Friday, March 19, 2010

Molasses Bread

I created this recipe for molasses bread when deciding what would compliment our St. Patricks day meal of corned beef, Brussels sprouts with bacon (recipe to come in another post) and baked potatoes. The bread needed to stand up to these very intense flavors AND it needed to make an awesome sandwich the next day. Rye was the natural choice but I am not a fan of rye bread, much to my husbands dismay. But the idea of a darker bread intrigued me to cast a spell over browned bread.

At first I thought I'd use some Guinness beer, but I didn't have any on hand so that was out. My next thought was molasses. Molasses, the deep intense slightly bitter flavor would be similar to that of a good stout beer. The aroma of fresh baking bread fills the kitchen, its got a rich molasses and yeast scent. This bread will make amazing sandwiches I'm sure of it. As for now I can't wait for dinner to try it, if its half as good as it smells we're in for a treat!

Kitchen Witch Update: The bread, indeed, is as good as it smelled. The sandwiches are incredible, this bread is a new favorite!! The little Witch likes it too, with jelly :-)

Molasses Bread
makes 2 large loaves
4 cups bread flour
1.5 cups whole wheat flour
2 T dry active yeast
3 T brown sugar, divided
1/3 c molasses
3 c water total, divided
3 T butter
1 T kosher salt

Proof yeast with 1 T brown sugar and 1 c warm water. Proofing simply means you're activating the yeast by dissolving it in warm water and a bit of sugar. The yeast will eat the sugar and the solution will foam, indicating to you that your yeast is alive and active and ready to go to work in your bread.

Mix flours, 2T brown sugar and salt together in the work bowl of a stand mixer, add the butter.

Mix the molasses and remaining water together, stirring well to dissolve molasses.

Once the yeast has bubbled and foamed add it to the flour, add 1/2 the water/molasses mix and stir until the liquids are absorbed. Slowly add the remaining liquid, holding off the last 1/2 cup or so. Keep mixing it with the dough hook, dough should be very moist but not sticking to the bowl. If you need to use the last 1/2 c liquid do so, if not toss it.

Allow to kneed in machine for 6 minutes. Remove dough ball to a large bowl that has been coated in oil. Roll ball around in the oil, cover bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rise on the counter until doubled in size.

Once doubled remove plastic and gently push dough down. Remove from bowl onto a floured counter top. Kneed dough, adding flour as needed until you have a smooth ball again.

Put it back into the bowl & recover and allow to rise a second time.

Once its risen the 2nd time, remove from bowl, kneed again with flour as needed, roll into a ball and cut in half. Roll each half into a loaf shape and put into a sprayed loaf pan. Press dough into pan so it fills all sides. Cover loosly with plastic wrap that's been sprayed with oil and allow to double in size again.

Once dough has doubled put the loaf pans into a 400* oven. Spray the loaves liberally with water from a spray bottle. The steam will created a dark golden crust and yield nice chewy bread. Spray the bread liberally every 5-10 minutes until bread is done. Bakes in about 45-50 minutes.

You'll know the bread is done when you tap it and its hollow sounding and the crust is nice & hard and deeply browned.

Nutrition Facts provided by SparkPeople Recipe Calculator
24 Servings (1 slice ea)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 133.3
Total Fat 2.0 g
Saturated Fat 1.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.5 g
Cholesterol 3.9 mg
Sodium 51.8 mg
Potassium 137.7 mg
Total Carbohydrate 25.4 g
Dietary Fiber 1.5 g
Sugars 0.0 g
Protein 3.8 g


Jenn said...

I love homemade bread. There really isn't a better smell when it's baking either...well, maybe the smell of bacon cooking, but still...mmmmm...bread! This looks great. I'm gonna have to make this before it gets too hot here! (hate baking when it's 110!)

Ashleigh said...

Its gooooooooorgeous

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