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Myrtle Allen’s Brown Bread Recipe

I have made a lot of “breads” in my life.  Cornbread was probably one of the first things I learned to make growing up.  It was easy and cheap and went well with the all too infamous…ham and beans. Biscuits were a Sunday morning staple in our house.  I learned to make sweetened and fruit and nut breads, and quite recently, have become quite familiar with soda breads (the breads other than biscuits).  I especially love my Irish Soda Bread that I make every St. Patrick’s Day.  

Until early May, I had never tried to make yeast breads.  I don’t know why.  Perhaps the yeast rolls that were well anticipated for special occasions and holidays, were always made by someone else (grandmothers, mom, aunts, etc…) and were always so good, I had no need to learn. I remember my great-grandmother making rolls, tearing off a piece of dough and letting me eat it raw.   I loved the taste and the smell.  I would always ask for a corner roll, fresh from the oven.  The corners are still my favorite. Now it is up to my sister to continue on the roll making duties and she does a great job herself.  

So I digress. (my ADD kicked in lol) I was asked to cook for OKFoodie in early May.   Moroccan Chicken was the main course and a friend of mine suggested I make homemade Naan to go with the theme.  This would be my first real attempt at a yeast bread.  It turned out well and was really easy to make.  Yesterday, I found  Andy’s Beard on Bread cookbook by James Beard and thought I would look at it. 

One of the first recipes I opened to, was MyrtIe Allen‘s Brown Bread.  It was then, I realized, that I had a bag of whole-wheat flour in the freezer and a bottle of molasses left over from Christmas in the pantry.  So there it was, my second attempt at yeast breads.  

In James recipe, he notes that “this is an uncommonly well-textured bread with a lovely flavor” and “is an unusual recipe, since the dough is not kneaded and has only one rising.”  Sure made my decision easier after reading that, but the bread did turn out very good.  The crust was very crusty but the bread was nice.  It would make great toast.  

If you do make this, I suggest using about 1/2 to 3/4 tbls of salt instead of the full tbls.  Andy and I both thought the crust only, had quite a saltiness to it.  Eat this with sweet butter and jam.  You won’t be sorry.

Myrtle Allen's Brown Bread
Yields 1
Well textured bread with good flavor
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
1 hr 10 min
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
1 hr 10 min
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
1864 calories
394 g
0 g
5 g
53 g
1 g
1014 g
7123 g
25 g
0 g
3 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 1864
Calories from Fat 46
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 5g
Saturated Fat 1g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 7123mg
Total Carbohydrates 394g
Dietary Fiber 16g
Sugars 25g
Protein 53g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 3 3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
  2. 1 1/2 packages active dry yeast
  3. 2 cups warm water (100 to 115 degrees F)
  4. 2 tablespoons molasses
  5. 1 tablespoon salt
  1. Put the whole-wheat flour in a large mixing bowl and place in a warm oven. Both the bowl and flour need to be warm when you make the bread.
  2. Dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup of the warm water, and blend in the molasses. Let proof. Add another 1/2 cup water. Combine the flour, yeast mixture, and salt. Add enough warm water to make a wet, sticky dough (about 1 cup or more according to the flour). Put directly into a buttered 9 x 5 x 3-inch bread tin. Cover, set in a warm spot, allow to rise by one-third its original size. Preheat the oven and bake at 450ºF for 50 minutes, or until the crust is nicely browned and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from the pan and leave on the rack in the turned-off oven for 20 minutes more to give a crustier finish.
Adapted from Beard on Bread
Adapted from Beard on Bread
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