Buckwheat Sesame Molasses Bread
I have two versions to share- the original, yeastbread version, and if you scroll down, the sourdough version I made this week. This is a dense, hearty, dark, whole grain, crusty, peasant bread- which is just about all of the things I love in a bread. It has a strong flavor that can stand up to strong toppings, especially when you toast it- onions, garlic, cream cheese with chives, garlic, and pepper.
It is also delicious dipped in a balsamic vinegar and oil herb dressing.
What that means is that if you prefer soft, tender breads and want bread as much like storebought as possible, you will not like this. I like those, too, but I really enjoy breads that have a taste and texture that feels like it comes right out of a Grimm’s fairy tale. You know how the youngest son in the fairy tales gets sent off to the forest to chop wood and all he has in his lunch is some bread and wine? I like to think it was this bread. Sustaining stuff, that’s what this is.
Buckwheat Molasses Sesame Bread
1/4 cup molasses (I prefer blackstrap)
1 cup warm water
2 teaspoons dry yeast
2 cups buckwheat flour
2 cups rye flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup oil
1 cup water
Mix 1/4 cup molasses and 1 cup lukewarm water. Add yeast.
Let soak a few minutes.
Combine the flour, salt, and sesame seeds in a bowl.
Add 1/4 cup of oil and 1 cup water, blending well.
Add molasses-yeast mixture and work it into dough with hands. It will be sticky.
Form dough into a ball, place in oiled bowl, then turn dough over, so top is coated with oil. Cover bowl with damp cloth and let rise in warm place for 3 hours until double in bulk.
Knead dough and form into 2 round loaves on cookie sheets. Let rise an additional 45-60 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 F.
Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes or until done (it should be brown, and the bottom should sound hollow when you tap on it).
Makes two round loaves. Scroll down further for another method of baking this bread.
Sourdough buckwheat molasses bread
Combine in a bowl:
1/4 cup molasses
2 cups each buckwheat, rye, and whole wheat flours
1 tsp salt
3 1/2 cups of sourdough starter
1/4 cup of oil (I used sesame oil this time, but I have used olive oil or melted butter in the past and both were tasty)
Stir well- if the dough is too dry, add plain yogurt or some buttermilk. If it’s too wet, add a little more flour.
Stir well, kneading if necessary, and when you have a smooth but lightly sticky batch of dough, lightly rub some additional oil over the dough, cover well, and let this set….
How long? How sour do you like your sourdough? You should let it set at least 12 hours, or overnight. I like mine very sour, and I like this bread with a strong flavour to be very strong indeed, so I ended up letting it set for 72 hours. I checked on it every day, punching it down, kneading it a bit, and rubbing more oil on the top. The bowl was sealed with its own lid to keep the dough from drying out- which it can easily do.
At the end of 72 hours I punched it down again, kneaded it well, and then rolled it into two long loaves, slashing the loaves diagonally. I put them on a greased baking sheet. I let them rise, covered, in a warm oven for about 90 minutes. Then I baked them at 350 for 40 minutes, and left them in the oven while the oven cooled.
The crust is pleasantly crusty, and the bread is dense, hearty, and soft and chewy in the middle- not fluffy-soft, but chewy-soft.
My husband loves them this way. My son-in-law Shasta says they’d be good with cream cheese and chives.
I think it’s okay this way, but I have a word I like to use for bread like this.
I prefer to take the loaf and treat it like biscotti- I slice it thin, and then put the pieces in the oven until toasted, then I turn them over and toast them again.
It’s a little less crunchy than melba toast or croutons in the middle. The outside edge is just about like a crouton. In other words, perfect.
Cream cheese, green onion, garlic powder, smoked paprika, dash red pepper, cheddar cheese
The first time I baked it this way, it was kind of an accident. I just meant to warm some up, but I forgot about while taking care of other things. I loved how it turned out. Now, nobody else in my family is a fan. But we happened to have company over that night who saw my ‘mistake’ and begged to try it- they loved it. They raved about it. They said when they had lived in Europe, this was the kind of bread they found in neighborhood bakeries, and they missed it.
I’ll have to share a picture of the toasted slices later. I toasted four slices and brought them back to my room with me, along with my dinner. I was going to eat my dinner and take pictures of those toasted slices of sesame buckwheat bread, but you already know what I did, don’t you?
They were so, so good.
It was good for breakfast, too.