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.
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.
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!
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.
About 45 minutes later, it looked like this:
I punched it down, covered it, and let it rise again, until it looked like this:
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:
I left the loaves to rise again, until they looked like this:
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):
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…