WARNING: When baking this bread, it will make you salivate at the delicious aromas emanating from your oven. The wonderful depth of the black treacle (molasses) paired up with the buttery undertones, is reminiscent of either gingerbread or a parkin loaf baking.
When the loaf is finally done, you really have to wait about 10-15 minutes at least for it to cool slightly before cutting into it. I find this absolute torture – to me, it’s like forbidden fruit that you’re not supposed to eat. You should wait about 45-60 minutes, but after 10-15 minutes, it was fine.
On slicing, you’re greeted with a soft and tender loaf, where the slices still hold well. It has a very slight branny flavor, with a definite note of treacle (molasses). It goes exceptionally well with butter or extra mature (sharp) cheese.
WHEAT GERM BREAD
Makes 2 loaves
Adapted from “Bernard Clayton’s New Complete Book of Breads”, by Bernhard Clayton
- 420 ml (1 ¾ c) water
- 3 t sugar
- 1 ½ t salt
- 150 g (⅓ c) unsalted butter
- 115 g (⅓ c) black treacle (molasses)
- 1 ½ T dry active yeast
- 100 g (1 c) wheat germ
- 180 ml (¾ c) milk/milk substitute, 50-55°C (120-130°F)
- 600 g (4 c) whole-wheat flour
- 150-300 g (1-2 c) plain (all-purpose) flour
1. In a small saucepan, gently heat the water, sugar, salt, butter and molasses until the sugar dissolves and the butter melts. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to 40-45°C (105-115°F). Add the yeast and stir and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer – add the wheat germ and milk, stir to combine. Add the molasses liquid to the bowl.
3. With the dough hook attachment, stir the mixture on low speed until well incorporated.
4. Add 300 g (2 c) of the whole-wheat flour and 150 g (1 c) of the plain (all-purpose) flour and mix until well incorporated.
5. Add the remaining whole-wheat flour and knead on low. Continue to knead, whilst gradually adding the remaining plain (all-purpose) flour. You may not need to use all of it. The dough should be sticky (tacky), but the dough will leave the sides of the bowl whilst kneading.
6. Cover the bowl with cling-film (plastic wrap) and place in a warm spot until double in size, about 1 hour. Alternatively, you can put the dough in for a cold rise, that is, pop the bowl with the contents into the fridge over night. When you’re ready to proceed, take the dough out and allow to stand at room temperature (to take the chill off) for 1 hour before proceeding to step 7.
7. Punch the dough down and divide into two equal sized balls. Shape each balls to fit well-greased/parchment lined 11 ½ x 21 ½ cm (4 ½ x 8 ½ inch) loaf tins (pans). Cover each loaf loosely with cling-film (plastic wrap) and leave in a warm spot until double in size, about 60-90 minutes.
8. Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F 20 minutes before baking.
9. Bake the loaves in the middle of the oven for 35-45 minutes or until the loaf is deep brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the underside. Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing. Enjoy!