Like Molasses in October

Whole Wheat / Molasses Seeded Bread

I receive King Arthur Baking Company’s magazine and always peruse the products and recipes. This month there was a beautiful picture of their Molasses Multi-Seed Bread and decided to give it a try.

I discovered two things. More seeds are better and try different time/temperature combinations. I made it as directed and the final loaf was overdone, although the internal temp was just 195°F. Next time I will either drop the temp a little, maybe to 350°F or 325°F. I will also tent it with foil earlier. This time, my first attempt, I tented it for the final 10 minutes, but it was too late.

I may also need to buy a tea loaf pan. The standard 4” x 9” was really to small for the bread to be shaped correctly. The 12” x 4” tea loaf, as specified by KAB would be better. Maybe… let it rise (second rise) on a French bread pan. I may try that before investing in a tea loaf pan that I would use infrequently.

Molasses Multi Seed Bread

INGREDIENTS
• 3/4 cup (170g) warm milk, 105° to 110°F
• 1/2 cup (113g) warm water, 105° to 110°F
• 2 tablespoons (28g) butter, melted and slightly cooled
• 1 cup (113g) King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour
• 2 1/2 cups (300g) King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour
• 1/8 teaspoon ascorbic acid, optional
• 2 teaspoons instant yeast or active dry yeast
• 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
• 1/4 cup (85g) molasses
• 3/4 cup (129g) Artisan Bread Topping, divided

METHOD

  1. To make the dough: In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine all the ingredients except the bread topping. Mix and knead with a dough hook for about 8 minutes until a smooth, slightly sticky dough forms, adding a tablespoon of flour if needed. With a minute or so left, knead in 1/4 cup of the topping.
  2. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let it rise until puffy, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  3. To shape the bread: Deflate the dough and divide it in half; roll each half into a 12” rope. Roll one of the ropes in the remaining topping. Be sure the rope is VERY well covered with seeds. When it rises the seeds will separate.
  4. Pinch the ends of the ropes together and twist one over the other, pinching them together at the opposite end.
  5. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased tea loaf pan or similar long loaf pan (12″ x 4″). Cover and let rise until the bread domes 1” above the edge of the pan, about 1 hour. Toward the end of the rising time, preheat your oven to 375°F.
  6. Uncover the loaf and egg wash the un-seeded rope.
  7. Bake for 32 to 36 minutes, or until a digital thermometer inserted into the center registers 190°F. The bread was too dark with this time/temp setting. (Drop temp to 350°F and tent the bread with foil after 20 min or so, before it turns dark.)
  8. Remove the bread from the oven and place the pan on a rack for 5 minutes. Tilt the bread out of the pan and return it to the rack to finish cooling completely.
  9. Store bread, well wrapped, at room temperature for several days; freeze for longer storage.

Whole (Wheat) Lotta Love

Great Led Zeppelin song – Whole Lotta Love

You may have noticed that I’ve been on a no-knead bread kick lately. Kneading dough isn’t a problem. My Kitchen-aide stand mixer and dough hook are very happy to knead the dough for me. What’s nice about this bread, aside from flavor, crumb, crust and appearance, is that it takes less that 10 minutes to mix the dough in the evening. It then ferments overnight, building all that great texture-generating gluten. In the morning simply form the dough into a ball and let it rest for an hour as the oven and Dutch Oven are heating, then bake for 30-45 minutes.

I found this recipe for a whole wheat no-knead bread a week ago and have made several loaves, giving most to friends, neighbors and family. I made two loaves today, one without seeds for my granddaughters, and one with for Fran and me. I use King Arthur’s Artisan Bread Topping which is a mixture of many seed varieties.

Made in a Dutch Oven, this bread has a great crust and excellent crumb and flavor. I find comments from each loaf, delivered while still warm, typically are, “You really outdid yourself with this loaf. It’s the best ever!” There is a feeling of satisfaction when, in these times, you are able to provide a simple, sensory respite for someone.

No-Knead Whole Wheat Bread

INGREDIENTS

• 300 grams (2 1/4 cups) bread flour, plus more for the work surface
• 100 grams (3/4 cup) whole-wheat flour
• 1 1/4 teaspoons salt (table)
• 1/2 teaspoon dried instant yeast
• 300 grams (1 1/3 cups) cool water (55 to 65 degrees)
• Wheat bran or cornmeal, for dusting (may use additional flour)

METHOD

  1. Stir together the flours, salt and yeast in a medium bowl. Add the water; use a wooden spoon or your hands to mix until you have a wet, sticky dough, about 30 seconds. Cover the bowl and let the mixture sit at room temperature until its surface is dotted with bubbles and the dough has more than doubled in size, 12 to 18 hours.
  2. Generously dust a sheet of parchment paper with flour. Use a rubber spatula or lightly floured hands to scrape the dough onto the parchment paper in one piece. Use your lightly floured hands to lift the edges of the dough up and in toward the center. Gently pinch the pulled-up dough together, cupping the edges in your hands as needed to nudge it into a round (don’t worry about making it a perfect circle.)
  3. If the dough feels sticky, dust the top lightly with more wheat bran, cornmeal or flour. Place the plastic wrap used to cover the bowl of dough loosely over the dough. Place the dough in a warm, draft-free spot to rise for 1 to 2 hours. The dough is ready when it has almost doubled in size. When you gently poke the dough with your finger, it should hold the impression. If it springs back, let it rise for an additional 15 minutes.
  4. About half an hour before you think the second rise is complete, position a rack in the lower third of the oven and place a 4 1/2- to 5 1/2-quart heavy Dutch oven or pot with a lid in the center of the rack. Preheat to 475 degrees.
  5. Use pot holders to carefully remove the preheated pot from the oven, then lift off the lid.
  6. Uncover the dough. Quickly, but gently slit the top with a lame or sharp knife. If you are going to add seeds, spray the loaf with a light coating of water and sprinkle the seeds over the top. Pick up the four corners of the parchment paper and place into the pot. (Use caution — the pot and lid will be very hot.) Cover with the lid; bake (lower rack) for 30 minutes.
  7. Remove the lid; continue baking until the loaf is a deep chestnut color but not burned, 15 to 30 minutes more. (If you are like me and want a more precise measure, the bread is done when an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the bread registers 200 to 210 degrees. I use the thermometer on every loaf.) Use the parchment paper to carefully lift the bread out of the pot and place it on a rack to cool thoroughly before serving or storing. Note: The oven temp is 475 degrees and if you remember Ray Bradbury’s book, you will never forget paper burns at Fahrenheit 451. It will be brown, black and crispy. Be gentle.