After having produced a nice loaf of oatmeal bread using honey as one of the ingredients I decided to try making a Molasses Oat bread. I had some unsulferd blackstrap molasses that I bought to use making Anadama Bread so I decided to just substitute the molasses for the honey just to see how it would come out. If it was awful it would give me a place to start zeroing in on a good recipe. Blackstrap molasses has a pretty powerful flavor, and I was worried that I had so much in the loaf it would have an overpowering taste of molasses. It is definitely a darker color than the Oatmeal Bread loaves in the previous few posts, but I was surprised — it came out great, with a mild molasses flavor.
Here is the formula for the Molasses Oat Bread from this post:
- Molasses 69 grams
- Water 358 grams
- Quick Oats 85 grams
- Bread Flour 467 grams
- Sugar 23 grams
- Salt 7 grams
- Bread Machine Yeast 5 grams
The ingredients are listed in the order they go into the bread machine. I used the 90 minute dough cycle, then formed the loaf for proofing in the pan. Making the dough in the bread machine is described in Oatmeal Bread – part1.
The dough was at about 94 F when on the bread machine cycle completed. After checking the temperature with the digital probe thermometer it was dumped out onto the lightly floured counter top. We recently replaced the old plastic laminate counter tops with Ubatuba black granite from Brazil. I wasn’t quite sure about it, but I love working on them. They are shiny though, so it’s hard to get photos without a random reflection photobombing the bread.
Here is the formed dough, ready to go into the pan. I thought I had formed it pretty well, but the spring in the loaf when it baked was lopsided, so I guess it wasn’t as well formed as I thought it was.
At the start of proofing the dough is in the pan and below the rim of the pan. I usually proof in the microwave if the pans will fit, with a bowl of boiling water to provide heat and humidity to help keep the yeast happy. I had been boiling the water on the stove and then pouring into the bowl to put in the microwave. This time I decided to try using the microwave to heat the water. The result was a warmer and moister atmosphere during proofing as the water had boiled some in the closed microwave.
The bread proofed faster than I expected – probably as a result of the change in the way I heated the water in the proofing chamber (otherwise known as my microwave.)
I’m not sure that it shows in the photo, but the dough seemed glossier than the same formula with honey. Here it is in the pan ready to do into the oven.
There was a good amount of spring in the oven, but it wasn’t very even.
These two pictures of the loaf cooling, taken from opposite sides, show that the spring was uneven. I am still figuring out how to form a loaf to go into the pan so that it comes out even after the proof and baking. I suspect the problem has to to with the fact that I did a poor job forming it. Peter Reinhart, in The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, has instructions for forming the dough for various loaf shapes, although he says people often develop somewhat individual styles to accomplish the same result. When I can do it consistently I will post on it.
These two photos show the difference between the Oatmeal Bread on right and the Molasses Oat Bread on the left. Flavor and color of the loaves is different, but I am pleased with the way each comes out.