not followed with the dairy suggestions.
If you are concerned about the dairy, homemade kefir, yogurt or buttermilk cultures are fed by the lactose (sugar) in them. Any of these can be fermented to the point of minimal to zero lactose being left in the finished product. I culture my kefir for 24 to 36 hours. It makes it more tart but delicious especially when used in baking or for smoothies. Sometimes I pour a glass, add sweetener, maple flavor and enjoy this way. This type of fermentation makes is safe for diabetics and tolerable for those lactose intolerant. In fact, kefir has 3 times the probiotics that yogurt has so it can be beneficial for everyone and is easy to make requiring no heat or special appliance.

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over 1 year ago shofielen

I have baked this delicious bread only with almond milk with great results. I use spelt flour and need about 1cup of almond milk (I find it does not need more milk to get the required consistency) with 2 tbsp of organic apple cider vinegar. Let it sit for about 20 minutes before I add either maple syrup or agave. Instead of cornstarch I use milled flax seed or chia seed.
The end result has been delicious. A winner.

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over 1 year ago Bompalomp

Thank you both for your input!

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over 1 year ago Tayler Diane Earl

Thank you for specifying your method for measuring flour. More recipes need this. Cheers!

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over 1 year ago Marian Bull

It makes such a big difference! Glad you appreciate that bit.

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over 1 year ago maurerjc

yummmmm. It's sooo easy.

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over 1 year ago Windischgirl

I'm taken with your photos! Is that parchment you are using to wrap the bread? I've started baking more and giving the goodies away as gifts, and thus I'm on the lookout for attractive packaging that isn't the standard "plastic wrap and clear tape."

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over 1 year ago Marian Bull

Yes, it's parchment! Great for wrapping edible gifts.