When I was younger, Thanksgiving was an opportunity to scout out a new recipe and try it out with my family. I have collected plenty of delicious recipes from Thanksgivings past, ranging from a butternut squash gratin to an apricot and fennel stuffing. Why am I mentioning Thanksgiving in September? Well, one such Thanksgiving, probably almost 10 years ago now, I found a recipe for something called “brown bread”. It sounded interesting and easy, so I decided to try it. Since then, it has become a regular at Thanksgiving as well as other times of the year when I want an easy and tasty loaf of bread.
Don’t let the rather bland name confuse you. This bread is moist and hearty with a slightly sweet and smokey flavor from the combination of brown sugar and molasses. It is a quick bread, so it requires no yeast or rising time. You can go from mixing bowl to a warm loaf of baked bread in an hour or less. I have changed this recipe a bit so that it is healthier, but I think the original may have come off of epicurious if you are interested in trying to look it up. Normally I enjoy this bread with some jam or butter (or a mixture of both), but I bet it would make some awesome french toast.
makes 1 loaf
3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp fine grain sea salt
1/3 to 2/3 cups packed brown sugar, depending on how sweet you want it
1/4 cup unsulphured molasses
2 cups lowfat buttermilk
1 tbsp wheat bran (opt.)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Grease and flour a regular sized loaf pan and line with parchment paper to ensure your bread doesn’t stick. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and brown sugar. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and molasses until combined. Add the buttermilk mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Pour the dough into your prepared pan and sprinkle the top with wheat bran if you would like. Bake in the middle of the oven until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 50-60 minutes. Enjoy!