Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Moosilauke Whole Wheat Batter Bread

Ed and I spent a wonderful (though very cold) night at the Moosilauke Ravine Lodge recently.  The food as always was yummy but for me the highlights were the Whole Wheat Batter Bread at dinner and the Sticky Buns** at breakfast.  John, one of the crew members, gave me the recipe for the bread, adapted from Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads.  After reading the recipe, I asked John what gave the bread the wonderful topping.  He said he had topped the hot bread with some micro-waved honey and a handful of oats.

Because this bread is so easy to make, and because bread for sandwiches is often hard to find when cruising,  I'm eager to try this recipe (without honey topping) on the boat next summer!

NOTE:  This recipe makes 2 medium loaves of bread.

Grease (I used butter) 2 medium 8" x 4" bread pans.

In a large mixing bowl combine:

6 c whole wheat flour [Dip and sweep if you measure. I weigh and use ~ 30.6 ounces King Arthur Whole Wheat Flour*]
1/4 c sugar
1 t salt
2 packages [4 1/2 t] dry yeast [or 3 t instant dry yeast*]

Mix well. Gradually pour in

3 1/2 c warm (120 - 130 degrees F) water

Mix, about 50 strokes, to blend.

Divide the batter between the two greased bread pans.

Cover each pan with waxed paper [buttered on the side that touches the bread] and let sit 30 minutes.

Preheat oven [not convection mode* though Mr. Clayton advises "if using a convection oven, reduce heat 40 degrees for each bake period"] to 400 degrees F. Put a small pan on the bottom shelf.

After the bread has risen for 30 minutes, place pans on middle rack in 400 degrees F oven. When putting bread in the oven put 8-12 ice cubes in the small pre-heated pan.* Cook for 15 minutes then

REDUCE HEAT to 350 degrees F and cook for an additional 45 minutes. Remove bread from oven.

Let cool a few minutes then remove bread from pan and place on wire rack to cool.  If the Moosilauke honey-oatmeal topping is desired, warm in microwave

3 T honey

Using a pastry brush, spread over the top of the loaves, then sprinkle top of loaf with

2 - 3 T oatmeal



© 2012 Edward C Kern, Jr.
And what did we do to work off all this delicious food?  A morning hike up Mount Moosilauke.  While the low forty degree F temperatures, brisk wind and clouds shrouding the top of the mountain gave us pause, our decision to hike was well rewarded.  The hike up Gorge Brook Trail was sheltered from the wind and as we approached the summit, the clouds lifted and the sun came out briefly, illuminating small spruce and grasses covered with snow.  Indeed a magical moment!





© 2012 Edward C Kern, Jr.
* If you nail this recipe, and hopefully you will,  cool :-) If you wish you'd done better, for a wandering discussion on how I finally made a loaf comparable to Moosilauke's see Notes on Bread-making.

** The recipe for the Sticky Buns (in progress, photo at left), for now at least, did not make the Cook's Cache cut - too much butter and much more complicated than this bread to prepare.  The recipe, adapted from the King Arthur Cookbook, can be found in the Famous for Fine Food and Favorite Recipes from Moosilauke Ravine Lodge.

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