When I was growing up in Canada, weekends would often bring Baked Bean Suppers. These would be held at Church Halls, Volunteer Fire Dept Halls and Community Centers all through the beautiful Annapolis Valley where I lived. There were not too many people who could resist the temptation of a Baked Bean Supper, cooked by all the best cooks in the community.
These were fabulous social occasions and wonderful fund raisers. People got to enjoy a really tasty and filling meal, catch up on all of the local gossip and help to raise funds for local needs all at the same time. They have always been win/win/win situations!
Ther would always be plenty of delicious food on offer. Oven Baked Ham, Scalloped Potatoes, Home Baked Beans, pickles and relishes, home baked brown bread, usually an apple pie or crisp for dessert and plenty of tea and coffee to go around. Brown Bread and Beans . . . a marriage made in heaven.
Brown Bread is one of those fabulous breads that goes wonderfully with the soups, stews and bakes of colder weather. It's delicious and wholesome . . . and lightly sweetened with molasses and sugar . . . the molasses helping to give it that characteristic golden color and beautiful flavor.
I've never been really good at baking yeast breads myself . . . I don't think I have the kneading power to make it really light and fluffy. My ex husband used to bake all our bread and our kitchen table would dance across the kitchen floor under his ministrations . . . and his bread was lovely.
I can make batter bread though, which is a lot easier and takes no needing. This recipe for Brown Bread is a Batter Bread. You simply mix all the ingredients in a bowl, let it rise, stir it down, pop it into two bread pans, let it rise again and then bake it.
Your reward?? A delicious, nicely textured, wholesome bread that your family will love. And it is perfect with Baked Beans of any kind . . . stews and soups too.
*Brown Batter Bread*
Makes 2 loaves
A beautiful golden colored bread with a delicious, slightly sweet flavor, and fine crumb. Perfect with soups, stews or baked beans!
2 tsp granulated sugar
125ml of warm water (1/2 cup)
8g of active dry yeast (1/4 oz packet)
300ml of milk (1 1/4 cups)
60ml of molasses (1/4 cup)
50g of granulated sugar (1/4 cup)
115g of butter (1/2 cup)
2 tsp salt
2 large free range eggs, at room temperature
325g of whole wheat flour (2 1/2 cups)
300g of plain flour (3 cups)
2 tsp softened butter to brush on top of baked bread
Stir the first amount of sugar into the warm water in a small bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over top, and let stand for 10 minutes. Stir to dissolve the yeast.
Scald the milk in a saucepan. Remove from the stove and stir in the molasses, sugar, butter and salt. Allow the butter to melt, then cool the mixture down to lukewarm. (To scald milk place it in a saucepan and heat just until bubbles appear at the edges.) Stir in the yeast mixture. Pour into a large bowl and then beat in the eggs. Gradually beat in both flours. Cover with a greased piece of cling film and a clean tea towel. Let stand in a warm place for about 1 1/4 hours until doubled in size. Stir the batter down and then divide the batter between 2 well greased loaf tins. cover with the greased cling film and the tea towel again and let rise for 1 hour longer, until doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 190*C/375*F/gas mark 5. Bake the loaves for 30 to 35 minutes, or until they sound hollow on the bottom when turned out of the pan. Turn out onto racks to cool, brushing the warm tops with the second amount of butter. Once cold, store tightly covered.