I make quick breads quite often. They are fast, easy, delicious and make the house smell great. I don’t often make real bread- with the yeast, and the kneading, and the rising… But, I get on these kicks where I want to make my own bread. There is something special about making bread. The act itself is very therapeutic but the feeling you get when your family eats it is just so very rewarding.
This is one of the first “real” breads I ever tried to make. It makes two loaves and I stupidly only made 1/2 a recipe when I first made it. The thought process at the time was that if it is bad I don’t want 2 loaves of it. Well, the first time I made it was probably the best it has ever turned out and I only had one loaf. So upsetting. And there is no difference between making a whole recipe or a half recipe; it is the same amount of work except for the one extra loaf pan that needs to be washed.
This recipe comes from the Joy of Cooking. It calls for cracked wheat. I couldn’t find cracked wheat. But, I know Ralston cereal is a wheat cereal. My mom made it for us often as kids. So, I went to the store and bought some Ralston cereal. I ground it up in my mini food processor and I won’t even try to look for cracked wheat again. It was so good this way, I’m sticking with it.
Warning: When I made this batch that is photographed below, I think I let the bread rise for too long. The bread was a little flimsy near the top when I sliced it so it was hard to use for sandwiches. This bread is normally a good bread for sandwiches so don’t let it rise too long. I don’t want you to have the same issue I did. But, whether your bread ends up a little flimsy or not- this bread makes THE BEST toast ever. Toast it until it is really nice and toasted, spread on some butter and drizzle with some honey. It is amazing!
makes two 9×5 inch loaves
3 c Water
1 c finely ground Ralston
3/4 c Milk
3 T Honey
2 T Butter
1 T Molasses
1 T Salt
1/4 c warm Water
2 pkgs (1 1/2 T) Active Dry Yeast
4 c All-Purpose Flour
2 c Whole Wheat Flour
Boil the 3 cups of water in a medium saucepan.
Once boiling, gradually add the Ralston while stirring, making sure there are no lumps.
Cook for about 7 minutes or until all the moisture is absorbed.
Remove from heat and stir in milk, honey, butter, molasses and salt. Mix until well combined.
Let the mixture cool.
When cooled, in a large bowl combine the 1/4 c of warm water and yeast packages. Let stand until the yeast is dissolved. About 5-10 minutes.
*Tip: If your yeast isn’t dissolving you can add just the littlest bit of sugar to “feed” the yeast. It might help. If it doesn’t, your water might be too hot and you may have killed the yeast. If that is the case, you will have to start this part over.
Stir the cooked cereal mixture into the dissolved yeast then gradually stir in all the flour.
Turn the dough onto a floured board and need for at least 10 minutes. I find that I need to keep adding a lot of flour to the board, my hands and the dough so it isn’t too sticky.
Place dough in an oiled bowl. Cover with a clean towel or some plastic wrap sprayed with Pam. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume; about 1 hour.
While waiting for the dough to rise, grease 2 loaf pans.
When the dough is risen, punch down, knead a few times and divide in half. Place the each half into a loaf pan and let rise again until doubled in volume; about 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350
Bake the bread for about 35-40 minutes.
Remove the loaves to a rack and cool completely.
So, so good!