Bread baking as therapy…
For a time when I was at university in Halifax I relieved the stress of my studies by baking bread. My dear friend Lisa sent me this recipe back in the early 1990s and baking it became my weekly therapy session…
There`s nothing like kneading bread to help you deconstruct your troubles and the rhythm of kneading is a meditation of sorts, a way to quiet the mind.
I know bread machines and dough hooks are a great way to sidestep the physical effort of kneading, and they save time, but as always something is lost along the way.
However you choose to make your bread, the smell of it baking is a gift all bread bakers receive. It’s one of the cosiest smells on earth and seems to warm you from the inside out.
The beauty of this recipe is that it requires just one rising so as far as yeast bread goes, it’s on the easy side.
Cracked wheat brown bread recipe with molasses
Makes 2 good-sized loaves
- 2 cups warm water
- 1 ½ tsp. sugar
- 1 Tbsp. dry yeast
- ½ cup Grandma Fancy Molasses
- 4 Tbsp. butter, softened
- 1 cup cracked wheat
- 1 cup natural bran
- 4-6 cups flour
- Grease two large bread pans or line them with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl stir the sugar into the water and sprinkle over the yeast. Leave it for 5-10 minutes, until it starts to bubble.
- Stir in the butter and the molasses and combine well.
- Stir in the cracked wheat then the natural bran.
- Add the flour a cup at a time until you have added 4 cups.
- Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead in additional flour, a little at a time, until dough is barely sticky. (Sometimes I use most of the flour and sometimes I only use 5 cups of flour in total.)
- Divide dough in half, shape each half into a stubby log and place in prepared pans.
- Let rise until double (1-11/2 hours).
- Bake at 350 for 45-55 minutes or until loaves sound hollow when tapped.
- Cool in pans 10 minutes then remove from pans and place on cooling racks.
Here’s another easy brown bread recipe that you might enjoy: No knead oatmeal brown bread.
One more thing…
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