Living in King County, Washington has a few perks and one is our library system. The county has 46 libraries and is the busiest in the United States based on circulation, which means the system has a lot of books. A lot. Whenever I need inspiration I look online for book ideas and always find something I haven’t read before. This visit was no different. I brought home a 1997 copy of Bread Machine Baking for All Seasons: Delightful Recipes for Year-Round Pleasure.
Compared to modern cookbooks it is a simple book. No photographs, all simple print. No lack of recipes though, with plenty to choose from. The cookbook is easy to use, to the point. I tested out a loaf of Molasses Bread, from pages 158-159, for the first bread of the week. As I have talked about a bit in the past, bread making was one of my biggest obstacles to going processed food-less. It is too easy to buy a loaf of bread every couple of days for lunches. As long as I keep the bread machine on the counter I will use it. And I quit keeping commercially made “backup” bread in the freezer. Backup bread would end being “daily” bread. With no safety net I am required to make bread every 1 to 2 days. But I know exactly what is in the bread. And so as I get into the routine Sunday night is my first baking of the week. And while it might seem unobtainable, think of it this way: it only takes 10 minutes or less to pull the ingredients together and to get a loaf on. Then walk away. 3 or 4 hours later the bread is baked and you just need to cool and wrap it! It is that simple.
This loaf of bread also marks a goal accomplished. I used up the last of my all-purpose white flour. Gulp. From now on it is white whole wheat flour and soon I will be grinding my flour as well (the crutch of ready to use flour is nearly used up!).
- ¾ cup water (80°)
- ½ cup milk
- 3 Tbsp molasses
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 4½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 2¼ tsp active dry yeast
Add the ingredients in order listed (or as your bread machine directs), making a well in the top for the yeast. Set for white/basic, 2 lb loaf, medium crust. After baking, remove and knock out of pan, let cool fully before slicing.
Makes one 2 lb loaf.