Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Quick Maple Molasses Bread

I was in the mood for some bread the other day, but I wasn't in the mood for expending a lot of effort, or even waiting for the dough to rise. This recipe from Cookie and Kate for quick molasses bread seemed like a splendiferous way to solve my lazy bread hankering dilemma.

This bread uses a liquid sweetener like molasses, maple syrup or honey.  As luck would have it, I had exactly 1/4 c molasses and 1/4c maple syrup.  I threw caution to the wind and used them both.  The resulting bread had pleasing hints of both the molasses and the maple, neither of which were too overpowering.

I also used half regular yellow cornmeal and half polenta/grits.  No special reason why.  I just wanted to play around with the texture of the bread.  The coarser grind of cornmeal was an interesting addition, but next time I think I will stick with the regular cornmeal.  At times I thought the bread was just a tad bit too gritty.
Surprisingly, this bread was super moist. It actually got moister the second day. That sort of weirded me out. I mean isn't bread supposed to get dryer with age? The bread was almost sticky on the top and I was worried that it would be a mass invitation for a mold rave on my tasty bread. So, after slicing off some bread for breakfast on day two, I left the bread uncovered for a few hours, then I stored the loaf in the fridge.

The fridge did help dry out the bread, but not so much that it became dry and crumbly.  They held their sliced shape very nicely.  You could eat a piece without worrying that it would fall apart in your hands, which is always a bonus with leftover quick bread.

I would totally make this recipe again, lazy bread cravings or not.

Quick Whole Wheat Molasses (or honey or maple!) Bread from Cookie and Kate
Oil or butter for greasing pan
1 1/2 c milk and 2 T cider vinegar (or 1 2/3 c buttermilk/plain yogurt) (I used milk and vinegar)
2 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour (or regular whole wheat flour)
1/2 cup cornmeal (I used half grits/polenta and regular cornmeal)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup molasses (or honey or maple syrup—anything but blackstrap molasses)

Heat oven to 325 F. Grease an 8"x 4" or 9"x5"loaf pan.  If using buttermilk or yogurt, ignore this step. Make soured milk: gently warm the milk gently (1 minute in the microwave will suffice) and add vinegar. Set the soured milk aside.

Mix together the dry ingredients. Stir molasses (or honey or maple syrup) into the soured milk, buttermilk or yogurt. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir just until combined. Pour batter into a greased loaf pan.

Bake until firm and a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 45 min to 1 hr. Allow bread to cool in pan 15 min, then invert onto wire rack. Loaf will be easiest to slice when completely cool

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