Tag Archives: molasses

Myrtle Allen’s Brown Bread Recipe

I have made a lot of “breads” in my life.  Cornbread was probably one of the first things I learned to make growing up.  It was easy and cheap and went well with the all too infamous…ham and beans. Biscuits were a Sunday morning staple in our house.  I learned to make sweetened and fruit and nut breads, and quite recently, have become quite familiar with soda breads (the breads other than biscuits).  I especially love my Irish Soda Bread that I make every St. Patrick’s Day.  

Until early May, I had never tried to make yeast breads.  I don’t know why.  Perhaps the yeast rolls that were well anticipated for special occasions and holidays, were always made by someone else (grandmothers, mom, aunts, etc…) and were always so good, I had no need to learn. I remember my great-grandmother making rolls, tearing off a piece of dough and letting me eat it raw.   I loved the taste and the smell.  I would always ask for a corner roll, fresh from the oven.  The corners are still my favorite. Now it is up to my sister to continue on the roll making duties and she does a great job herself.  

So I digress. (my ADD kicked in lol) I was asked to cook for OKFoodie in early May.   Moroccan Chicken was the main course and a friend of mine suggested I make homemade Naan to go with the theme.  This would be my first real attempt at a yeast bread.  It turned out well and was really easy to make.  Yesterday, I found  Andy’s Beard on Bread cookbook by James Beard and thought I would look at it. 

One of the first recipes I opened to, was MyrtIe Allen‘s Brown Bread.  It was then, I realized, that I had a bag of whole-wheat flour in the freezer and a bottle of molasses left over from Christmas in the pantry.  So there it was, my second attempt at yeast breads.  

In James recipe, he notes that “this is an uncommonly well-textured bread with a lovely flavor” and “is an unusual recipe, since the dough is not kneaded and has only one rising.”  Sure made my decision easier after reading that, but the bread did turn out very good.  The crust was very crusty but the bread was nice.  It would make great toast.  

If you do make this, I suggest using about 1/2 to 3/4 tbls of salt instead of the full tbls.  Andy and I both thought the crust only, had quite a saltiness to it.  Eat this with sweet butter and jam.  You won’t be sorry.

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