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Awesome Molasses Wheat Bread

May 9, 2010

How do I describe the flavor of this bread?  Something along the lines of OMG I never want to buy store-bought wheat bread again.  The flavor is nutty and sweet and strongly of molasses, the texture’s nice and dense, the aroma is so, well, bready.  This bread is so substantial, just a little butter on it and an apple to the side, and you’ve got a lovely meal.  (And if you opt to add the nuts, it provides a complete protein.  Okay, I’ll get off my soapbox now.)  Adapted from James Beard.

  • 1 package yeast
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 3 cups all-purpose baking flour
  • (optional) 1 handful of raisins and 1 handful of nuts

Stir together the yeast and 1/2 cup of the warm water in a little bowl and set aside.  In a large bowl, mix the rest of the water, molasses, salt, oil, and whole-wheat flour.  Add the yeast mixture and stir again.  Slowly add the white flour until it looks like bread dough.  Put it on a floured surface and knead until everything is nicely mixed.  Put in an oiled bowl, cover with a slightly damp towel, and let sit for 1 1/2 hour.

Take the dough out and punch it down.  If you like, make a dent in the middle, throw in the nuts and raisins, and knead them in.  Once it’s nice and mixed, put the dough onto an oiled baking sheet.  Or you can split it in half and put it into two oiled 8 1/2 by 4/12 loaf pans.  Cover with a slightly damp towel again and let sit for 1 1/2 hour.

Uncover, bake at 375 for 40 minutes.  The bread’s done when you knock it and it sounds hollow.

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