Sunday, April 6, 2008

Quick Whole Wheat & Molasses Bread

I’m always looking for great quick, hearty breads. We are a “take your lunch to school/work” kinda family, so variety in the breads that we eat is a must. I find most of the school lunches are just too unhealthy and I really don’t want my kids eating them. If I pack their lunch then I know what there eating. Most of the time they tell me the other kids are envious that they get such good lunches. That makes me happy.

My kids have grown up on wheat and whole grain breads. I just don’t buy white bread. When Jesse was in Kindergarten he came home one day and announced to me with great shock that some of the kids eat bread that is white! It perplexed him. I didn’t realize until then that he never had been exposed to it. Both my kids prefer whole grain bread over white any day. My husband would eat white bread over whole grains any chance he gets. I did buy one loaf since he moved here and it made him very happy. “You bought white bread!” It was like he was opening a Christmas present. He still tries to sneak the white bread into the grocery cart on the rare occasions that he accompanies me shopping. It ain’t workin’ for him.

So I came across this recipe when I was looking through the New York Times recipe log. It’s from Mark Bittman. I made this bread in the time it took the oven to heat up. That’s how fast and easy it is. Even if you have never made bread before…..you can do this! It’s that easy. Trust me! Of course I made 2 loaves cause 1 loaf of good bread in a house with 3 men (well 1 man and 2 almost teenagers) will not last, plus I always share. Some bread will be dropped off at John & Tati's house tomorrow morning. This bread is rich and earthy and the perfect accompaniment to any soup or stew. I'll be having 2 thin slices with cucumber and cream cheese for my lunch tomorrow. Make this bread!


Quick Whole Wheat and Molasses Bread
Oil or butter for greasing pan
1 2/3 buttermilk or plain yogurt, or 1 ½ cups milk and 2 Tablespoons of white vinegar (See step 2)
2 ½ cups (about 12 ounces) whole wheat flour
½ cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ cup molasses

Heat oven to 325. Grease an 8x4 inch or 9x5 inch loaf pan, preferably nonstick.

If using buttermilk or yogurt, ignore the step to make your own buttermilk (or soured milk). To make soured milk: warm milk gently – 1 minute in the microwave, just enough to take the chill off – add 2 tablespoons white vinegar. Set aside.

Mix together all the dry ingredients. Stir molasses into the buttermilk. Stir liquid into dry ingredients (just enough to combine – don’t over mix!!) Pour into loaf pan. Bake until firm and a toothpick inserted into the center comes our clean. 45 minutes to 1 hour. Cool on rack for 15 minutes before removing from pan.

Yield – 1 loaf.
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