1/2 cup molasses (or honey or maple syrup, see notes on blackstrap molasses above)
Heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease an 8-by-4-inch or 9-by 5-inch loaf pan (Bittman recommends a non-stick loaf pan but I prefer my stoneware loaf pan).
If using buttermilk or yogurt, ignore this step. Make soured milk: gently warm the milk gently (1 minute in the microwave will suffice) and add vinegar. Set the soured milk aside.
Mix together the dry ingredients. Stir molasses (or honey or maple syrup) into the soured milk, buttermilk or yogurt. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir with a big spoon, just until combined. Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan.
Bake until firm and a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Allow the bread to cool in the loaf pan for 15 minutes, then carefully invert the bread onto a wire rack.
If you can stand it, let the bread rest for a day. I’ve found that whole wheat quick breads taste better the next day, when the flavors have had more time to develop. This bread freezes wonderfully. I slice it beforehand so I can pull out a slice of bread any time. Defrost it and boom—breakfast is served.
Recipe adapted from Mark Bittman via Joy the Baker. *Milk vs. yogurt: I have tried using both milk and yogurt and didn’t notice a big difference in texture either way. I use milk most often because it’s less expensive. Make it vegan: This bread is already eggless, so just substitute your preferred non-dairy milk for the dairy milk. Serving suggestions: Molasses bread is great with almond butter, cream cheese or homemade citrus curd with Greek yogurt! Thank you: To Native Roots Market in Norman for supplying the local clover honey for my honey loaf!
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