Sara Foster's Molasses Brown Bread
This recipe comes from The Foster's Market Cookbook by Sara Foster. You may recognize her name from the June issue of Bon Appetite, or, if you're in the Durham/Chapel Hill area as the owner of Foster's Market. This book has been on my radar for a while now, but it wasn't until Julie of Peanut Butter and Julie suggested I check it out that I finally did. (By the way, have you been over to Julie's blog yet? If not, go now! Well, finish this post, and then go. She's got great recipes and hints and tricks at the beginning of each. Her blog is a gold-mine, seriously.) Anyway, I don't actually know Ms. Foster (as Julie does, lucky girl!), but she has quite a c.v. Catering for Martha Stewart (who wrote the forward to her book), cooking at Charcuterie in SoHo (now closed), and working with Jonathan Waxman (who's book A Great American Cook I have used quite a bit and hope to profile here soon), all before striking out on her own with the immensely popular Foster's Market.
Since I've never been to the actual Foster's, I can only describe her food based on what I've seen in the book. To that end, I'd say she has a way with creative, but very homey food, based on fresh ingredients (is that a little bit of California coming through?!) and inventive twists on the classics.
For my first foray into the book, I chose to make this Molasses Brown Bread, a quick bread which Ms. Foster likens to an Irish brown bread. Don't be fooled by the molasses, however, this is a savory bread, one which we've already smothered in honey, slathered with raspberry jam and filled with sandwich fixings. I'd say it definitely lives up to Foster's description of it as being "incredibly versatile." Her recipe calls for 2 9x5" loaf pans, but I only have one. So instead, I made one normal loaf and a bunch of mini loaves. Actually, I really loved the minis, they were just the right size, split in half, for sandwiches and you get a high crust to crumb ratio, which is always a bonus. If you go the mini rout, they only take about 25 minutes to bake.
(Who is that little sneaker? Stealthy this one, isn't she!)
Molasses Brown Bread
3 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 large egg
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup molasses
3 cup buttermilk
Oven preheated to 375, grease your pans (this recipe makes enough for two 9x5" loaves, or one loaf and a tray a minis).
Mix the flours, salt and baking soda in a large bowl. Whisk the egg, sugar, molasses and buttermilk in another bowl until well combined. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and combine just until everything is well blended. Pour the mixture into your prepared pans and bake 40-45 minutes for a 9x5" loaf and 25-30 minutes for the minis. The toothpick text will tell you when they're done.
Let your bread rest for around 15 minutes before removing from the pans. Enjoy!
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The fiancé and I both really loved this bread. We managed to polish off all of the minis in half a day! I found it was perfect dipping bread for the rest of the gazpacho and he ate little sandwiches all day long.