I woke up early this morning and wanted to try a bread recipe I concocted over the weekend. However, our kitchen is right next to my Dad’s apartment and I didn’t want to wake him with the sound of the mixer. So, in stealth mode, I made a half-recipe of this bread by hand. This bread is fine-textured and somewhat bitter. I recommend serving it thinly sliced, toasted and topped with brie and apple.
Becca gave it a 2 because “there’s a weird aftertaste.” I think I know what it is and it may have little to do with the bread. Rather, it has to do with the sad fact that Yankees don’t feed their kids nearly enough molasses. Had my wife been raised by a Southern Belle like me, she would have acquired a taste for molasses (and grits and pecan pie, etc.). Instead her taste buds lean toward the cuisine of Utica, NY: chicken riggies, greens, and half moons – which in her defense are quite yummy.
Millet Molasses Bread (by hand)
- 1 scant tablespoon (1 ¼-ounce package) active dry yeast
- 1½ cups warm water about 110 degrees
- ½ cup molasses
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 cup millet flour
- 2½-3 cups unbleached flour
In a large bowl, stir yeast into water to soften. Add molasses, vegetable oil, salt, the millet flour, and 1 cup of the unbleached flour. Beat vigorously for two minutes with a heavy whisk.
Gradually add flour, ¼ cup at a time, until the dough begins to pull away from the side of the bowl. [part way through this step, I swapped the whisk for a wooden spoon]
Turn dough out onto a floured work surface. Knead, adding flour a little at a time, until you have a smooth, elastic dough.
Put dough into an oiled bowl. Turn to coat the entire ball of dough with oil. Cover with a tightly woven towel and let rise until doubled, about one hour.
Turn dough out onto a lightly oiled work surface and divide into 2 pieces. Shape each piece into a ball and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover with a tightly woven towel and let rise until almost doubled, about 45 minutes.
About 10 minutes before baking, preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Before placing the dough in the oven, slit the tops of the loaves and sprinkle a dusting of flour on top.
Bake for 15 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the bread reaches 190 degrees.
Immediately remove bread from the baking sheet and cool on a rack.