Saturday, January 12, 2008

Molasses Wheat Bread

This started out as another recipe I found on Smitten Kitchen for pumpernickle bread, but since the only 3 grocery stores that are close to me didn't have rye flour, this turned into a molasses wheat bread instead! And it was really good, so I can only imagine how delicious it is with the rye flour.

This bread was very soft inside with a chewy crust and slight sweetness that made it PERFECT for a pb&j. So I'll go ahead and post the recipe with the variations I made, but be sure to click on the link to see the original and check out all the other great recipes while you're there!

Molasses Wheat Bread
1 cup warm tap water, about 110 degrees
2 1⁄2 teaspoons (1 envelope) active dry yeast
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon molasses
Cornmeal for bottom of loaf

Place water in a mixing bowl, sprinkle yeast on surface and whisk, letting it stand for five minutes. Add molasses and stir well to combine. Stir in flours and remaining ingredients. Knead dough by hand to form a smooth, elastic dough.

Transfer dough to a bowl that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, and turn it over so top is coated. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and allow dough to rise at room temperature until doubled, about 45 minutes.

To shape loaf, turn risen dough out on to floured work surface. Press dough with palms of hands to deflate. Gently knead, the shape dough into a sphere by tucking edges under and in toward the center all around the bottom. Invert the dough into a round basket lined with a heavily floured napkin or tea towel so ends are on top. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.

When loaf is almost doubled, preheat oven to 500 degrees and set rack at the middle level. Place baking pan or stone on rack.

Sprinkle cornmeal on top of loaf and invert it onto a paper plate. Slash an X across the top of the loaf. Slide risen loaf from the plate onto the pan. Immediately lower oven temperature to 400 degrees. Bake the loaf for about 40-45 minutes or until internal temperature of the loaf reaches 210 degrees. Cool the loaf on a rack and do not cut until it is completely cooled.

Yield: 1-1/2 ounce loaf
125 calories per 2-ounce slice



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