Thursday, January 20, 2011


These recipes for MOLASSES WHOLE WHEAT BREAD and BEST-EVER FRENCH BREAD are family favorites--having been in our family of bread makers for many, many years.  I've truthfully never tasted better of either bread!  The WHOLE WHEAT MOLASSES BREAD uses molasses, giving it a nutty, sweet taste.  You make a sponge first, using some white flour, letting it rise for an hour.  Then you add the rest of the ingredients, among them, molasses and whole wheat flour.  It is a soft, tender, sweet, whole wheat bread--and it makes wonderful toast and sandwiches!  I always double the recipe, to make 6 loaves.  It freezes super well. 

2 cups warm water
2 teaspoons salt
4 cups white bread flour
1 Tablespoon yeast
2 Tablespoons sugar
Soften yeast in 1/4 cup of the warm water.  Add sugar, salt, and the white flour.  Beat until smooth in bread mixer.  Cover and let rise for 1 hour, then add:
1/4 cup shortening
1/2 cup hot water
1/2 cup molasses
Whole wheat flour
Beat 3 first ingredients into the sponge.  Beat well.  Add whole wheat flour, 1 cup at a time, until you have a soft, but not sticky, dough. Knead well.  Let rise for 1 hour.  Punch down, then divide into 3 loaves.  Roll up jelly-roll style.  Put in greased bread tins and let rise for 45 minutes.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes, or until nicely browned.  When done, turn out on racks to cool.  Ummmmm, good!

This recipe for FRENCH BREAD is absolutely fantastic!  It's soft and tender inside, and is crunchy and crusty outside, true to a great French bread, and is perfect in every way!  Make it with or without sesame seeds on top.  With their diagonal slits on top, the loaves look professional.  After you've had homemade French bread, it's hard to eat store-bought.  I also use the recipe to make soup bowls, which are 'super'!  (pun intended)  As always, use a bread flour, it really makes a difference in the quality of your breads and rolls. 

2 1/4 cups warm water
1 1/2 Tablespoons sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 Tablespoons yeast
1 1/2 Tablespoon shortening
white flour (approximately 6 cups)
1 egg white, beat stiff
Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup of the warm water.  Mix remaining warm water, sugar, salt, shortening and softened yeast.  Add flour, 2 cups at a tie, mixing after each.  Add enough to make a stiff, but not sticky, soft dough.  Knead 10 minutes by hand or 2-3 in a bread mixer.  Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.  Punch down after 10 minutes.  Continue to punch down every 10 minutes, for an hour.  Divide dough into 3 loaves.  Roll out jelly roll style.  Put the loaves on a greased, big school cookie sheet.  With a sharp knife, slash the tops about an inch or so down at at angle, 6 times.  Pat with the stiff egg white. and sprinkle with sesame seeds.  (Omit this step if not adding sesame seeds--the egg white acts as a glue to keep them on).  Let loaves rise for 1 1/2 hours.  Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees until done, about 35 minutes, or until golden.  Cool on rack.  Delicious hot out of the oven!  Store extra in airtight bags.  Freezes well.  NOTE:  I buy French bread plastic bags at my local bakery--the regular gallon-size freezer bags aren't long enough.   TO MAKE SOUP BOWLS:  Divide dough into 12 equal balls (or adjust number if you want a different size).  Place on greased baking sheets.  Let rise until double in size.  Bake at 350 degrees until golden, about half an hour. 
Susanne Holland Spicker Mother, Grandmother, Homemaker, Gardener, Teacher, Photographer

Passion is defined as the love of, or the object(s) of affection and emotion. I am passionate about family, friends, flowers, food, photography and fabulous music! This blog is dedicated to those loves.

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