Maybe you have been too nervous to try bread before, but believe me, this is a good one to start with. It is quick and easy, only needs to be kneaded once, rises once and doesn’t require any special pans or techniques.
I modified it from an old Fleischmann’s Yeast recipe booklet that my mom had years ago. They had just introduced the “quick rise” yeast and wanted to give home bakers some recipes that used the new quick rise technique – gotta love marketing! ;-).
Of all the recipes from that booklet, this is the only one that I return to again and again. It is that good. In fact, I entered this into a local baking contest a few years ago and won first place in the bread category. Traditionally all baked goods were auctioned off at the end of the weekend and apparently this loaf was so coveted, it finally sold for $14.00! I hope whoever bought it thoroughly enjoyed it!
- 1 cup multi-grain Red River Cereal
- 1 ½ cups hot water
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
- 1 envelope quick-rise instant yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 TBSP sugar
- ¼ cup molasses
- 2 TBSP butter
- 1 egg
- Mix cereal and hot water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Set aside 1 cup of flour.
- Mix 2 cups flour, yeast, salt and sugar in a large bowl.
- Add molasses and butter to cereal & water mixture. Stir until butter is fully melted. Test the mixture with your finger. If it feels like a warm (not hot) bath, the correct temperature has been reached. Stir a bit longer, if it is too warmer heat it up again if it is too cold.
- Mix wet ingredients into the dry ingredients with a wooden spoon.
- Add egg and mix again.
- Mix more of the reserved flour into the dough until it doesn't stick to the side of the bowl. (If you need to add a bit more flour, that's ok.) You may also need to use your hands by this point.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface to knead for 5 minutes. (This helps get the texture of the bread right, so don't skimp out on this!)
- Shape into a 6" round and place on a greased baking sheet.
- Pour boiling water into the bowl you mixed the dough in (about half way up the side) and place the baking sheet and dough on top.
- If you want to get fancy with the top, cut a design in the top with a sharp knife ⅛" to ¼" depth. This will grow in size, so adjust accordingly.
- Cover the dough with a greased plastic sheet and tea towel. Set aside in a warm, draft-free area and rise for 35 minutes.
- Bake at 375 F for 35-40 minutes. You can test if it is done by knocking on the bread. If it sounds hollow, it is finished.
- Cool on a rack until you can't stand it anymore and you have to cut a piece for a snack.
- If you want the top to look extra special and shiny, you can combine 1 egg white with 1 TBSP of water and brush the top of the loaf with it just before you put it in the oven.
- I use an old bread bag or milk bag, cut open and sprayed with Pam, to cover my dough as it rises. It keeps it from drying out and the tea towel helps to trap some warmth for rising.
I did not remember that this bread is so fast and easy. As a result, I didn’t make it for a couple of years. But we had company come over last weekend and I needed one last quick side to finish off the meal. I’m so glad I made it again because I had forgotten just how tasty it is. The molasses darkens up the colour so you think it is pumpernickel, but it has a slight sweetness unlike other breads you may have tried. The Red River cereal adds a great texture and really crisps up on the crust (which I really like to crunch!).
I hope you try this very easy recipe. I am certain you won’t be disappointed. Let me know how yours turned out and how your family and friends liked it.
P.S. This bread is best enjoyed within 24 hours of baking – ideally just shortly after it comes out of the oven. And trust me, the smell will drive you crazy, so you will want to sample it right away.