Great Grandmother’s Brown Bread

This post represents my second foray into the world of breadmaking. The recipe is a family recipe — originally my great great grandmother’s and passed down to me by my aunt. It’s a brown bread, made with oats, regular flour, and molasses [MELASSE auf Deutsch]. Finding the molasses fortunately was not as hard as I’d heard it could be in Germany.

It is not a terribly complicated recipe but the first loaf did not turn out well (I split it into two batches since we only have one bread pan). The reason was that I didn’t use enough flour. The recipe called for 4-5 cups (1000g-1250g), and I put in around 4.5, but it was too sticky and the result was that the finished product, cooked for well over an hour, still came out gummy and stodgy on the inside. I improved on the second loaf, added more flour, let it rise again, and cooked it for the normal amount of time.

Unfortunately, I found that this bread only works well with certain things. It tastes great with butter, peanut butter, and jam, but it really doesn’t work well with cheese or wurst because it is too sweet. 😦 That is a shame. I am glad I now own and have tried this family recipe, but because of the sweetness, I probably won’t make it again, or at least not for a while.

Apologies for the quality of these photos!

The two loaves -- good on the left, not-so-good on the right
Loaf from the end.
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3 thoughts on “Great Grandmother’s Brown Bread

  1. Karin 28/04/2011 / 5:51 pm

    Grammie’s delicious bread is known for being dense and maybe even a little gummy (shouldn’t really be). I have experimented and know that kneading the dough and letting it rise a second time (not in her recipe) results in a fluffy “normal” texture. I’m not sure if the amount of flour makes a difference, but the ball should be smooth and not stick to your fingers. I’m not a big bread maker, and it is time consuming, so this is a real treat when I make it. BTW, I like it with sharp cheddar, but I wouldn’t try Boursin or brie!

    Traditionally, at Grammie’s, it was eaten on Saturdays with baked beans (also featuring molasses).

  2. saturdayedition 28/04/2011 / 6:35 pm

    Thanks for the comment Karin. When I make it a second time I will follow your suggestion. I would like to try it with sharp cheddar as well, although I’ll have to wait until the next “round” of cheddar buying. I can also see it going well with baked beans, although I must admit they aren’t my favourite (although popular on both sides of the family!).

    PS – Can you figure out the meaning behind my username? (saturdayedition)

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