When I come across a recipe whose directions include the phrase, “stir for 75 strokes,” it’s as if the author has reached out and given me the most innocent and nonpredatory politician’s squeeze. It signifies that the recipe is simple, because its ingredients are few enough to be blended in a couple minutes, by hand. It tells me the recipe has been engineered to an nth degree, tested enough times for its maker to be ultra-specific. I am so assured that I don’t count to 76. I haven’t been disappointed yet!

This quick bread is such a recipe, I’m happy to report. I also like the fact that it helps use up that bag of whole-wheat flour sitting in my freezer (stashed there to prolong its whole-grain shelf life).

And, despite its name, this bread is only slightly sweet, yet it sure is rich-tasting. The loaf has a tight crumb, which makes it especially nice for toasting and topping with cream cheese. Half a slice can take the edge off while a hungry cook preps for dinner. A PB&J built with two thin slices would enliven a lunch bag.

Stir up a batch for yourself and see.

RECIPE NOTES: What’s left of a loaf after the first few slices will last up to 5 days when wrapped in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature.

To line the loaf pan, I like to fold a 12-by-16-inch sheet of parchment paper lengthwise until is just wide enough to fit inside the bottom of the pan. The paper will be long enough to also line the sides, with a little overhang for easy post-bake lifting.


2 cups whole-wheat flour

1/2 cup bread flour (may substitute all-purpose flour)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup sunflower oil

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup molasses

1 1/2 cups buttermilk (regular or low-fat)


Step 1

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Use cooking oil spray to grease the inside of a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan, then line the bottom and short sides with parchment paper (see OVERVIEW).

Step 2

Combine the whole-wheat and bread flours, the baking powder, baking soda, salt, oil, honey, molasses and buttermilk in mixing bowl. Stir for 75 strokes, so all the dry ingredients are moistened, then pour into your loaf pan.

Step 3

Bake (middle rack) for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the top is evenly browned and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, or with a moist crumb or two.

Step 4

Remove from the pan and place on a wire rack to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Adapted from “Breakfast With Beatrice: 250 Recipes From Sweet Cream Waffles to Swedish Farmer’s Omelets,” by Beatrice Ojakangas (University of Minnesota Press, 2018).

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick; email questions to voraciously@washpost.com.

Scale and get a printer-friendly version of the recipe here.

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The nutritional analysis included regular buttermilk.

More from Voraciously:

Why you should be using vinegar for more than vinaigrettes

Today’s bulk-bin aisle is more than oats and trail mix. Here’s how to make the most of it.

8 clever ways to use that roll of parchment paper


Calories: 150; Total Fat: 2 g; Saturated Fat: 1 g; Cholesterol: 4 mg; Sodium: 270 mg; Carbohydrates: 31 g; Sugars: 13 g; Protein: 4 g.