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Old School, Nova Scotia Brown Bread

  • Author: Cori Horton
  • Total Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
  • Yield: 3 Large Loaves 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


This is a multi-generational Brown Bread recipe, kneaded and baked by countless, hearty Nova Scotians compliments of Val Peterson, formerly of the Hillsdale House Inn, Annapolis Royal, NS. And yes, it’s Vegan.


Units Scale

1 cup bran

2 cups oatmeal

2/3 cups Crisco shortening

4 cups boiling water

1 tablespoon salt

2 tablespoons yeast

2 teaspoons sugar

1 cup warm water

1 cup molasses

10 1/2 to 11 1/2 cups (all purpose) flour


  1. In a large bowl, add bran, oatmeal and shortening. Add 4 cups boiling water and stir.  Allow to stand for ten minutes. (The boiling water will melt the shortening, no need to melt beforehand)
  2. After 10 minutes proof the yeast; in a small bowl combine 2 tablespoons yeast, 2 teaspoons sugar, and one cup of warm water. Allow to stand 10 minutes to proof.
  3. Add to bran mixture, one cup of molasses, stir, then add the yeast mixture and stir.
  4. Knead in 10 ½ to 11 ½ cups of flour, move onto floured surface as required and knead until dough feels firm “like a baby’s bottom”. (This term has been used with this recipe, dating back 50+ years. Bread and babies have changed very little.)
  5. Let rise in a warm, dry spot until double in size
  6. Divide and move to greased/prepared bread pans (makes 3 large-sized loaves).
  7. Let rise again in pans and bake at 350⁰F (180⁰C) for 40 minutes until golden brown.
  8. Remove from oven and cool before turning out of pans.
  • Prep Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: North American

Keywords: Brown Bread, Nova Scotia Brown Bread