Though for the most part Dr. Atkin’s would have no complaints with the Practical Cook, we’d part ways in one specific area: fresh hot bread. My senses trained by years of coming home from school, getting off the bus at my Granny’s house, and entering to the yeasty smell of pan upon pan of “light rolls” in their second rise in the late afternoon sun of the living room, I simply can’t resist freshly-baked bread. But I’m a terrible, impatient baker. What’s to be done?
Enter the land of quick breads. For those of you yeast-a-phobes like myself, there’s cornbread, banana bread, and now, Irish Brown Bread. This past St. Patrick’s day (also known as the day of 41 Blueberry Muffins), I decided that the meal would be a total #fail if I didn’t have fresh hot bread. Yeah, I can be like that.
Irish Brown Bread Recipe
Adapted from Mark Bittman’s infinitely useful and amazing How to Cook Everything. Just buy it, and thank me later.
Grease for the loaf pan (oil, butter, bacon grease, veggie shortening, whatever)
1 2/3 cups buttermilk
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup cornmeal (courtesy of our CSA)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup molasses (courtesy of my cousin who has a source at a country store)
1. Grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. Heat the oven to 325 degrees.
2. Mix the dry ingredients.
3. Stir the molasses into the buttermilk (I used my mini whisk for this).
4. Stir the wet into the dry, till just combined.
5. Pour into prepared loaf pan. Bake in the middle of the oven until firm and a toothpick comes out clean, about an hour. (**It can be hard to tell when a dark brown bread is done. Mine was just a little wet, so watch carefully for signs of doneness.) Cool on a rack for 15 minutes before turning it out of the pan.
And yes, it was as delicious as it looks, and was featured as toast, sandwiches, and snack. Just writing about it is sort of making me hungry. So try this one, and let me know how it goes. Remember, I’m not a baker, and you don’t have to be one either to be successful here.
Coming up next, Baked Chicken Dressing. For those of you who aren’t Southern, this is not poultry in pantaloons. This is a savory bread pudding and a great way to empty your freezer of leftover, frozen bread bits.
Till next time, keep the questions rolling in to practicalcook at gmail dot com