brown bread (vegan)

Brown bread recipe with step by step photos. This is a detailed post of vegan brown bread with gentle tips, hints and lots of pics. I have tried to answer all the queries I get related to yeast proofing and baking bread in this post.

Since by now I bake a lot of bread at home, I have become pretty good at baking bread. The other side is the bread recipes never get to the blog. I just don’t get the time to take pics and especially the step by step pics.

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how to make brown bread recipe

I have baked buns, rolls, artisan breads and still enjoying baking breads at home. Yet, I shall see to it that I do add different bread recipes to the blog so that you can also bake beautiful breads in your own kitchen. I have already managed to post recipes of :

This brown bread

Is soft, light & has a great texture. here both whole wheat flour and all purpose flour/Maida is used in 1:3 proportion. you can tweak this proportion to half-half or make it 2:1. i recently also made Garlic bread with 2:1 proportion of whole wheat flour and all purpose flour which was also good.

how to make brown bread recipe

On whole wheat bread

Coming to Whole wheat bread, when baking with 100% whole wheat flour, the bread is dense and nutty. So if you want a lighter texture, then adding all purpose flour is required, especially if you stay in India, where we don’t get gluten powder easily. however, I shall also post whole wheat bread in some time.

Kneading the bread

I have used the Kitchenaid artisan mixer to knead the brown bread here. However you can also knead in a food processor or by hand. I have mentioned both the instructions for kneading with hand or KitchenAid mixer in the recipe details below. If using any other stand mixer, food processor or bread machine, then follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Yeast & flours

Just remember to use good quality yeast and flours. here I have used the bluebird brand of dry yeast. The flours are organic stone ground/Chakki ground whole wheat flour/atta and organic all-purpose flour/maida.

brown bread recipe

Yeast proofing, bread leavening & temperatures

I have always used dry active yeast for baking. When you use dry active yeast, then first you have to activate these in warm water. The temperature range of warm water for activating dry yeast, should be between 40 to 46 degrees C/105 degrees F to 115 degrees F. A much lower or higher range of temperature won’t allow the yeast to activate. You can also use a thermometer to check the temperature of the water.

If the yeast does not proof, then throw away the mixture and start again. If again it does not proof, probably the yeast is out of date. when you use dry active yeast, you have to allow the dough to rise twice, once in a bowl and then in the baking pan. Dry active yeast is easily available in super stores.

The dough needs a warm temperature to leaven. So if you stay in colder regions, then preheat your oven to 49 to 66 degrees C/120 to 150 degrees F for 10-12 minutes. Turn off the oven. Place the bread dough inside till it doubles in size. Remember to remove the bread out before you preheat the oven again for baking.

Satisfaction guaranteed 🙂

Once you start baking bread at home, you will love baking them so much and you will be less prone to buying ready breads. In fact even artisan breads can be easily made at home. Baking is therapeutic and when you see the bread leavening, baking & rising in the oven, it surely is a feel good thing. The whole house is fragrant with the lovely aroma of breads getting baked.

Since bread baking intimidates many of us, this is a step by step post which will help you in someway overcoming your bread baking fears.

How to make brown bread

1: warm water in a pan or microwave. Add sugar. Add yeast and stir. Let this mixture remain undisturbed for 10 mins. after 10 minutes, the whole mixture becomes bubbly and frothy.

brown bread recipe

2: on speed 1 of kitchenaid mixer, mix the salt with the flours for some seconds.

brown bread recipe

3: now add the yeast mixture, oil, water and on speed 2, mix the dough.

brown bread recipe

4: continue on speed 2 for a couple of minutes, and the dough will begin to knead.

dough for brown bread recipe

5: after 2 minutes, this is how the dough appears.

dough for brown bread recipe

6:  feel the dough and if it looks dry, add some warm water (keep some warm water handy). When the dough is fully kneaded, stop the Kitchenaid. Below pic of the dough after 4 minutes. Stretch a small piece of dough between your fingers into a thin sheet. If it does not tear, it means that the dough is well kneaded.

making brown bread recipe

7: rub some oil or water on the whole dough. Keep in a bowl (i used the same KitchenAid bowl). Cover with a kitchen towel and keep in a warm place for the dough to leaven.

preparing brown bread recipe

8: after 3 and half hours, the dough has risen. I kept the dough a tad longer due to a cooler temperature here on this day.

dough for brown bread recipe

Making brown bread

9: punch the dough lightly and just knead lightly.

making brown bread recipe

10: roll the dough into a log shape.

preparing brown bread recipe

11: seal the edges of the dough below on both sides.

dough for making brown bread recipe

12: place the loaf in a greased or lined loaf pan (9×5 inches) with the sealed edges down.

dough for brown bread recipe

13: keep covered for 35-40 minutes for the loaf to rise. I kept for an hour.

making brown bread recipe

Baking brown bread

14: Before baking, preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/375 degrees F. With a serrated knife, cut a cross on the top of the dough.

baking brown bread

15: You can brush the loaf with some milk or soy milk if you want. Bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes till the bread browns from the top and when you tap on it, it sounds hollow.

making brown bread recipe

16: Whilst the bread is still hot, remove the bread with the help of oven mittens/gloves from the loaf pan. Allow the brown bread to cool on a wire rack or tray.

preparing brown bread recipe

17:  Serve the slices warm or keep the brown bread in a bread box. If kept in the fridge, the brown bread stays good for a longer time, especially in a country like ours when keeping bread outside for a longer time is not advised. You can use the bread to make Bread pakora, veg sandwich and bread roll.

brown bread recipe, how to make brown bread recipe

STEP BY STEP PHOTOS ABOVEMany of my recipes have detailed step by step photos and useful tips to help you make it easily and perfectly.

brown bread

4.73 from 22 votes
This is a vegan recipe of brown bread with the perfect crust & texture.
brown bread recipe
Author:Dassana Amit
Prep Time:4 mins
Cook Time:40 mins
Total Time:44 mins
Servings (change the number to scale):12 bread slices from 1 loaf of bread
(1 CUP = 250 ML)


  • 2.25 cups all purpose flour
  • ¾ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ tablespoon dry active yeast or 1 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 2 tablespoon organic cold pressed sunflower oil or melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon regular sugar or unrefined organic cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon rock salt or regular salt


proofing yeast

  • Warm the 1 cup of water.
  • Add 1 tbsp sugar and dry active yeast.
  • Stir and let the yeast activate.
  • This usually takes about 10 minutes.

kneading brown bread dough in a bowl

  • Sieve both the flours with salt in a large wide bowl or a large plate with a rim/parat.
  • Add the proofed yeast and oil.
  • Mix all the ingredients.
  • Then begin to knead the dough.
  • If the dough feels sticky, then add some flour.
  • If it feels dry, then add some water.
  • Continue to knead, till you get a smooth dough which when stretched doesn't tear.

kneading brown bread dough in a stand mixer

  • Add the flour and salt in the bowl.
  • On speed 1 mix the flour & salt for some seconds.
  • Add the yeast mixture and oil and on speed 2 knead the dough.
  • Continue kneading for 2 minutes and check the dough.
  • If it feels dry, add some warm water.
  • If it feels sticky, add some flour.
  • Continue kneading for a further 2-3 minutes on speed 2 till you get a smooth and pliable dough.

leavening brown bread dough

  • Rub oil or water all over the dough and keep in a covered bowl to leaven for 2-3 hours.
  • After 2-3 hours, remove the dough and punch and deflate it lightly.
  • Roll a single log of the dough.
  • Tuck the edges down on both sides of the bread loaf.
  • Place the bread in a greased loaf pan (9x5 inches) with the tucked edges facing downwards.
  • Cover the loaf pan and let the dough leaven for 40 minutes or 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees c/350 degrees f.
  • Bake the loaf for 35-40 minutes or until the bread sounds hollow when tapped.
  • Place the bread on a wire rack or tray.
  • Serve warm or refrigerate the brown bread.


  1. If not baking on the same day, the leavened dough can be refrigerated.
  2. The leftover baked brown bread can be kept wrapped in a foil or cling film and refrigerated.
  3. This brown bread recipe can be doubled.
  4. The brown bread can also be baked in the convection mode of microwave oven at the same temperature mentioned in the recipe details.
  5. If the surface of the breads, starts to becoming brown whilst baking, then cover the surface of the bread, with aluminum foil or butter paper.

Nutrition Info (approximate values)

Nutrition Facts
brown bread
Amount Per Serving
Calories 135 Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Fat 2g3%
Sodium 195mg8%
Potassium 52mg1%
Carbohydrates 24g8%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 3g6%
Calcium 6mg1%
Iron 1.4mg8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Dassana Amit

Dassana Amitnamaste and welcome to which i started in feb 2009 and is a pure vegetarian blog. i have been passionate about cooking from childhood and began to cook from the age of 10. later having enrolled in a home science degree greatly enhanced my cooking & baking skills and took it to a different level which i now share as foolproof recipes. i was formally trained both in mainstream indian as well as international cuisines.

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134 comments/reviews

  1. How to bake brown bread in an oven? Can u pls share.

    • this brown bread recipe is baked in the oven only. the temperature for preheating and baking is same – 180 degrees C/375 degrees F. keep in the center rack or in the second lower bottom rack if the oven is small. use either the bottom heating element (bake mode) or both the top and bottom heating elements (toast mode).

  2. Can I bake in cooker as pressure cooker cakes are made?

    • yes you can make in pressure cooker.

  3. Hi
    How are you…after gap now trying my hand on baking breads at home…..last attempt was a big disappointment……couple of questions……when adding instant yeast then flour rises much quickly….so should I go bake it….or should follow the instructions exactly……can we add milk to it?

    • with instant yeast it will take less time for both the rises. so as soon as the loaf rises, you can bake it. if the bread is over leavened, then it does affect the structure of the bread. the instructions here are for baking with dry active yeast.

  4. Hi can you please make oats bread and share the receipe anything that is wheat free

    • making any gluten free bread requires testing the recipe many times. i did try but did not succeed with bread made only from millet flours. some wheat flour has to be added. there are gluten free baking flours available in the indian market but they are very expensive and one can easily make bread from these flours. however for the readers i wanted to share a recipe which can be made with our local millet flours, but all the times i tried, the bread texture failed. if i make oats bread also then i will need to add atleast some wheat flour in it.

  5. Hi,
    Can you please tell me what should be the temperature if i bake bread in convection microwave and also which rack should be used?

    • Ishita, You can use 180 degree celsius. Bake in convection mode of microwave. Pre heat the oven for 15 minutes at 180 degree celsious before baking. In microwave oven there is no rack option. so keep the pan on the glass turn plate. In oven I keep it on middle rack.

      • 1 – how much time to bake at 180 C ?
        2 – should i use CONV only while baking or COMBI+CONV while baking ?
        3 – i tried 250 C for almost 40-45 min, but the bread did not bake at all. Only its sides turned brown and all the inside dough was a bit raw. Pls guide.

        • 1 – will take 30 to 45 minutes as timing depends on the type and size of oven.
          2 – only use convection mode. please do not use combination + convection mode.
          3 – before baking oven has to be preheated prior to baking for at least 15 minutes. 250 degrees celsius is a high temperature for baking bread. sometimes even though we set the oven to a high temperature, the actual temperature is less. so its always better to calibrate or check the oven temperature. you can check more about calibrating oven in google. from what you say, i guess the bread needed to be baked for some more time. usually in convection ovens, the outer part gets golden fast as compared to regular ovens. so here you can cover the pan with an aluminium foil or parchment paper. but only use foil or parchment paper in convection mode.

  6. Hi, I’ve tried so many recipes of yours and almost every recipe come out excellent. but in the baking section, like breads and pavs there is always left the smell of yeast in the taste. plz give some solution. Thanks

    • Welcome Utsavi. thanks for your positive feedback on recipes. use a good brand of yeast. or you can use fresh yeast.

  7. Tried the white bread. Came out perfect. My family loved it. Thank you.
    I wanted to try the brown bread recipe. Wanted your advice regarding how much can I tweak the proportion of whole-wheat flour to maida for avoiding the denseness, as stated in your recipe 2:1 or 3:1 or even further 4:1?

    • thanks shweta. with maida, i have used upto 1/2 cup of maida with 2.5 cups of whole wheat flour. even 1/3rd cup will work. less than that, there are chances of the bread becoming dense. in this recipe, you can easily use 2.5 cups whole wheat flour and 1/2 cup of maida.

      • In case I am using instant yeast, should I still add the sugar?

        • shweta, sugar is added irrespective of using instant yeast or dry active yeast or fresh yeast.

  8. can I bake bread in steel container

    • you can try. but the steel container should be baking safe and oven safe – meaning it should be able to take the high oven temp. or else the steel may bend or warp or crack.

  9. Hi Dasanna,

    Thank you for all the beautiful recipes you share!! I have always referred to your site for those authentic North Indian recipes. You spread happiness!!!

    You don’t know how happy I’m right now!!! We have been in the US for quite some time and moved to India for good recently. Just as you mentioned, I have stopped buying bread at shops after I started making my own. I’m into mostly local and organic, so I was determined to bake bread with the flour available in India and that has been driving me crazy.

    Batch after batch I have been making dry, heavy breads. I have been using 24 Mantra organic whole wheat atta and organic maida from a brand called Bhojanam. Could you please share the brands that worked out for you in making these breads. I did a lot of reading, some suggested 24 Mantra will be great for bread and others said it has very less gluten.

    I’m not giving in to buying the commercial wheat or maida and have been considering buying a mill to make my own flour, because that’s what some sites suggested. I mostly bake for kids and bake-sales and I do it chemical-free. Please help me out.

    Malar5 stars

    • thank you much malar. i use 24 letter brand chakki ground atta & maida and organic garden brands’s atta & maida. i never had any issues with leavening the dough with flour used from both the brands. i have also used fabindia brand of whole wheat flour and even that was good. 24 letter mantra has always worked well for me. i have made breads, cakes, muffins and pizzas and never faced any issue. even i was thinking of buying a mill, but then dropped the idea as my kitchen is totally packed with various gadgets.

      if you have kitchenaid, there is an attachment for grinding and milling. you can check this and see if the resulting flour is fine or not. i did see a few videos, but i felt the flour was gritty and hence not purchased the attachment.

      in india even vital wheat gluten is available, but i am not comfortable using it. some bran added to the flour also helps in good leavening.

      hope the suggestions help you.

      • Thanks for the detailed info Dasanna, does the 24 Mantra brand has maida? I get the 24 Mantra chakki atta in the supermarkets, but not the maida. I checked their site, they don’t have it online either.

        Was able to find a USDA organic 3 kg maida @ organic garden.

        In the US there is the unbleached all-purpose flour, its the maida without the chemical bleach. It has a creamy color and beautifully replaces the regular maida in most of the recipes. I called the customer care of the “Bhojanam” brand maida and asked them about their processing procedure. The person said there is only one facility in the northern part of India that does this organic processing. She said the individual companies send their wheat and they process it to Maida which is patent protected and they don’t reveal the process to anyone. (As we are spending extra bucks for the maida, I just wanted to make sure I’m getting my money’s worth).

        I will work with my bread and let you know how it turns out. Thanks!!

        ~ Malar5 stars

        • welcome malar. 24 letter mantra used to have maida, but now they have stopped it i suppose. so i buy from organic garden. i am aware about the unbleached maida, but i do not know if organic garden sells unbleached maida. a few years back i had placed an order for maida from some organic company in gurgaon. but i am not able to recollect their name now. you can check with organic garden folks to find if the maida is unbleached or not. but i have a feeling its difficult to get unbleached maida in india.

          sure do give me the feedback about the bread.

  10. Hi Dasanna thanks for the recipie. ..can we add egg in to this?3 stars

    • you can add eggs. but then reduce the amount of water.

  11. Hi dasanna,thank u so much for the detailed explanation,yes instant yeast which I have looks like poppy seeds I got them by eBay,thank u so much for clarifying my doubt abt warm water I tried many of ur recipes n they turned out super yummy,ur app is like cooking guru for me,u r doing a grt job,thanks once again?.

    • most welcome anusha and thank you. then for instant yeast, just mix with water at room temperature and sugar and then add. in fact instant yeast is directly added to the flour. i do not add as sometimes the granules do not dissolve after kneading. so i mix it with water+sugar and then add. do note that the leavening time will reduce by half for both the rises. you can refer to this atta bread recipe for the leavening time –

  12. hi dasanna bread looking yummy,i want to bake one so pls tell me up to what time we have to heat water in Microwave to get warm or room temperature water,i have instant yeast so tell me the right temperature to heat water i want my bread to raise pls help me.

    • anusha, i cannot tell the exact time as some microwave ovens heat faster and some slow. the water just needs to be lukewarm. when you dip your finger in it, it should feel warm and not hot. if its hot, then let it cool a bit at room temperature. if you are using instant yeast, then no need to heat water. just add water at room temperature along with sugar. mix and add to flour. the rising time will also be halved for both the rises.

      instant yeast is very fine and looks like poppy seeds. in india i have seen some packets being sold as active instant yeast. but its not instant yeast and is dry active yeast. so if the yeast granules does not resemble poppy seeds then it is active dry yeast, which are slightly bigger in size than instant yeast. for dry active yeast you will need to warm water.

  13. Hi Dassana ,
    Am soooo proud of myself today ,all thanks to you. I baked a BREAD today !!!!!! Yeyyyyy……..
    But I have two problems – the bread didn’t brown and all the six faces became quite hard and crusty. Secondly, the bread smells of yeast although I used bluebird dry active yeast !!
    Please advise as I want to perfect this recipe

    • welcome smita. looks like the yeast is a problem here. if the bread become hard and crusty, then the yeast has not proofed well. the aroma is also due to the quality of yeast. try to get a better brand of yeast. mauripan, red star brands give good results.

  14. hii can i bake this bread in cooker, like we bake cakes in pressure cooker

    • yes you can bake this bread in pressure cooker.

  15. nice methods

    • thank you riddhika 🙂 for your feedback.

  16. Well, it didn’t seem to rise fully after taking it out of the fridge, probably would have been better had I baked it last night. It’s still delicious and good texture, soft and fluffy.

    • thank you lindsey for this as well your previous comment. after removing from the fridge, let the dough come to room temperature and then bake.

  17. You have made bread making seem so easy that I got over my image of how daunting the task was, it is so simple just takes a little time. This will be my third bread recipe I have tried, it’s in the oven now. I have been making the dough the night before and keeping it in the fridge to bake the next day, it works out well for me with two small children it can be hard to complete in one day. I was worried the dough wouldn’t rise but it always does once it warms back up.

  18. Hello
    I tried baking the bread.Had a good first and second raise but it didn’t rise in the oven. I got a dense bread with crust. what went wrong? thanks

    • could be the yeast proofing not done well. this can happen due to the quality of yeast or the temperature of water either on the cool side or hot.

  19. Thank u very much for this recipe. .. I tried baking my first bread using this recipe. .. despite my microwave giving me trouble while baking it, I managed to bake a 90% perfect bread. Will try the other variations now

    • pleased to know this thankyou geetha 🙂

  20. hi I want to bake this bread today but don’t have active dry yeast I have instant yeast so can I use that if yes please tell me the measurement for yeast how much should I add n I hope remaining all ingredients will be same…plus help me out..

    • add 1 tsp of instant yeast. the rest of the ingredients will be same.

  21. Very nice recipy, I just make this bred in cooker, it is very nice,thanks once again

  22. Made brown bread with above recipe but turned out heavy and dense.Used 7gms of yeast for 3 cups of mixed flour (plain and wheat ).
    Please help as i want to try making it again.What did i do wrong?5 stars

    • 7 grams yeast is a bit too much for 3 cups flour. about 5 grams yeast would have been fine. whenever a loaf turns heavy and dense, its the yeast proofing or the quality of yeast, mostly at fault. if the yeast does not bubble up and become frothy, then the texture of the bread does not come out well. hope this helps.

  23. I am so impressed with your blog. You make sure that you dnt miss out on any point ,giving tiny details of each step. Also your writings are very useful for those who are new to using microwaves.
    Have become a great fan of yours:)
    Wish you more success.

    • thank you so much purvi. glad 🙂

  24. Hii dassana…

    I just loved your cooking and am found of you….Am following only you in cooking…

    I hv doubt regarding OTG I got tat but I dnt knw Hw to use that can you plz help me…

    Shall I use otg to prepare bread and cakes etc..4 stars

    • hi vasu, you can prepare breads and cake in OTG. in words it will be difficult to explain how to use an OTG. since most brands and models have a different make and knobs functionalities. i would suggest you to call a company rep of the brand you have or check the manual if you have one.

  25. I love to eat brown bread, but i didn’t have idea how to make , so i request this, i will try to make these kind of bread
    thank you for your receipes


    • welcome kelly and thankyou 🙂

  26. Dear Dassana,
    I tried this bread. The texture was very heavy and I had the smell of the yeast. What could be the error?

    • heaviness in bread is most of the times due to the yeast not getting proofed well. the smell could be due to the quality. try using a good quality yeast.

  27. Hi if i want to use fresh yeast what should be the quantity to use for the brown bread receipe?

    • add 1 tbsp of fresh yeast.

  28. Hello I have a convection Microwave and I use convection mode to make bread. Is this same as grilling bread. I mean in an OTG one can bake bread in bake mode, so in bake mode the grills get red heated, so its same as grilling but only difference may be from top and side. So is convection mode ok in multipurpose ovens. My breads are very dry from top and does not brown at 180?? any suggestions4 stars

    • grilling bread is different than baking. what gets heated in an OTG are the top and bottom heating elements. for grilling the food is kept close to the top heating element. while baking the food is not kept close to the top heating element. convection mode is fine for baking in microwave ovens. dryness could be due to less water content in the dough. for browning you can brush the top of the bread with some milk or beaten eggs.

  29. it was so great to learn about making bread at home used to think its so hard but am going to try it out .thnk u so much4 stars

    • welcome aisha

  30. Its a great help. One can sense the passion of cooking from the descriptions.
    I would like to ask, can we add oats along with whole wheat and all purpose floor, for making oats bread ?4 stars

    • thanks. yes you can add oats.