Whole Wheat Molasses Loaf

Often, when eating quick breads, I can’t quite shake that guilty feeling that what I’m eating isn’t cake.

Especially since quick breads and cakes do have a lot in common: they’re leavened with chemicals (baking soda, baking powder, cream of tartar) instead of yeast, they go into the oven as a batter before they bake, and they’re often sweet.

But quick breads have good points, too: they’re particularly good for people who need want bread and need it to be, y’know, quick!

Would it be faster for a hard-pressed-for-time student to pop on over to the supermarket and pick up a loaf of Wonderbread?

Sure, it could be — but then I’d probably get distracted along the way and not come back for hours and hours.

Quick bread is 20% prep time and 80% bake time — which leaves me an extra hour to spend on writing papers… hooray?

So, here’s another good point: when you make your own quick bread, and you get to know exactly what’s in it — as in, no creepy, unpronounceable preservatives.

Which brings me to my final good point: this molasses loaf is easily “veganized”, too — just substitute a soy milk and tablespoon of white vinegar for the yogurt, and you’ve got a healthy bread on your hands!

This particularly lovely, caramel-coloured bread is full of texture (from the cornmeal) and only a touch of sweetness.

Whole Wheat Molasses Loaf

*adapted from The New York Times

Ingredients

  • 1 & 2/3 cups plain yogurt or buttermilk
  • 2/3 cup fancy molasses
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup corn meal
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger

Directions

Remove your yogurt or buttermilk from the fridge at least one hour before starting this recipe — giving it a chance to warm up will allow it to blend with the molasses more easily.

Preheat the oven to 325°F (or 165°C). Grease and flour a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan.

In a large bowl sift together the flours, cornmeal, ginger, baking soda, and salt.

In another bowl, whisk together the plain yogurt and molasses until smooth and well blended.

Pour the yogurt + molasses mixture over the dry ingredients. Gently fold together until no large streaks of flour remain.

Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf pan, smooth out the top of the batter, and pop in the oven.

Bake for 55 ~ 60 minutes, or until the top crust is firm and a tooth pick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Let the loaf rest in the pan for at least 20 minutes or so before removing it and allowing to cool completely.

Once you can’t wait any longer, cut yourself a generous slice and slather with tangy cream cheese and crushed walnuts for a delicious treat! Yum!

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