[111] Quick Whole Wheat and Molasses Bread

Cover of How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, by Mark Bittman

This recipe is the result of not having the ingredients on hand to make the bread Bittman suggests eating with baked beans, and having a lot of time on my hands while my friends hung shelving.

Not that it took a lot of time. In fact, I almost forgot I’d decided to make bread until near the end, and I still managed to whip it up and serve it. Under normal circumstances, this would make me feel like a dinner hero. Under the circumstances of beans simply not cooking, no matter how much I beg, it just made me feel like at least I had something else to feed the ravening hordes.

Not that Rob, Tony & Krysti are really much of A horde, much less “hordes”. I suppose each of them could be a horde unto themselves.

No, that probably doesn’t work either.

ANYWAY, the point is, I had guests, I had dinner baking, and it seemed to need bread. Bread which I had not made. Bread which I had not thought to ask Bill to pick up on his way home from work. Bread which, in fact, did not exist in my home at all.

So, I made this bread. It worked out very well, and cooked much faster than the recipe says. But only because I didn’t follow the recipe, so make a note of that.

Or I will, I guess, in the “cooking” notes section.

h2. Ingredients

Oil or butter to grease the pan
1 2/3 c buttermilk or yogurt (I think we used buttermilk, but I couldn’t swear to it.)

2 1/2 c whole wheat flour

1/2 c cornmeal

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 c molasses

h2. Instructions

Preheat the oven to 325F and grease your favorite loaf pan.

Then, because this is a wonderfully simple recipe, mix together the dry ingredients in one bowl and the molasses and milk in another bowl. Once both bowls seem well mixed in themselves, add the wet ingredients to the dry ones and mix just well enough to combine. Here, like pancakes and all other quick breads, lumps are not the enemy. Pour the mix into your prepared loaf pan and bake for about an hour; until a fork inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes before removing from the pan.

h2. Cooking and Consumption Notes

h3. Cooking

This is one of those great recipes for when you’re stressed out by the chaos around you and you want bread and you want it quickly. You just mix up two bowls of stuff, then mix those mixes together and bake. BAM!

Heck, my mother probably wouldn’t even bother to use two different bowls. Knowing her, she’d probably just dump it all together and make some delicious bread. She’s got the touch.

It’s an especially great recipe in the circumstances I was in: baking beans, had no bread. Why? Because I was able to just bake it alongside the beans. At 400F. It took a lot less than an hour to cook at that point. And, frankly, it didn’t get burned or smell funny. WIN!

The only catch was having to monitor it more. I was okay with that, since I was constantly paying attention to the beans too. I think it took about 20 minutes to bake in there, but I was a slacker (or exhausted, take your pick) and didn’t write anything down.

Another bonus? This is totally a bread you can make while drinking. I didn’t have a lot to drink that night, but maybe three or so “units” of alcohol over the course of the end of the evening, and I still whipped it up just fine. Because, really, it’s throwing some stuff in a bowl, mixing, putting it in a baking pan, and baking.


h3. Consumption

Good stuff. Great stuff for emergency bread!

I didn’t have much of it, only a slice I think. It’s incredibly dense bread, without being tough and disgusting. It definitely stood up well to the fullness of the Maple-Baked Apple Butter Beans. Also, it helped us get a lot of the “sauce” out of the bowls, which was fabulous.

Bill, Rob, Tony and Krysti clearly also liked this bread a lot, as it was destroyed by their ravening horde selves. I think we had about a tenth of the bread leftover, which we sent home with Tony. Because he loved it, as you can see here: