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Gran's Brown Bread Recipe
Joyce's Grandmother holding her first child.
Sliced Brown Bread
Butter Brown Bread

Total Time

Prep: 20 minutes + rising; Bake: 40 to 50 minutes + cooling


2 large loaves


  • 2 cups warm water

  • 2 cups Red River cereal (only available in Canada)* 

  • 3 packages OR 8 teaspoons of Fleischmann’s quick rise instant yeast

  • ¾ cup brown sugar

  • 3 tablespoons shortening OR cooking oil

  • ¾ cup molasses

  • 1 ½ cups of milk (warmed in a microwave on medium for 90 seconds)

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 ½ cups white flour

  • 4 ½ cups brown flour

*Substitution for 2 cups Red River cereal is 1 cup cracked wheat (OR bulgur wheat), 1 cup steel cut oats, 1 tablespoon golden flax seed and 1 tablespoon brown flax seed. 


  1. Grease two bread pans and set aside.

  2. Measure 1 ½ cups of the brown flour into a separate bowl and set aside.

  3. In a large microwave safe bowl, combine the 2 cups of warm water and the 2 cups of Red River cereal (or substitution).

  4. Microwave on high for 7 minutes to soften the grains.

  5. Once the grains are softened, remove the bowl from the microwave and let it stand until mixture is slightly cooled, stirring occasionally.

  6. In another large bowl, beat until blended the yeast, brown sugar, shortening or oil, molasses, milk, salt, white flour and 3 cups brown flour.

  7. Add in the warm grain mixture and continue beating until the dough becomes too thick.

  8. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and gradually add in enough of the remaining brown flour; kneading the dough for about 5 minutes until it becomes elastic, soft and smooth.  

  9. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let it rest on the floured surface for 15 minutes.  Make sure the dough is in a draft free area.  It will rise slightly.

  10. Remove the cloth and punch the dough down; divide it in half and place the halves in the greased bread pans.

  11. Cover again and let rise until doubled in size.

  12. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

  13. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes.

  14. Remove from pans to wire racks.

  15. Tip the bread out of the pan; tap on the bottom to hear a hollow sound.

  16. If bread does not sound hollow, place back in the pans and return to the oven for another 5 minutes. Repeat as necessary.

  17. Once cooked, remove the bread from the pans and cool on wire rack.

  18. While still warm, brush with melted butter to have a soft crust.

  19. When cool, slice with a serrated knife, serve and enjoy.

  20. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge in a plastic container.

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