As someone who focuses so much on food, it pains me to think of anyone being hungry. But, hunger, as we all know, is a huge epidemic. So, when I heard that fellow food blogger, the passionate Jerry Stone, of Cooking Stoned, started the Three Loaves movement, I knew I had to get on board.
It began with Jerry gathering some friends and spending the day baking loaves and handing them out to the hungry in San Francisco. Jerry knew, that spreading this type of community could work just by asking those who can, to bake a loaf for themselves, one for a friend and simply, to also share one with someone in need. The three loaves. It’s that simple. Yet, imagine the difference if we’d all participate.
I had been debating over what type of bread to share. I knew I wanted something hearty and comforting. Ironically, the idea came to me while staring into a restaurant bread basket. I pulled off a piece of warm brown bread, flecked with oats and a slightly sweet, molasses taste. One bite and I knew I’d have to recreate it. After several attempts, I think this is just perfect. And look at that…it makes three loaves.
Honey Wheat Brown Bread
2 cups bread flour, plus extra for kneading
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons cocoa powder
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
1 1/4 cups warm water
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup honey
rolled oats for topping
In a medium bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the flours, cocoa powder, sugar, salt and yeast. Set aside.
In a small bowl, stir to combine the warm water, butter, molasses and honey.
Pour the water mixture over the dry ingredients and either mix with a sturdy spoon or using the paddle attachment of a stand mixer. Mix until the dough comes together.
Knead the dough by hand or with a stand mixer for about 5 to 8 minutes. If kneading by hand, knead on a heavily floured board, adding just a bit more bread flour as needed. Place the ball of dough into a buttered bowl, cover with plastic wrap and a dish towel and set aside to rise for 2 hours.
Divide the dough into 3 pieces. Roll each piece out into about a 9 inch log. Place the loaves onto a parchment lined or lightly greased baking sheet. Sprinkle a bit of rolled oats on top of each loaf and lightly score each loaf diagonally, if desired. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and a dish towel and set aside to rise again for 30 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Bake the loaves for 20 minutes. When done, cool on a wire rack.
Makes 3 loaves
Join the Three Loaves Movement.
Each month you’ll receive a seasonal recipe to bake and share.
Each month you’ll receive a seasonal recipe to bake and share.
ONE LOAF FOR A FRIEND.
ONE FOR SOMEONE IN NEED.
How can I make one large loaf instead of 3 little ones?
I haven’t tried making just one loaf, Laura, but you certainly can give it a shot. Of course, you’ll have to adjust the baking time. I’d start checking your loaf at the 30 minute mark and go from there.
Great recipe!! First time making homemade bread, the texture and look we’re great but the taste had a bitter after taste. Could that be because of the whole wheat flour or did I do something wrong? Thank you!
Hi Melissa! Congrats on your first bread-baking! It’s always hard to say what may have gone wrong with a baking recipe. But, there are a few things that could cause bitterness. First, as you pointed out, whole wheat flour in general does have a very slight bitterness compared to white flour, but if whole wheat flour is very bitter, that usually means that the fat content in the flour has gone rancid. Whole wheat flour has a much shorter shelf life compared to all-purpose white flour. Another thing could possibly be the type of molasses used. True molasses is deliciously bittersweet, but if blackstrap molasses is used, that could contribute to a very bitter taste. The two cannot be substituted for one another. Lastly, some cocoa powders are more bitter than others, making the final product quite bitter.
If you make this again, I’d just check the possible culprits that I discussed above. I’d love to hear how it turns out for you! Thanks for sharing your experience! xo
Well, I have to make this just to see how to get 3 loaves of bread out of 3 1/2 cups of flour. To me, that will be the ‘Miracle of Loaves.” Thank you.
Hahaha…I like the sound of that, Mei! :) You’ll find that each loaf is quite small. Definitely not 3 standard loaves of bread. These are perfect for serving at the dinner table. Hope you love it!
My dough was really, really sticky even after mixing for 8 minutes in a kitchen aid mixer! Sadly it didn’t rise and I wonder if this is why. Any ideas of what went wrong? I’m new at bread baking!
Hi Ali! I’m so sorry you had that experience. It’s difficult to know what went wrong without being there, but I’m guessing you didn’t have enough flour in your dough. If the dough ever seems impossibly wet, try kneading small amounts of flour into it. As for not rising, I can only guess that the yeast was not fresh. If there is ever any doubt about the freshness of your yeast, test it before using it. Dissolve 1/2 teaspoon sugar into 1/2 cup of warm, not hot, water. Add the yeast in the amount called for in the recipe and stir. Allow the mixture to sit for 20 minutes. It should bubble and rise with a thick foamy top. If it doesn’t, your yeast should be discarded. It’s unusable. To use your proofed yeast in your recipe, add it in with the liquids in the recipe, reducing the liquids by 1/2 cup. Hope that helps!
This looks very good. I would love to try it, but since I’m vegan, I don’t buy butter. Can I replace butter with oil, like sunflower or hazelnut oil?
I made the whole wheat no-knead skillet bread a few times and I love it. And it’s so easy to make! I’m not buying bread anymore. :)
That’s awesome, Valerie! I love that skillet bread, too! I’ve never subbed oil in this recipe, but feel pretty good that it will still turn out delicious with either of those oils. I’d love to hear your results! I may test that soon, too!
Hello Caroline I tried it before this is my second time baking this delicious bread my family loved it thank you so much for the recipe??????☺️☺️☺️
Marisa! You just put a huge smile on my face! I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed this so much! Thanks for being so sweet! :)
My bread is raising right now but I believe I made a mistake. I added the butter in with the liquid mixture (another recipe I use does this) and the dough was a bit sticky so I added enough flour to un-sticky it ;) Was the butter for buttering the bowl, I now assume looking back? We’ll see how it turns out anyway!
So happy to hear you are making this, Michelle. You didn’t make a mistake. You are supposed add the melted butter in with the wet ingredients. This dough can be sticky. That’s why I say to knead it on a heavily floured board. That does help. I’m assuming you’ve already baked it by now and hope it turned out great!
It was yummy indeed :)
Oh, that’s so nice to hear, Michelle! Thanks so much!
I really want to make this bread…but I don’t have any molasses. Can I use maple syrup instead?
Great question, Megan. I haven’t tested the recipe by subbing the molasses with maple, so I can’t really say if it would work or not. I’d predict though that you would’t get the same brown color nor the deep flavor that the molasses gives. I’d love to hear if you try it that way! Thanks for stopping in!
I made it, doubled the recipe, and did half molasses, and half organic pure maple syrup. I also added 2 T of wheat germ, too add nutritional value. And the bread was divine… Awesome recipe.
Love your variation, Amy! I’m so happy you enjoyed the bread…it’s a favorite here! :)
Love the three loaves idea! Such a beautiful brown bread- perfect flavors for cold winters.
Thanks so much, Emily!
Sarah@Whole and Heavenly Oven
What an awesome awesome cause! I love hearing stories like that—it inspires me! And this bread? Absolutely stunning! I love a good hearty, rustic bread and this is definitely looking like it fits the bill! Gorgeous. :) Pinned!
I’m so happy you found the Three Loaves program inspiring. It’s such an easy way to make a difference. Thanks so much for pinning!
Medha @ Whisk & Shout
Seriously gorgeous loaves of bread! Loving everything about these :)
You are so sweet, Medha. Thank you so much!
Beautiful tasty loaves and wonderful project. I might have a go at the recipe with sourdough.
I’d like to find out if our food bank would except fresh bread. Or maybe a donation to our local church who offers a free weekly meal.
Thanks Caroline- wendy
This is fantastic. I’m definitely joining the loaf movement :) Thanks for sharing this recipe – looks delicious.
Amymak…you are awesome! Thanks so much for joining and for making a difference! That means the world to me!