The Sweet Smell of Success, Sort of…

Yesterday, I took advantage of having a relatively slow day (only two loads of laundry, two cheerleading practices, a cheer parents’ meeting, and a dinner invitation at Jim’s parents) to make molasses brown bread.  I had mentioned making bread on Saturday to Jim on Friday night, and he’d requested brown bread made with molasses.  Since we went to a movie and out for supper on Saturday, I didn’t get to the bread until Sunday.

Never having made Molasses Brown Bread before, my first step was to find a recipe…I went to my well-stocked cookbook shelves (I probably have only about 200), and selected a cookbook from a local church.

Brown Bread

2 T. quick-rise yeast

1 T. sugar

3 T. shortening

1 cup raisins

1 egg, beaten

1 cup warm water

1 cup oatmeal

2 cups boiling water

3/4 cup molasses

1 T. salt

6-7 cups flour or enough to knead

First, I put the oatmeal and raisins into a bowl, and poured the boiling water over them.

Oatmeal and Raisins Covered in Boiling Water...

After the oatmeal/raisin mix was cool, I put 5 cups of the flour, the yeast, the sugar, and the salt into a large mixing bowl, and stirred to mix them around.  I put the warm water and the shortening into a measuring cup.  Then I got out the molasses…problem!

A little bit short of molasses...needed 3/4 cup!

I didn’t have quite enough molasses, so topped the cup up with honey…it’s all liquid sugar, right?  Then I added the warm water mixture to the bowl with the flour in it, and stirred it in.  Next, I added the egg, and finally the molasses and the bowl with the oatmeal and raisins.  I added two more cups of flour (used the full 7 cups), and kneaded the dough until it was smooth.  Then I oiled the dough, covered it with plastic wrap and left it to rise.

Dough before first rise...

About 45 minutes later, it looked like this:

Dough after first rise...

 I punched it down, covered it, and let it rise again, until it looked like this:

Dough after second rise...

I greased a 9 x 14 cake pan, and then punched the dough down again.  Then I formed the loaves, and put them in the pan:

Newly-formed loaves in pan...

I left the loaves to rise again, until they looked like this:

Loaves after third rise...ready to bake!

I turned the oven on to 375 degrees, and put the bread in for fifteen minutes.  Then I reduced the heat to 325 degrees, and baked for another 25 minutes (our oven is hot – others may find it works better with 400 degrees for the first part, and 350 for the second).  After the allotted amount of time, I took the bread out of the oven, and out of the pan.  I had a minor issue with one loaf sticking to the bottom of the pan, and slightly squishing another on the top.  This is the finished product (cracks and all):

Finished loaves of Molasses Brown Bread...

I sliced one piece each off one of the loaves for Jim and I to sample…we wanted to take a loaf to Jim’s parents, and had to make sure it was okay.  It was delicious!

I had left the loaves on the dining room table to cool, and realized after we got to Shirley and Gordon’s that I’d forgotten to bring them some.  I promised to leave one for them to get this afternoon when they drop off Bri after her orthodontist’s appointment.  We had a lovely dinner: chicken, peas, carrots, mashed potatoes, rolls, apple pie, and blueberry pie.

We had to leave Jim’s parents’ at 7:15 because there was a meeting for cheerleading parents at Hope’s school after her practice. 

We got home about 8:30, narrowly missing a skunk which had just ambled across our driveway!  I went into the dining room to put the bread into plastic bags, and was horrified to see what Jake had been up to while we were gone!  He had eaten almost half the bread (the only loaf he hadn’t touched was the one I’d cut to sample).  I salvaged what I could (I might have said a bad word or two, too!)…six hours of work was ruined!  I guess there’s no point crying over chewed-up brown bread…

"But they smelled so good, Mom!"


Filed under cooking, food, nature

38 responses to “The Sweet Smell of Success, Sort of…

  1. Jim VanWart

    It was really good! I could have devoured a whole loaf at once. I hope Jake doesn’t discourage you from making more some time. Love you. xoxo

  2. I’m totally impressed with your energy. And Jake saved you from consuming all of the bread and then feeling guilty. or at least you can tell yourself that.

    • Thanks, Rene…we probably wouldn’t have eaten all of it…I’d planned to take one loaf to Jim’s parents, freeze one, and eat the other one… I will try again another time! Wendy

  3. I’m not surprised Jake helped himself to that delicious bread! I would have jumped up on the table to get me some, too!
    You’re so impressive, Wendy!
    Sunshine xx

  4. Katybeth

    Ok. If I were elected posts (especially but not limited to bread) would never be allowed without samples. Especially on a morning where I am hungry but have yet summoned the energy to pour a bowl of Rice Krispies.


    • Dear Katybeth:

      I don’t know what the glitch is, but for some reason, every time I reply to your comments in my e-mail, the reply doesn’t show up in my blog…I’m really not ignoring you!

      Repeating my response:

      Hi Katybeth…just updated myself on your posts…will you be dipping your Rice Krispies in chocolate this morning? And perhaps washing them down with espresso? Ha!


  5. Oh no!! They looked wonderful. I need to bake more bread … I normally do it about once a year. I’m inspired! (And hungry.)


  6. Nothing smells as good or tastes as good as homemade bread, so to have the dog tear it up, that hurts. That really hurts.

  7. That looks SO good! I have never made bread in my life, but this looks like a fantastic place to start!

    • You should give it a try, Emily! I taught myself (although I cheat a little by using quick-rise yeast!)…it’s quite relaxing (when a dog isn’t devouring your hours of hard work!)… Wendy

  8. duke1959

    Do you deliver?

  9. That’s terrible! At least you got to taste a piece. I think I’d have more than a few choice words for my pooch!

  10. You can write AND bake well. Is there anything you can’t do? 😉

  11. The bread looked delicious, Wendy. I’m sure it tasted delicious too. That’s probably what Jake was thinking while he was eating it. At least he did show some restraint and consideration in not eating the loaf you had sampled. My pup is not that considerate. He once ate a whole pizza leaving nothing behind but a whole green pepper that came in the box!

    Sorry for your bread loss, but what a great post! Diane

  12. Oh dear…well, if I were the dog, I don’t think I could have denied myself the pleasure of those delicious looking loaves either!

    • But…they were under a damp tea towel, Suzanne, and Jake had to jump onto the couch and then on to the table to get to them! They were good…I just didn’t think a dog would think they smelled that good! Silly me! Wendy

  13. Honestly, I can’t blame Jake. That bread looks fantastic. You’re quite brave to make your own bread like this. The whole rising of the yeast thing intimidates me!

    • Really, Maura…there’s nothing hard about it! The thing to remember is to make sure your water isn’t too hot to kill the yeast, but other than that, making bread is pretty foolproof…I taught myself with the help of “Joy of Cooking.” Wendy

  14. planejaner

    BAD DOGGIE! That bread looked delicious!
    Jake sure looks pleased with himself, though…

    • It was delicious, Jane! Jake knows when I’m mad at him, and spent a significant amount of time sucking up to me…picture him lying with his chin on my chest while I was trying to watch Amazing Race last night… Hugs, Wendy

  15. Hippie Cahier

    >> …six hours of work was ruined!

    I’ll bet Jake doesn’t see it that way.

    I could almost smell the bread…and then the skunk ruined it. 😉

  16. I bet all Jake now has to do is run into that skunk and he’ll have fully worn out his welcome!

  17. Aaaw…you can’t blame poor Jake for wanting to eat bread that looks that awesome 🙂

    You should do more recipe posts Wendy…I love how you do the step by step pictures 🙂

    Hugs, H

    • Thanks, Harsha…recipe posts for me are usually sheer laziness (usually lack of anything else to write about)! Glad you enjoy them though! I was so upset about what Jake did to my bread, I couldn’t bear to take pictures of the destruction! Hugs, Wendy

  18. Fellow writer popping in to say hi…I’ve been wanting to make bread for ages!

  19. I can relate to this story after coming home from work to a knocked over crockpot of barbequed ribs in my kitchen and barbequed doggie footprints throughout my home. My husband let my dog Sven in the house with him at lunchtime on a very cold winter day and forgot to put him out before returning to work. Sven is not an inside dog and just went crazy being inside the house with no way out for 4 hours. They were both in the doghouse when I got home.

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