Molasses Bread – (Almost) as Tasted at Yorkshire’s Stone House Hotel
Tweaked from a home made treacle bread I became addicted to in Yorkshire last year, my molasses bread is deliciously mellow and slightly sweet.
If someone told me that I couldn’t eat carbs any more I think I’d just shrivel up and die. I come from Irish stock, so potatoes are actually a food group as far as I’m concerned, and my love for baking is well documented in these pages.
I was lunching with a friend earlier this week, when the conversation came around to Hashimoto’s Disease, from which we both suffer. She refused the very excellent sourdough bread on offer in the restaurant, on the grounds that gluten is a no-no for dodgy thyroid glands. It was all I could do not to put my fingers in my ears and go la-la-la, while eating her share as well as mine, so complete is my denial of such an awful concept.
Bread is a particular passion of mine – both baking it and eating it. One look at my list of recipes shows that baking is definitely my favourite past-time. And, while there aren’t a lot of bread recipes (I must address that), one of my most popular recipes is the one for my Turkish Bread . Check it out – it’s just too easy and never fails!
When I was discovering the many joys of Yorkshire last year, I fell in love with the home made treacle bread served at the Stone House Hotel in the Yorkshire Dales. It was a dense, wholemeal loaf with a subtle hint of dark sweetness, and there was no way I was leaving without the recipe.
That piece of paper has been silently reproaching me from the fridge door, where I stuck it, for over a year now. I’ve had some spare time this week and a strong urge to bake, so this delicious bread was definitely on the schedule.
I’ve made a couple of changes to the recipe I was given, as the stone ground flour they use is local to them, using molasses instead of treacle, and my preferred dried yeast to fresh.
I write the molasses bread recipe as I made it, with two sachets of freeze dried yeast, but I think I’ll try it with just one next time. This is a seriously speedy bread. The yeast activates very quickly in the molasses, looking like a foamy jug of Guinness in just 10 minutes. The mixed dough requires almost no kneading – and who doesn’t love a no-knead bread – and is super-fast to prove. My dough doubled in half an hour – in my chilly, unheated, Adelaide Hills kitchen.
It’s easily the fastest bread I’ve ever made, and deliciously tasty, but I’d be interested to see how the flavour develops with a slower rise. That’s for next time.
- 900 gms 2 lb strong bakers flour
- 450 gms 1 lb wholemeal flour
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp molasses
- 350 mls tepid water plus extra for dough
- 2 x 8gm sachets of freeze dried yeast
- Combine flour and salt in a large bowl and whisk to mix well. Set aside.
- Grease 2 bread loaf tins.
- Combine molasses, 350 mls of tepid water and yeast in a jug, whisk to mix well. Set aside for 10-15 minutes until it is frothy.
- Make a well in the flour, adding yeast mixture and enough extra tepid water until you have a moist dough.
- Turn out onto a floured surface and knead lightly until smooth.
- Divide dough in two, lightly shape into loaves and place in prepared tins.
- Set aside in a draught-free corner until the dough has risen over the lip of the tin.
- Preheat oven to 240C.
- Once dough has risen place in the oven and cook for 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, reduce oven temperature to 180C and cook for a further 20 minutes.
- Quickly remove loaves from tins, and place back in the oven, upside down and directly on the rack, at 180C for a further 15-20 minutes.
- Bread is cooked if it sounds hollow when you knock on the bottom of the loaf.
- Cool on wire racks.
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