Molasses Farm Bread

Each fall I am reminded of the strange affinity I have for scooping out the insides of pumpkins.  Maybe it’s because my favorite Calvin and Hobbes comic strip was about it.  It also probably has something to do with the fact that I vividly remember carving pumpkins on my birthday growing up, which happens to be on Halloween.  Either way, when I bought two small pumpkins last week to make, among other things, pumpkin cookies (post about those coming soon), I was very excited to scoop out the seeds.

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Normally I’d just toast and eat them, but I wanted to find a way to incorporate them into a loaf of bread.  I found a simple recipe for a molasses bread, which is something I hadn’t used before (in bread at least) and thought the flavor would go well with the pumpkin seeds.

First order of business is to make a water-molasses-yeast mixture (slurry seems to be the appropriate word here) in the bowl of a stand mixer.

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Usually the first time I try a new loaf I like to make it by hand, but given the amount of flour (6 cups in the recipe, I used almost 7) it seemed a little much.  Perhaps if I scaled it down next time it would be more reasonable.

Anyways, back to the recipe.  Mix in 2 cups of AP flour, and after it has all combined add in your salt and olive oil.

Add another 2 cups of flour.  Things should still be very wet at this point, but starting to come together.

Add your seeds in before going any further, and mix until they are evenly distributed.  In addition to the pumpkin seeds I also added sunflower seeds.

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From there keep adding flour until the dough is smooth and clears the sides of your bowl.  The recipe called for 6 cups of flour, but as I said I used almost 7.  I think this had to do with the fact that I didn’t full dry the pumpkin seeds before adding them, and as a result introduced a bit more water than intended.

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Let the dough rise for an hour in a lightly oiled bowl, and punch it down once the time is up.  Let it rise again, and then transfer to a flat surface and cut into 3 even pieces.  If you have a kitchen scale, each piece should be roughly 500 grams.  Mine ended up being about 575 grams each because of the extra flour.

Shape pieces into loaves and place on a baking sheet sprinkled well with cornmeal (flour would also be alright).

Cover loosely and let rise.  At this point preheat your oven to 450°.  Once the oven is hot the loaves will have risen enough.

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Bake at 450° for 10 minutes, then lower your oven to 375° and bake for another 15-17 minutes.  Rotate the loaves when you turn the temperature down.

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Let the loaves cool fully (about 2 hours) so that they can form a crust before slicing.

Molasses Farm Bread

Ingredients

  • 2 cups water
  • 5 1/2 – 6 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 cup of pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup of sunflower seeds
  • cornmeal for dusting

Directions

Mix water, molasses, and yeast in bowl of a stand mixer.  Add 2 cups of flour and combine.  Add in salt and olive oil, then 2 additional cups of flour.

Add seeds, then remaining flour 1/4 cup at a time.  Continue adding flour until dough is smooth and clears the sides of the bowl.

Let rise in covered, lightly oiled bowl for 1 hour.  Punch down, then allow to rise for another hour.

Cut risen dough into 3 even pieces and shape each into a loaf.  Place on cornmeal-dusted sheet pan.

Preheat oven to 450°.  Place loaves in oven and bake at 450° for 10 minutes, then lower your oven to 375° and bake for another 15-17 minutes.  Rotate the loaves when you turn the temperature down.

Let the loaves cool fully (about 2 hours) so that they can form a crust before slicing.

Recipe courtesy of Farmhouse Cook.

One thought on “Molasses Farm Bread

  1. Pingback: Brendan Gibbons Thinks About Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies | Bakers & Best

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