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Wholesome Bran Bread recipe

Wholesome Bran Bread recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Bread
  • Bread machine

A super-tasty wholemeal bread, which is easy to make. It makes wonderful sandwiches and toast.

71 people made this

IngredientsMakes: 1 loaf

  • 350ml warm water (45 degrees C)
  • 2 tablespoons dried milk powder
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons black treacle
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 275g wholemeal flour
  • 175g bread flour
  • 30g All-Bran cereal
  • 2 teaspoons dried active baking yeast

MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:3hr ›Ready in:3hr10min

  1. Place ingredients in the bread machine pan as suggested by the manufacturer. Select wholemeal or wholegrain setting and press Start.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(72)

Reviews in English (61)

Turn out very good and tasty bread!-12 Feb 2012


Okay I followed the advice of other reviews and added two tablespoons more honey, 3 Tbs vital wheat gluten, and substituted 1/2 whole wheat pastry flour for part of the bread flour. And the result was a hearty healthy wonderful bread. Next time I make it I will take it out before it bakes and bake it in my oven because I like the regular loaf pans better then my bread maker pan. Thanks for the recipe. This will deffinatly be something I save and use.I just made it again and didn't put any molassas in it just used honey instead and it was amazing, Loved it!!-04 Jul 2002


I tried this because I'm on Weight Watcher's. It's a heavy, hearty bread that came out perfectly in my bread machine. It might be too "hearty" for kids though. My husband and I make it a couple of time a week.-17 Sep 2001

Wholesome Bran Bread recipe - Recipes

Here's a wholemeal loaf to be happy about. It's 100% wholemeal and 100% easy.

If you've had enough of all that enriched dough, or the fluffy white stuff and you're feeling like something a bit healthier, this one's for you.

In fact, it's for Mr Dough Nuts (probably not his real name) (pictured here in his special baking hat) who has asked me for a recipe for a wholemeal loaf.

Happily Wholesome Wholemeal

500g/17 oz/3⅓ cups wholemeal bread flour
1 tsp instant dried yeast
2 tsp salt
330ml/11 fl oz/ 1⅓ cups water

The method is the same as for the Awesome Everyday Loaf - the difference being that there is no white flour content, so a higher dough hydration is required.

Weigh all the ingredients into a big bowl.

If you're wondering whose hand that is, stage right, it belongs to my boy. He's making dough balls. Well, sort of.

Mix all the ingredients together into a rough sort of dough and tip it onto the worktop for kneading.

Knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic. This will probably take about 10 minutes, by which time it will look something like this:

Leave it to ferment under the upturned bowl for about 45 minutes, then shape it into a loaf and pop it into the tin.

Leave the dough to prove until it has risen past the top of the tin. Mine took ages today, probably due to the cold weather.

Wholemeal flour doesn't give quite the 'lift' that strong white bread flour can, on account of the bits, so you can't expect it to spring up quite like a white loaf might. Never the less, you want it to be sufficiently proved before you bake it.

Bake at 230 o C/450F for five minutes then 180 o C/360F for a further 30 minutes, until golden brown and hollow-sounding when you do the bottom-knock test.

You can now share your baking photos with the our new Flickr group.

I'm presuming you've already signed up for your FREE copy of Freshly Baked Bread In 20 Minutes?

And you know about The Recipe Book don't you?


Many thanks, I'll have a go later today but I will probably add a few seeds as well. TTFN, Dough Nuts

Would wholewheat flour be the same or similar to the wholemeal flour used in this recipe? And how come there is no egg or other items needed in this recipe, as opposed to the soft white loaf? (thanks!)

Kate, you can use whole wheat/wholemeal/whole grain flour for this - all names for flour milled from whole grain rather than seived to remove the brown bran parts. You can choose to buy flour with actual chunks of grain and seeds in, or use a more finely milled flour. As for the eggs etc, you could add some if you like. They provide extra protein which gives the dough more strength and a different texture. It's not needed for this particular loaf but you could experiment with flavour and texture. This recipe was for a basic wholemeal loaf without any enriching ingredients. Bread only really requires flour, yeast, a tiny bit of salt and water. Anything else can enrich or add extra flavour to the dough but is not essential.

Okay! Thank you so much. I'm loving learning about this. I didn't know I was a bread maker at heart but I'm just beyond tickled to try all this out! I will try this recipe as is tomorrow, without adding anything, just using the wholewheat flour I bought today with my yeast.

Great! I hope it goes well and I'm happy to help with any queries :)

I am going to try and make bread for first time but could i just check what size tin this needs..i only have a small loaf tin! thank you

This is for a 2lb (900g) loaf tin. If yours is smaller, you could half the recipe or choose, instead to bake a free form round loaf on a baking tray. Good luck - I'd like to hear how you get on!

Mmm. Bit of a disaster. First off I had to add about 40ml extra water as 350ml wasn't enough to pick up all the flour from the mixing bowl. I kneaded for 10 minutes but no 'window pane'. I kneaded for another 5 minutes but no difference. After 45 minutes rising the dough had hardly increased in volume so I left it for another hour by which time it had risen somewhat but not doubled in size as I'd expect.
After 2 hours+ the final prove hadn't risen much either.
I baked for 30 minutes but by the look of the bread this seemed nowhere enough so I gave another 15 minutes.There was little or no oven spring resulting in a brick rather than a loaf so it was the bin for that.
I must have gone wrong somewhere but I don't know how.
I'll try another of your recipes later.

Aww I wonder what happened? Better luck next time!

As I keep trying to remind myself: bread making is not a science. Some days a recipe works fine, other days not. Now today I made a great Malthouse loaf - texture & crumb perfect (IMO). However, a couple of weeks ago, using the same ingredients & recipe it turned out not so good.
It's surprising that I can bake an eatable loaf at all as so many techniques do not work for me: I've never achieved the much mentioned Windowpane, finger tests just don't work for me, usually 'cos the dough's to sticky & sourdough (best to forget my numerous failures with that). However, I've made dozens of tasty loafs, baguettes, soda bread etc that are very popular with family & friends. So I guess that although bread making for me is rather mysterious I'll keep at it. The enjoyment of kneading, the smell of fresh baked straight from the oven etc just can't be beaten.

Rupert thanks for your reply - I've been off camping in the wilds so I couldn't respond.
Do you know, for me, the mystery and unpredictability of bread keeps me interested and ever striving for the perfect loaf. I like the fact that yeast is alive and fallible. I feel that I have finally pinned down some processes that work pretty consistently but have yet others to master. It's an adventure :)

Pumpkin Bread

This sweet bread will be only as flavorful as the fruit you use to prepare it . so find a small pie pumpkin that's been field ripened and has thick, dark flesh. Wash and dry the outside, then cleave it in half and carefully scoop out the seeds. Place both halves (cut sides down) on a cookie sheet, and bake them at 350°F for about an hour or until the meat is very soft (you can test it with a fork) and the rind is somewhat browned. After the pieces cool, scrape the pulp from the shells with a spoon and purée it in a blender (or put it through a food mill). Now the pumpkin is ready to be used in my "pet" recipe.

To begin, grease a standard (3 1/2" X 5" X 9") loaf pan with cold-pressed safflower oil, and dust it tightly with whole wheat flour. Then — in the first mixing bowl — blend 1 egg with 1 cup of maple syrup and 1/2 cup of safflower oil . add 1 cup of the cooked, puréed pumpkin . and beat the ingredients well.

Using a second larger container, mix 2 cups of whole wheat flour (don't sift it, or you'll lose the bran), 1/4 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon each of cloves, nutmeg, and baking powder. Stir the contents of the first bowl into the dry ingredients in the second, and then add 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract and 2/3 cup each of raisins and chopped nuts. Pour the batter into the pan, and bake it at 350°F for 45 minutes . then turn the oven down to 300°F for another 45 minutes. Cool the bread in the tin before removing and slicing it.

Recipe Summary

  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup dry milk powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 ¼ cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 2 cups whole bran cereal
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Stir together flour, milk powder, salt. In a separate large bowl, dissolve yeast and honey in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes. Stir in the bran cereal, egg, oil and about half of the flour. Stir in the remaining flour until a sticky dough is formed. Cover bowl with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease two 9x5 inch loaf pans.

Stir down batter and pour into prepared pans. Bake in preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes, until bottom of loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Let loaves cool in pans for 5 minutes before removing and placing on a wire rack to cool completely.

The Skinny on Banana Bran Bread with Chocolate Chips

This one is slightly adapted from a muffin recipe in 750 Best Muffin Recipes: Everything from breakfast classics to gluten-free, vegan and coffeehouse favorites (affiliate link) , a wonderful cookbook for muffin lovers from the talented Camilla Saulsbury.

Since reading several years ago that quick bread and muffin recipes are virtually the same and interchangeable, I’ve been having fun mixing things up.

Bran Banana Bread with Coconut and Chocolate Chips

This not-too-sweet banana bran chocolate chip bread baked up moist and delicious. Using mini chocolate chips helps insure you get a taste of chocolate in every bite.

Adding the coconut was my idea. I love it’s chewy sweetness. But you could always leave it out if you prefer.

According to my calculations, each slice has about 214 calories and:

8 *SmartPoints (Green plan)
8 *SmartPoints (Blue plan)
8 *SmartPoints (Purple plan)
6 *PointsPlus (Old plan)

Curious about Weight Watchers new myWW Green , Blue and Purple plans? Watch this short video to learn more:

If you’ve made this Bran Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips, please give the recipe a star rating below and leave a comment letting me know how you liked it. And stay in touch on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for the latest updates.

Homemade Banana Bread Recipe

Grandma McIlmoyle's Recipe Books (c. 1912)

Make One of Grandma's Homemade Banana Breads Today
(Source: ©RubinowaDama/

Old Time Banana Fruit & Nut Bread

Ingredients: 1-3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour, 2-1/4 teaspoons double-action baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 cup chopped nuts, 1/3 cup shortening, 2/3 cup sugar, 2 slightly beaten eggs, 1 cup mashed bananas (3 to 4 fully ripe bananas — yellow peel flecked with brown), 1 cup mixed candied fruits and peels, 1/4 cup raisins.

Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add nuts and blend. Beat shortening until creamy — 300 strokes. Gradually add sugar, beating until fluffy after each addition. Add eggs and beat until thick. Add flour mixture and bananas alternately, blending thoroughly after each addition. Fold in fruits and raisins.

Grease bottom only (not sides) of 4-1/2 x 8-1/2 x 3 inch loaf pan. Turn batter into pan. Bake in a moderate oven (350°F) 60 to 70 minutes.

Favorite Homemade Banana Bread Recipes

Mom's Recipe Scrapbooks (c. 1920s)

Mom often made these moist dessert loafs when she knew company was coming or to take on family outings. They always turned out delicious, especially when sliced and spread with butter and her homemade jam or jelly.

Banana Bran Bread with Nuts

2-1/2 cups flour, 3 teaspoons baking powder, 3/4 teaspoon baking soda, 3/4 teaspoon salt, 6 tablespoons oil or shortening, 3/4 cup sugar, 2 eggs, 2 cups mashed bananas (4 bananas), 1-1/2 cups whole bran cereal, 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla, 3/4 cup chopped nuts.

Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Cream shortening and sugar add eggs, and beat well. Stir in banana, bran cereal, and vanilla. Add dry ingredients and nuts. Mix only till combined.

Bake 50 to 60 minutes at 300°F in greased and floured 9-cup mold or pan. Wholesome and delicious!

Banana Walnut Loaf Recipe

1-1/3 cups flour, 2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 cup walnut meats, 1/3 cup shortening, 2/3 cup white sugar, 2 eggs, 3 cups mashed bananas. Combine and mix the ingredients as for banana nut bread (above). Bake about 1 hour in 300°F oven.

About the Homemade Banana Bread Recipes

Making Banana Bread with Bananas, Flour, and Eggs
(Source: ©Taiftin/

Homemade banana breads and banana cakes came into popularity during the early 1930s when enterprising grocers often provided their customers with free baking recipes in an attempt to sell overstocked or overripe bananas.

Banana bread (or loaf) makes a comforting treat to eat with a cup of tea or coffee. It's perfect for serving on any occasion. It also makes a most-welcome edible gift for someone special.

And believe me, these are the nicest banana breads you'll ever find. Our family has enjoyed eating them for generations!

Thick slices of homemade banana bread are delicious when spread with jam. Or, they can be buttered or simply left plain. Myself, I love them GENEROUSLY buttered.

So indulge yourself. Try a homemade banana bread recipe and enjoy the taste of something that's truly special.

Bran Pancakes Recipe

  • 2 cups Fiber One, All Bran or other high fiber bran cereal
  • 2 cups milk (I use skim)
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 4 T sugar (I usually use Splenda)
  • 5 t baking powder
  • 1 1/2 t salt
  • 2 T oil
  • 4 T unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 beaten eggs

Before you do anything else, put the milk and the bran cereal in a bowl to soak while you assemble the rest of the recipe. This step didn't used to be necessary when we were making this recipe 30 years ago, but evidently cereal crunch technology (who knew Clark Griswold's non-nutritive cereal varnish was a real thing?) has changed quite a bit in the past few decades, and the pancakes are definitely improved these days by giving the cereal some extra time to soak.

Mix all dry ingredients together in a bowl. Mix the rest of the wet ingredients in with the bran/milk mixture. Combine the wet and the dry to make a fairly thick pancake batter.

The recipe originally called for 6 tablespoons of oil, but I've found that the pancakes are just as good using 2T oil and replacing the rest with unsweetened applesauce. Fat inhibits gluten production, which is why most fat-free bread products have a gummy, chewy quality, so I like to leave some fat in the recipe. 2T of oil is just enough to make the texture of the pancakes perfect and tender, while cutting down on the fat content of the recipe dramatically.

Use 1/4 cup of pancake batter for each pancake. Cook on a griddle, just like a plain pancake recipe.

The pancakes are fluffy, golden, heaven. But just because they're fluffy, don't think that they're insubstantial! At only 62 calories and 3.1 grams of fiber each, they stick with you well, too. I've added protein powder to these before, and they taste great with that nutritional boost as well.

The best part, according to my children, is when I reach the end of the scoopable batter and make "baby pancakes" with whatever I can scrape out of the bowl.

How to Make Old-School Bran Muffins From Scratch

When I was a kid, my mom made Martha White bran muffins all the time. In the olden days, the mix came in a small paper bag, so she could just tear off the top, stir in some eggs, and have the muffins baked off by the time my brother and I got up for school. We'd split 'em open and just pile on the butter, neutralizing whatever health benefit they might have offered. So while there may be glitzier muffins out there, simple bran muffins occupy a very cozy corner of my heart, where everything's warm and safe and wholesome.

Funny thing is, it's nigh impossible to find a decent bran muffin recipe online. Most start with an entire box of bran flake cereal, which seems like a rather convoluted way to incorporate whole grains into the batter. Besides, with my limited pantry space, I'd rather stock a small bag of wheat bran that can produce ten batches of muffins than be forced to deal with that many boxes of cereal.

The thing about wheat bran is that you can't just sprinkle some into your muffin batter the dry flakes are so incredibly absorbent that even an ounce or two is enough to suck up every last drop of moisture from the entire batch. Without access to that water, the gluten-forming proteins in the flour can't interlink, which weakens the structure of the batter, leading to fragile muffins that crumble apart at the touch. For that reason, bran needs a water supply of its own: four ounces of boiling hot water for every ounce of bran.

Heat helps the flakes hydrate a little faster, but it can also melt the butter in the batter, turning it soupy and thin. Thin batters tend to bake up flat, which is great for a nice and level cake but sad when it comes to a muffin. To keep the batter thick, for muffins with a nice round dome, the hot bran mash needs to be cooled to room temperature. You could do that passively by just waiting around, or instantly by stirring in cold yogurt and eggs.

I like using Greek yogurt because it's strained, which keeps the batter nice and stiff, ensuring that each muffin bakes up with a beautiful crown. Since the bran mash is already loaded with water, trading Greek yogurt for milk, buttermilk, or even plain yogurt would only thin the batter, leading us back to those sad, flat-topped muffins.

With the wet mix squared away, the basic technique for bran muffins is the same as the one I use for classic blueberry and pumpkin spice muffins: Combine all the dry ingredients and soft butter in a bowl, then mix until mealy and dry. From there, the cooled bran mixture is stirred in to form a super thick batter.

Before portioning up the batter, I like to fold in a cup of golden raisins for their subtle sweetness, but any dried fruit will do. In fact, so long as your "mix-in" doesn't contribute any additional liquid to the batter, it could be anything from toasted pecans to chocolate chips. That said, the muffin batter can stand on its own, so you don't have to add anything at all.

I've been known to top the batter with buttery pumpkin seed streusel, but more often than not I take the lazy route and just throw a handful of raw pecans or flaxseed at the muffin pan and call it a day.

I like the delicate crunch flax brings to the table, but as with the raisins, it's totally optional, so don't feel compelled to buy a bag if you don't have any on hand. Another option would be a light sprinkling of wheat bran flakes, which will dry and crisp a bit in the oven, but there's nothing wrong with keeping bran muffins plain and simple.

Regardless of any additional toppings, don't be surprised at how high the muffin batter will be heaped up in the pan. Because the batter's so incredibly thick it won't spread out all over the place in the oven, but instead will rise straight up.

The result is a tray of big, hearty muffins with magnificent, craggy domes. They're lightly sweet (thanks to a modest helping of sugar) and aromatic with cinnamon, but mostly they're all about the hearty, graham flavor of whole wheat. Thanks to the infusion of water bound up with the bran, they have a nice shelf life, too—about two or three days in an airtight container at room temperature.

That said, they're best fresh out of the oven, split and slathered with butter, because let's get real: That's what warm muffins are for.

Brown Bread vs Soda Bread

This project started because I had a lot of buttermilk to use, not St. Patrick’s Day – but what a happy coincidence. Irish Brown Bread is a little less well-known than Irish Soda Bread. While both are quick breads, Irish Brown Bread has a hearty texture, dense crumb, and craggy, crunchy crust. Made with whole wheat flour, it fits the bill when it comes to healthy and wholesome. (Irish Soda Bread is typically made with white all-purpose flour and while it certainly is good, it’s not quite as good for you as the whole grain bread.)

Related Video

This is delicious! Easy to throw together. I substituted dried cherries for the raisins. Love it!

I've made this recipe for several years now and it can't be beat. To save time I make a couple of loaves at a time and freeze one (it freezes just fine). I eat slices of it deeply toasted and smeared with neufchatel cheese. It's soooooooooo good! Also, it just makes me feel good when I eat it. It has all the nutrients and benefits of a whole grain bread but with so much more depth of flavor. An absolute winner.

I make this almost weekly and vary a little every time, playing with bran substitutions by using a mix of cornmeal, oatmeal and linseed. YUM, it always turns out delicious. Yesterday I added sunflower seeds and soaked the oatmeal in the buttermilk for 15 minutes for a little moistness. Delicious!

A muffin in a loaf pan, indeed. It has the same delicious salty/sweet umami flavor of a bran muffin youɽ find in a cafeteria or hotel buffet. But not that shockingly high-fat muffin's tenderness. It's a bit tough, and kind of harsh with the molasses flavor. It reminds me of the "healthy" baking my hippe mother did through the 1970s. You don't want to notice molasses first or wonder about how much baking soda was used when you're having a snack. It might help to cut the molasses with honey (50-50).

MMmmm. sooo delicious! Definitely a keeper! This bread is everything a good quick bread should be, moist, dense, just sweet enough, soft, and chewy. I made these into mini loaves and mini muffins. The mini muffins were definitely the best muffins I have ever made. It so beats the muffins from nearby coffee shops. Plus, there so much fiber in these, most definitely a must make!

This makes an awesome, super hearty breakfast bread something that will really stick to your ribs. I used the raisins and added a bunch of nuts and 2 heaping teaspoons of cinnamon. I think I'll experiment with some different dried fruit , nut, and spice combos in the future. But toasted up with some cottage cheese, tofu cream cheese, or just plain ol' buttermmmmmmmm!

This is a definite favorite. I make it at least once a month. I always add chopped walnuts and never drop the raisins. Although, the suggestion for cranberries sounds like a good one - next time!

YUM!! Used non-fat buttermilk, cranberries, and splenda brown sugar blend, with a combination of whole-wheat and white whole-wheat flour. Threw in a bit of vanilla on a whim, again, yum!

A suggestion for Magnamosa: rather than cutting out the butterfat, I would suggest trying a bread without the 3/4 c. of sugar that this loaf has.

wow 5 points on weight watchers if you could squeeze 10 servings from this loaf. i know it would be a tad less with lowfat buttermilk and no raisens but looking for a very high fiber but low cal bread. any suggestions?

This is one of my favorite Epicurious recipes. I love it topped with almond butter and honey, or just simply warmed in the toaster oven. It's so easy, and keeps for several days.

this was delicious and moist and just sweet enough. i only put in half the amount of brown sugar because i didn't want it to be too sweet with dinner. it's very dense though, much more loaf-like than bread-like.

Wonderful dense fluffy bread. Mine cooked an hour even, but i think I could loose five minutes. no burning though. Just a hint of sweetness and a distinct molasses undertone, perfect for those who love alternatives to sugar sweetness. I would increase the raisens to a cup, or try what the previous review suggested by adding dried apricots and craisens and nuts. The wholesome well-rounded flavor of the bread would be perfect for supporting sweeter bits of fruits or the texture of crunchy nuts.

A great bread recipe. Mine was ready in about 50 minutes. I made it using wheat germ not bran and made the following changes: instead of buttermilk I used 2 teaspoons lemon juice and enough Eden Original soy milk to equal 2 cups. Also I added a drop of vanilla extract (maybe 1 teaspoon) and some canola oil (2 teaspoons?) to the wet ingredients. Also instead of all raisins I did a mix of raisins, craisins, and chopped dried apricots and I added about 1/4 cup chopped walnuts. It came out delicious (some thought it was a cake!).

A very dense bread, slices nicely. Tomorrow I will try it toasted and spread with cream cheese! I baked it in a ceramic loaf pan which may have speeded up the cooking - it scorched a tiny bit on the bottom and was very crispy on the outside after 60 minutes. I suggest checking it at 50 minutes. I'm sure it would be nice with the optional raisins (I left them out).


  1. Maddock

    I versed in this matter. We can discuss.

  2. Kazradal

    good information

  3. Kean

    your opinion, this is your opinion

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