I needed to bake this Sunday to clear my head (ummm…plus we are still making all our own bread and had been out for days). I have to say I have done very little of the bread baking lately. Mr. Beardpants has been fixed on these tasty potato bread loaves and I have happily indulged without getting my own hands involved. But there is something therapeutic about kneading and punching down dough. The ‘punching’ being my favourite part.
So this weekend, while I processed changes that have just happened along with changes to come…I baked (and later savoured a huge chunk of whole wheat molasses bread with homemade crabapple jelly…delish!).
This bread recipe turned out exactly the way I wanted it to. I don’t know if you know how rare that is? To bake bread is to accept imperfection, but I think the universe was trying to soothe me. The density, the magic bubbles in the bread…that thing that makes it taste just perfect warm with a little slap of butter. The hollow hard knock on the underside of the bread and cutting into a soft pillow interior. yum.
So I thought I’d share. I have a gazillion old cookbooks on a teetering shelf because I can’t say no the stacks in the second hand stores or lining the tables of a garage sale. So this recipe comes from an old purity flour cookbook that I got for a $0.25 and that I remember my mom used to bake from.
This recipe makes 4 loaves
Whole Wheat Molasses Bread
Scald 1 1/2 cups milk
Pour into a large bowl and add
1/2 cup molasses
2 tbsp salt
1/2 cup shortening
Stir until shortening melts
2 1/4 cups water
cool to lukewarm
2 tsp sugar
1 cup lukewarm water
over this sprinkle,
2 envelopes active dry yeast
Let stand for 10 minutes. Then stir briskly with a fork. Add softened yeast to luke warm milk mixture. Stir.
6 cups whole wheat flour
beat vigorously by hand
Then gradually beat in with a spoon
6 to 6 1/2 all-purpose flour or white bread flour
I worked in the last of the flour while kneading as it became too hard to stir. Flop the dough onto a floured surface and knead for 8 to 10 minutes. Shape into smooth ball and place in a greased bowl. Cover with a damp tea towel and let rise until doubled in size (about 1 1/4 hours). Punch down and shape into 4 loaves. Place in greased loaf pans and let rise again until doubled (about 1 hour)
Bake in preheated oven 400 F for 30 to 35 minutes.