21 April 2011

What to do with molasses?

Way back when I went shopping for bagel ingredients, namely barley malt syrup, I noticed molasses right next to it. And I thought (a not uncommon occurrence, despite what some may believe) that it might come in handy. Molasses cookies are delicious; surely, there must be a wealth of molasses-based recipes to use this substance on. As is often the case, I was wrong. Between my two bread books, I have two recipes that use molasses. One of those lists it as optional. The other one didn't look very good. Well, shit.
Except whats that? That looks pretty good! I just took some whole wheat bread recipes, subbed molasses for the sugar, and called it good. Turns out that works pretty well, although the molasses hits really strong if you do 1-for-1 substitutions. A 50% whole wheat 50% white wheat mix seems best, and on the liquidy (rustic) side of doughs. The part that seems most important is to dissolve the yeast/salt/molasses into your water before adding it to the flour, but otherwise just follow directions.
Highly recommend the bread be served with honey or jam; potentially even including orange zest or dried fruit directly in the dough. In fact, that sounds like a good next-step. Also, making shortbread with molasses because why not.

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