Yogurt Bread with Molasses

December 8, 2013

Test Kitchen-Approved

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
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 1 hrs 1 min


  • 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
  • 1 1/2 cups cranberries, chopped fruit, or nuts (optional)
  • 1 piece Butter, for greasing the pan
In This Recipe


  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.
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Reviews (108) Questions (1)

108 Reviews

JJGood January 28, 2018
This was delightful! I made with 1 cup each all-purpose and whole wheat flours and 1/2 cup ground up oats, and subbed in whole, uncooked millet for the cornmeal. Reading everyone else's variations, it's fantastic to know this bread is so versatile. Looking forward to making it many different ways in the future!
Emily September 16, 2017
I folded in blanched slivered almonds, chopped hazelnuts, and blueberries tossed in flour. Put a mixture of oats, sesame seeds, and pepitas on top before baking.
Oaklandpat August 14, 2017
Many have posted about blackstrap molasses being bitter. Is there any consensus on what type of molasses is best in this recipe?
Mayra March 19, 2017
Made this today, 1.5 cup whole wheat flour + 1 cup rye flour, 2 tsp dill seeds.
It was so fast and easy to make! The bread came out pretty, delicious and smelling really good. Thanks for sharing this recipe :)
Kerry G. January 4, 2017
Made again, used 1 cup white, one spelt, and half cup dark rye. Added raisins and pecans, and subbed half molasses with barley malt syrup. Because the latter is lower in sugar than molasses, I also threw in a small handful of brown sugar. ALSO: had some sour cherry jam that I needed to use up, so I subbed in for portion of yogurt (just to make sure wet ingredients in proper proportion). Baked as muffins. SO DELICIOUS. This recipe is so versitile and so easy.
Pumpkiness December 17, 2016
I made this today with white wheat flour, full flavor molasses and a cupmof raisins. BIG hit! I even used a decorative loaf pan and came out like a charm.
Lisa November 19, 2016
I used medium grind whole wheat plus buckwheat which added nutty flavor, used less than 1/4 c sweet ( molasses plus honey), added walnut, sunflower seeds. It came out well. I also made it with apple sauce as suggested by I_Fortuna below, like it a lot. Easy quick bread for breakfast when I run out my no knead bread doug
Becky November 14, 2016
The first time I made this I used Blackstrap Molasses, and it turned out horribly bitter and unedible. Tried again with Barbados and the flavour is perfect. A really fantastic loaf that is dead easy.
Yayita July 28, 2016
Great quick recipe! The bread is dense but it's exactly what I needed for a post workout carb filling treat. I wish I had different types of flour other than the corn meal and white whole wheat, because I feel it would add a whole other level of complexity. I didn't have raisins so I cut up some prunes and mixed them with a mix of nuts, delicious.
Sara N. May 21, 2016
The bread crumb is remarkable--dense, yet light and a soft chew. The flavor is also subtle, yet with a dark sweetness. I recommend cooling the bread for at least 1 hour after removing from the oven.
Donna February 4, 2016
This sounds marvelous!! I'm planning to make this tomorrow! Loved all the recipe ingredient swaps ! I'm going to check all my left over from Christmas baking ingredients and see what I will come up with !! Thank for great recipe and all the wonderful review ideas !!!
ItsBrooksie February 3, 2016
I made this a few nights ago and am so happy I did. It's deliciously dense and great toasted with butter and jam. It reminds me a lot of brown bread I had in Ireland when I studied abroad there. It was available everywhere, and delicious smothered with fresh butter. The Irish version wasn't sweet, though. Does anyone know of a recipe without the molasses or other sweetener? Or can anyone recommend a non-sweet substitute for the molasses?
I_Fortuna February 4, 2016
You might want to look for an Irish soda bread. This type of bread is very common in Ireland.
I am not sure why you would want to sub molasses. It is rich in vitamins and minerals and does not add too much sweetness to the bread. However, if you would like to try applesauce instead, it will turn out great and keep the bread moist. I often use it in my baking along with buttermilk for a tender bread.
Soda bread is so great though, I think that is bread you may be looking for.
Best of luck. : )
[email protected] January 30, 2016
Made this yesterday and everyone thought it was great. I plan on messing with the different flours a little bit. I used 2 c APF, 1/2 c of oatmeal and 1/2 c of semolina. It was fab!
Jesse B. January 20, 2016
I used a hodge podge of wheat and white flour and flax meal and this recipe was so forgiving. I also subbed 1/5 of the molasses for honey, added sunflower seeds, poppy seed and chocolate chunks -- it was delicious, thanks.
Kerry G. January 1, 2016
Very similar to a Boston brown bread that I make from book called "Great Breads" by Martha Tose Shulman. Yummy!!
maurerjc October 28, 2015
Sure, why not? You can freeze any bread you make--you remind me that I need to make this again. It's been a while.
Ιωάννα Λ. October 28, 2015
Great recipe ... Just got mine out of the oven !
A question: can you freeze this bread? Thank you.
Jr0717 May 23, 2015
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!
wenz April 6, 2015
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?
susan G. December 15, 2017
I expect you've answered your questions already, but I'll mention this -- the 1 tsp of Kosher salt (Diamond brand) has the sodium of 1/2 tsp table salt.
maurerjc March 30, 2015
Blue cheese?!?! I never thought of that, but it does sound good! Thanks for that good idea!