Honey-Wheat Molasses Quick Bread
July 24, 2009|Comments (18)
This bread takes me back to my newlywed days. It whispers sweet nothings into my ears and brings a smile to my face on the rainiest of days. One bite and I am instantly back in the kitchen of our very first house during the worst windstorm Washington had seen in years: no power, limited water supply, and a raging storm pawing at the rain-streaked windows. With Josh deployed, I needed something to comfort me.
The recipe was given to me by our beloved Pastor Kristy from Bethany Lutheran Church in Spanaway, WA. She apparently got the recipe from her days at seminary, where it is known as Luther’s Communion Bread. Since that time, I’ve altered it to fit the contents of my cupboards or my moods. Regardless of the changes, the bread manages to hang onto the warm flavor that I fell for many moons ago in the midst of that dreadful storm and a stretch of rain that wore on even the most seasoned northwesterner. It brought a sense of calm in the midst of those horrible floods (the Nisqually overflowed, Mount Rainier National Park closed, and we took showers at Ft. Lewis) and taught me the importance of comfort foods.
So here are the ingredients all lined up and facing the firing squad:
- 2 cups whole wheat flour (I needed to use up the graham flour in the picture but any whole wheat flour will do)
- 1 cup white flour (all-purpose or bread flour… choose your own adventure)
- 1 1/4 tsp baking powder OR 1 Tbsp instant yeast
- 1 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp hot water
- 2 Tbsp oil
- 3 Tbsp honey
- 3 Tbsp molasses
- Optional: dried cranberries, raisins, walnuts, and/or pecans
Now, mix the wet ingredients in another bowl. This is probably my favorite part of the process. I love the scent of molasses. It’s heavenly stuff.
Add the wet stuff to the dry stuff and mix. Feel free to add a handful of dried fruit or chopped nuts. If you are using baking powder, then don’t knead. If you are using yeast, knead for 5-8 minutes. Quarter the dough and roll it into balls. If the dough contains yeast, let it rise for about ten to fifteen minutes. Flatten the balls into 1/4″ thick disks. Feel free to score the top with a cross.
Now place the disks on a oiled baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Brush with oil again and bake another 5-8 minutes.
So, this is the bread that got me through thirty-seven consecutive rainy days and no power during Josh’s first deployment after our wedding. Trapped in a dark house with only the dogs for company, this bread filled the house with the scent of happiness. I hope it does the same for you.