The Search for Brown Bread

Because I discovered what bean pots are and decided I needed to put ours to their intended use and the post that led me to this discovery mentioned baked beans aren’t complete without brown bread, I decided it was time to begin searching for a brown bread recipe. I had no idea there were so many. I also had no idea that I basically make some of them upon occasion when I am simply making bread.

There is something lovely about the terminology associated with baking bread. Well, yeast bread, anyway. “Knead until smooth and elastic.” “Punch down dough.” “Let rise until double,” or “Let rise until double in bulk.” Maybe it’s just me but those all just sound so down to earth and homey.

The search today ended up with a yeast bread recipe that is very similar in many aspects to the recipe I generally use to make yeast bread. This is what it looks like:

Brown Bread

  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon yeast (it actually called for a specific type of yeast but I use SAF)
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 4 3/4 – 5 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  1. Combine the first four ingredients and cool to 110 to 115 degrees. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Sprinkle the sugar on the yeast mixture. Combine the oat mixture, yeast mixture, brown sugar, and molasses. Stir in enough of the remaining flour to  make a soft dough.
  2. Turn onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, 6 to 8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl and turn to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about one hour.
  3. Punch dough down. Divide in half and form two loaves. Place each in a greased 9″ x 5″ loaf pan and let rise until double, about 30 to 45 minutes.
  4. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to cool and brush with melted butter.

Well, you know, that’s what the recipe said. More or less. The way things work around here, however, no recipe ever gets followed exactly so this is what I actually did (well, you know, more or less):

Brown Bread

  • leftover cooked rolled oats (in the neighborhood of 1 cup)
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (we ran out of vegetable oil, if you can believe such a thing)
  • 1 tablespoon Celtic sea salt (because anything Celtic is awesomely cool and it’s what I have and I like salt)
  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup blackstrap molasses (because I like it and we have it)
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour (King Arthur’s white whole wheat)
  • 2 1/2 all-purpose flour (I think–I didn’t write it down and don’t remember for sure but I kept adding because it didn’t seem like enough)
  1. Combine the first five ingredients and because the house is not very warm, hurry to get the yeast ready by mixing the sugar in the water in the KitchenAid bowl and sprinkling the yeast on top. Measure the brown sugar and molasses and then dump all together in with the yeast mixture. Add three cups of whole wheat flour and stir. Add in enough flour to make a still sticky dough.
  2. “Knead” in the KitchenAid for four or five minutes. Place in a greased bowl and turn to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place like the granite slab above the fireplace (it isn’t really a mantle because we don’t have a typical fireplace) until doubled, about one hour.
  3. Punch dough down. Divide in half and form two loaves. Place each in a greased 9″ x 5″ loaf pan and let rise until double, about 30 to 45 minutes.101_3481
  4. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to cool and brush with melted butter.

101_3482

Okay, so for that last one, that’s what I intended to do. Instead, I set the timer and then went on a pattern hunt for Seth and Joseph so they can be Jedi for Halloween (I’m running out of time for goodness sake). The timer went off, I didn’t hear it, Seth turned it off, Seth forgot to tell me. I came back in the kitchen, sat at the table (which is actually in the dining room/area) and started doing stuff on the computer and bugging Joseph to get his school work done. Then it occurred to me to check the oven.

“I turned the timer on,” I said, somewhat perplexed.

“Oh, yeah,” Seth pipes up, “I turned it off.”

So it’s a bit over done but still looks edible.

Actually, now that I’ve cut into it and applied some butter to a slice and have eaten a few bites, it’s quite tasty.

101_3483

Stay tuned for the baked beans in the bean pot; they won’t be ready until dinner time in a few hours.

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2 thoughts on “The Search for Brown Bread

  1. Christine Griffin October 28, 2015 at 7:08 am Reply

    If you want New England brown bread, go to this site. http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/boston_brown_bread/

  2. inthekitchenatourhouse October 28, 2015 at 2:45 pm Reply

    Thanks! That is one I would like to try. Maybe today since we still have some beans left. 🙂

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