Saturday, April 18, 2015

Molasses Bread


  • 2 1/2 cups warm water (about 110 degrees)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons instant yeast
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon unsulphured molasses
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened, natural cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons oil 
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons vital wheat gluten (optional)
  • 3 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 3-4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2-3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Old-fashioned oats for sprinkling (optional)
  1. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the dough hook (or in a large bowl with a wooden spoon if powering through this by hand), combine the water, yeast, molasses, cocoa powder, oil, honey, salt, gluten (if using), and 2 cups of the whole wheat flour. Mix until combined. 
  2. With the mixer running, slowly add the rest of the whole wheat flour. Start adding the white flour gradually until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Knead for 5-7 minutes (about 10-15 if kneading by hand). The dough should be soft and slightly tacky but shouldn't leave a lot of residue on your fingers if you grab a piece. 
  3. Turn the dough into a large, lightly greased bowl, cover with greased plastic wrap or a light towel, and let rise until doubled, 1-2 hours. 
  4. Lightly punch down the dough and divide into three equal pieces. Form into tight oval loaves and place on parchment-lined or lightly greased baking sheets (I fit two loaves on one large, rimmed 11X17-inch baking sheet and the third loaf on another baking sheet). Lightly cover with greased plastic wrap or a light towel and let rise until puffy and doubled in size. Optional: right before baking, using a very sharp knife, cut three deep slashes in the top of each loaf.
  5. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Bake the loaves for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and lightly brush with about a tablespoon of butter. Sprinkle with the oats and bake for another 5-7 minutes.  (Maria's note:  In my oven, 20 minutes total baking time was plenty. This is from Mel's Kitchen Cafe)

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