The last couple of years I’ve started making bread regularly. It was something I remembered clearly from childhood, my mother endlessly kneading bread on the wooden board that had belonged to her mother. I think those memories of the endless kneading put me off for a long time, especially when the ease of the breadmaker beckoned… I was convinced to try again when I started reading all the accounts of no-knead bread. This was a revolution to me – it was actually possible to make bread without kneading for ten minutes! Since then I’ve made a lot of bread, and even have a sourdough starter I started myself and use to make bread most weeks. I love sourdough, and have a routine that means very little hands on time (ie about 30 min) from taking the starter out of the fridge to taking the bread out of the oven even though the elapsed time might be a day all up.
I’ll post more about my sourdough another time, but sometimes I still like the idea of making a quick loaf that you can think of and be eating a few hours later. With the combination of lots of yeast and using warm water and molasses, this dough rises ridiculously fast, and the biggest problem is making sure it doesn’t over rise in the tin. I use a stand mixer, but this would also be an easy dough to mix by hand in a bowl.
This loaf is pretty flexible with ingredients. I used the seeds I had, but pumpkin seeds, almonds or walnuts, or small grains such as quinoa or millet would all work; or if you prefer less seedy, cut back and add more oats. This makes quite a dark and slightly sweet bread because of the molasses. It’s yummy toasted with jam or peanut butter, and also good for sandwiches.
Molasses Grain Bread
Original inspiration was from a recipe in the SMH’s Good Living section many years ago
- 475g bread flour
- 225g wholemeal flour
- 3/4 c rolled oats
- 2 Tbs wheatgerm
- 1 Tbs linseed
- 1 Tbs chia seed
- 2 Tbs sunflower seed
- 2 Tbs sesame seed
- 2 Tbs black sesame seed
- 2 Tbs raw buckwheat
- 1 Tbs yeast
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 150g molasses
- 50g treacle
- 500ml warm (body temp) water
Combine all ingredients except molasses, treacle and water in a large bowl – I use my beloved Kenwood Major stand mixer. Combine the molasses, treacle and water together, and mix into the dry ingredients at low speed. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix for a couple of minutes until it forms a cohesive mass and starts pulling away from the sides of the bowl, though it will still be a sticky dough. Pour some olive oil around the edges and gradually scrape the dough away from the bowl until you can rotate it in the oil. If you don’t mind dirtying another bowl you can scrape the dough into a new oiled bowl.
Leave to rise for 20min and fold the edges of the dough into the middle forming a tighter ball. Repeat after another 20 min, then leave to rise until approximately doubled in volume.
Preheat the oven to 210C fan forced, and grease a large loaf tin (mine is 28 x 12cm).
Turn the risen dough out onto a floured bench, patting out gently to a rough rectangle. Roll up tightly into a log and press into the tin. Leave again until nearly doubled in volume. Put in the preheated oven for ten minutes, then reduce oven to 190C and cook for another 30 minutes. Turn the loaf out – it should be well browned, and sound hollow when tapped. Cool completely on a wire rack before slicing – I didn’t, as you can see by how the loaf broke when I sliced it!
[Edit 11/9/14: This bread was very popular with the family so I made another loaf last night. I was out of molasses so substituted rice malt syrup, which makes a slightly less sweet and lighter in colour loaf, also very good.]
I think all the seeds in this one are what make it work. Without those additional ingredients I find most quick-rise breads (beer bread etc) taste like an obvious ‘cheat’.
Do you or any of your good followers have a good ginger cake recipe? Not ginger bread, but cake – really sticky and syrupy and heavy and moist? I was after one for my mum’s birthday, but we all got sick so I didn’t bake her anything after all :(.
Even though this is relatively quick, the fact that it is yeast risen makes the texture quite different from a ‘quick bread’ risen with baking powder, and I agree that beer bread etc can be great the instant they’re out of the oven but rapidly start tasting like a stale scone! I agree the seeds here make a difference, plus the molasses/treacle – it adds moisture so it doesn’t dry out as fast. I’ve just edited the post to show a different shot of it sliced, and it’s still great nearly two days after being baked…
When you say ginger cake rather than bread do you mean not the biscuits? I have recipes for what I’d call gingerbread but as a loaf i.e. as ‘bready’ as banana bread – is this what you mean, or are we talking the next level up?
That bread looks absolutely yummy and I’m determined to try it. You know I had forgotten all that kneading. I remember declaring very early on in our family history that, having discovered the Kenwood dough hook around 35 years or so ago, I would do many unpleasant things, but never, never would I go back to hand kneading bread. For a start, I hated having to clean the sticky bits off my fingers afterwards. And do you know what? (You were too young to be aware of all the back stories here…), when we first moved to the property, we had no electricity and little room for gadgets and so that Kenwood stayed packed away for years and that’s why I made bread by hand and stopped fussing about the bits under my nails. Of course now, I, too, love my bread maker, and do appreciate at least kneading with it, but I can well imagine using only the dough cycle at times and using the oven for creating all those lovely shapes and crusts. BTW your wonderful, robust starter having been consigned to the compost on the grounds of “greyness” seems to have been wrongly accused. My new sourdough starter is being tested as I write, and the first batch of bread is looking a bit greyish too. Not as grey, mind. It could be the new lot of wholewheat I’ve been using. Case of malignment, I am sad to say. Will beg a new batch from you or your sister if this new starter proves unworthy.
Good to hear the backstory 🙂 – interestingly I’ve moved away from making bread that needs a lot of kneading now, and the low yeast/long slow rise alternative is very common in recipes these days.
Pity about the starter/flour, perhaps try a loaf with plain white from the supermarket and do a comparison? Certainly happy to bring you a new batch if it comes to that though…
That bread sure looks yummy! I have to say though, I find kneading very relaxing (having done it maybe two or three times in my life – lol) but I definitely find watching people knead bread very relaxing. And the idea of kneading it very relaxing. Time out from the busy world and all that. But then I also like chopping up vegetables into tiny pieces….
I think in theory I agree with you, it’s just that mostly the kneading and chopping is being done smack bang in the middle of the busy world and just becomes yet another deadline….I dream of days with nothing but chopping and kneading, with perhaps a little pastry rolling and crimping thrown in 🙂
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