Wednesday, July 17, 2013

I love to make homemade sandwich bread.  I like that it has a little more "bite" to it than store bought bread.  Now,.. we still buy sandwich bread.  But that's only because my husband prefers his sandwiches on super soft, super white bread.  Me?  Not so much!  I like homemade white bread, especially the original recipe found HERE that this recipe for Molasses Light Wheat Bread comes from.  But, I also LOVE wheat bread!  To make wheat bread, I vary the amounts of wheat to white flour in the bread, depending on what I'm in the mood for.  Typically in the winter I want dark, almost bitter wheat bread and I up the wheat to white flour ratio in that type of bread.

I made this loaf Sunday, on a hot day in July!  I wanted it for sandwiches (specifically, peanut butter) and for toast!  One time I suggested to my mother-in-law that I love toast made with homemade bread.  She told me that she was afraid to make toast with homemade bread because it seemed like a waste of a good, homemade loaf UNTIL SHE TRIED IT!  I don't know what it is about homemade bread that makes the best toast.  But it does!  And, it extends the life of your bread because toast doesn't care if it's made with soft bread of slightly stale bread.

I used a ratio of 1/3 wheat flour to 2/3 unbleached all purpose white flour for this loaf.  The molasses creates a deep sweetness that I just love.  This loaf was moist and if you really look at these pictures, you can see the fine crumb that is most unusual for a homemade loaf of bread.  I'm not sure why all of this happens but it does and I love it!

I make my dough in the bread machine and then plop the loaf into a sprayed bread pan, mush it around to fill the pan and let it rise. But, you can make this loaf by hand the regular way. Just try not to add too much flour if you are hand kneading because adding the flour definitely increases the likelihood that it will be more dense than light.

Here's how I make Molasses Light Wheat Bread  AT HOME MY WAY:

Molasses Light Wheat Sandwich Bread

  • 1 cup warm water (hot but no hurt - should feel like hot bath water)
  • 2 Tablespoons molasses
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon yeast (1 packet)
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 cup wheat flour
  • 2 cups all purpose flour  (unbleached is best)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
Instructions using a bread machine:

• In a 2 cup measuring cup, measure the very warm water (1 cup), gently stir in yeast and molasses. Set a timer for 10 minutes. It will start bubbling and at the end of 10 minutes, will look like a big glass of root beer with a tall soft, frothy foam on top. Add the oil, and then dump in the pan of the bread machine. 

• Next add the flours to the bread machine pan and top with the salt. (I realize your bread machine may say to do this in a different order, but do it this way and you will have a perfect loaf.)

• Set your bread machine to the dough setting.

• And the end of this cycle (when it is "ready"), then dump the dough into a sprayed loaf pan.  Gently press the loaf to spread into the loaf pan a little bit.  Spray the dough in the pan with cooking spray or cover with a damp cloth. Let rise 1 hour or until it rises up out of the loaf pan by an inch or so.  It should not be big like a baked loaf.  It will get bigger in the oven! 

• Preheat your oven completely before putting the loaf in -to 350 degrees. 

• Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes or until golden brown. (check at 20 minutes).

• Let it sit in the pan about 5 minutes. Then, carefully (because the loaf is so soft) take it out of the pan and let it cool on a cooling rack. Let it cool completely and then slice using an electric knife or large serrated knife.  An electric knife makes the best slices!

To make this loaf by hand.

Use the same instructions above, but combine the flours & salt in a bowl.  Pour the liquid (water/yeast/molasses/oil) over the flour salt mixture stirring as much as you can, and knead for 5-7 minutes (set a timer).  Add as little flour as possible when kneading.  It shouldn't be too sticky to do that.  Place in an oiled bowl to rise in a warm place and let rise for an hour.  Then, proceed with the instructions for placing in the loaf pan, etc.

I store my bread in a zip type plastic bag for about 5 days, then I put it in the freezer and just use it as toast.

Here is a picture of some delicious toasted Molasses Light Wheat Bread slathered thickly with some of my Homemade Beet-Raspberry Jelly (recipe coming tomorrow) (You don't taste the beet juice.  It tastes like the inside of a jelly donut and I LOVE IT!  The best way to use leftover juice from garden beets!):

(I always have to have one piece with jelly and one without!)




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