Based on classic bread recipes, this dairy-free bread relies on staple ingredients for a simple, fluffy loaf perfect for sandwiches or toasting. It's a soft bread made with part whole wheat flour, olive oil, and a hint of molasses.

Use this bread to make chickpea salad sandwiches, tofu salad sandwiches, or dip into a red cabbage soup as a side dish.

Sandwich bread loaf in the baking tin.
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These are really simple ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry, and there are plenty of substitutions that can be made to suit you.

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

  • Molasses: this adds a distinctive colour and flavour to the loaf, but if you don't like molasses, you can substitute maple syrup or even brown sugar.
  • Whole wheat flour: use less whole wheat flour, replacing it with an equivalent amount of white flour, for a lighter loaf.
  • Topping: this is optional, but it is nice to top the bread with sesame seeds before baking. You could use other seeds, or oats, if you'd like.
  • Yeast: this recipe is made with traditional dry yeast, and is activated in liquid before mixing. Make sure your yeast is still active before using (test it in a bit of warm water) and store in the fridge to make it last longer.
  • Oil: this can be olive oil, another oil that's liquid at room temperature, or even melted vegan butter.

How to Make Molasses Bread

Mixing bread dough steps 1 to 4.

Step 1: dissolve the molasses in water and add the yeast.

Step 2: let the yeast bloom, setting it aside for about 10 minutes.

Step 3: add part of the flour.

Step 4: stir this is and set aside to rest again.

Shaping bread, steps 5 to 8.

Step 5: add the remaining flour, salt, and oil, then mix again.

Step 6: knead until the dough is soft and smooth, about 6 minutes.

Step 7: set aside to rise until doubled in size.

Step 8: shape the bread, rise for another 20 minutes, then bake for about an hour.

Top Tips

  • Check the water temperature: if the water is too hot, the yeast won't survive it. If it's too cold, your bread will take much longer to rise. It should feel just warmer than your skin.
  • Test your yeast: if you're not sure how old your yeast is, or have been storing it in a warm place, test it before using. Sprinkle a pinch of yeast over about a tablespoon of warm (not hot) water and set aside. If it hasn't bubbled up after about 10 minutes, you need new yeast.
  • Don't skip any steps: part of the reason that this bread is so soft and tender is because of that initial resting step when part of the flour is added. This is an autolyse and will make sure the flour is fully hydrated (important for whole wheat) and makes for a shorter kneading time, among other benefits.

How to Store

Storage: keep for up to 5 days wrapped in beeswax wrap or something similar at room temperature.

Freezing: slice cooled bread and freeze in an airtight container for up to three months. Toast the slices directly from the freezer.

Two slices of bread on a mottled cutting board.


Are most breads dairy free?

Many classic breads, like baguettes, are dairy free, and most homemade recipes will be as well unless it's milk bread or another enriched loaf. This is a soft bread and would often otherwise be made with milk or butter.

Is traditional yeast the same as instant yeast?

Traditional active yeast needs rehydration, so it's mixed with the liquids before adding flour. Instant yeast can be added directly to the dry ingredients and needs less time to rise.

Can I substitute instant yeast for traditional yeast?

For this recipe, no. Because this bread is made using an autolyse method, using instant yeast results in too much rise during that initial resting phase.

More Vegan Bread Recipes

If you make this Dairy-Free Bread or any other vegan bread recipes on Wholehearted Eats, please take a moment to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. It’s such a help to others who want to try the recipe. For more WHE, follow along on Instagram or subscribe for new posts via email.


Sandwich bread loaf in the baking tin.
Print Recipe
4.80 from 5 votes

Dairy Free Bread

This dairy-free bread relies on staple ingredients for a simple, fluffy loaf perfect for sandwiches or toasting. It's a soft bread made with part whole wheat flour, olive oil, and a hint of molasses. Based on classic breads from Tessajara.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Resting Time2 hours
Total Time3 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 10
Author: Sophie


  • 1 Mixing bowl
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • 1 bread tin
  • 1 Wire rack


  • 1 ½ cups lukewarm water around 90°F or 32°C
  • 2 tablespoons molasses or maple syrup
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons active traditional yeast
  • 2 cups white flour divided
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour divided
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 2 ½ tablespoons oil olive, avocado, or even melted dairy free butter


  • Dissolve the molasses in the water in a large bowl, then add the yeast. Set aside and let it rest until the yeast has bloomed, about 10 minutes.
    1 ½ cups lukewarm water, 2 tablespoons molasses, 2 ¼ teaspoons active traditional yeast
  • Stir in 1 cup of whole wheat flour and 1 cup white flour to form a thick batter. Mix with a wooden spoon for about 1 ½ minutes, or as the Tessajara method states, 100 strokes. Cover and let the mixture rise 45 minutes.
    2 cups whole wheat flour, 2 cups white flour
  • Mix in the salt, oil, and remaining 1 cup white flour and ½ cup of the whole wheat.
    2 cups white flour, 2 teaspoons sea salt, 2 ½ tablespoons oil, 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • Knead on a floured board, using the remaining ½ cup whole wheat flour as needed to keep the dough from sticking to the board, for about 6 minutes, until the dough is smooth.
    2 cups whole wheat flour
  • Cover and let the mixture rise for 60 minutes until doubled in size. Punch down, then cover again and let rise 40 minutes or until doubled in size.
  • Shape into a loaves and place in a parchment-lined and lightly oiled bread tin. Cover again and set aside to rise for 20 to 25 minutes, until puffy but not doubled. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
  • Once the loaf has risen, you can brush the top with some melted vegan butter or an egg wash if desired, and top with seeds like sesame. This step is optional.
  • Bake for 1 hour, or until golden brown. Cool for 10 minutes in the bread tin before removing and cooling fully on a wire rack.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 214kcal


  1. A little confused about the total amounts each of ww flour and white flour. According to your instructions the recipe would require a total of 4 cups of each kind of flour to be divided into 2 cups each (used before each rise). But the ingredient list indicates 2 cups of each flour. Which one is correct?

    1. Hello Swathi, the 2 cups white and 2 cups whole wheat is the correct amount. The instructions for the recipe (and the amount of flour to use) are in black text, where as the amounts in grey just blow the instructions refer to the total number of cups used in the full recipe. I think the recipe card designed it so you can see the total amount without having to scroll up, but I can see how it could be confusing.

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