Friday, September 25, 2020

A Taste of Home ~ Nova Scotia Brown Bread

Being stranded at home by Covid-19 has had its advantages.
For one thing, I've revived my early bread baking skills, much to Terry's delight.
I've made multiple batches of delicious white and whole wheat bread.
The flavor and texture of homemade bread is so much better than store-bought,
and the investment of time and energy in baking bread is well worth it.
    
I felt confident and empowered last Sunday morning,
so I decided to tackle a recipe for Nova Scotia Brown Bread.
My sister Barb sent me her favorite recipe for this traditional bread.
She's been on the hunt, trying this recipe and that, tinkering and adjusting,
until she created the taste she remembered.
Our great grandmother Cossaboom made the best brown bread,
and Barb is a master baker like her.




If you haven't tasted 
Nova Scotia Brown Bread,
you have missed out on a
scrumptious treat.
It goes especially well
with homemade baked beans.

© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved


If you would like to make this Nova Scotian treat, I'll walk you through the process.
Don't be intimidated by the thought of making bread.  It's really easy.
All it requires is a commitment of about three hours.

Nova Scotia Brown Bread:
Ingredients:
1½ cups quick rolled oats (I substituted old-fashioned rolled oats by pulsing them a few times in a food processor.) 
2 cups boiling water
½ tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon shortening  (I substituted 1 tablespoon butter.)
1 tablespoon quick-acting yeast
½ cup warm water
1 teaspoon white sugar 
¾ cup molasses  (I used "blackstrap" molasses, but if I were home in the Maritimes, I'd use Crosby’s Molasses!) 
4-5 cups white flour  (I used almost 6 cups.)

Ingredients
September 20, 2020
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved
 
Steps:
1.  Mix together rolled oats, salt, and shortening in a large bowl.  Pour in boiling water and
     stir.  Let this oat mixture stand until lukewarm, about 15 minutes.

2.  In a separate bowl gently combine yeast, sugar, and warm water.  Let it rise for 10
     minutes.

Oat Mixture Cooling, Yeast Rising
September 20, 2020
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved




3.  When the oat mixture is lukewarm, add the molasses and mix well. Do not add the
     molasses when the oat mixture is too hot, or it will change the texture and
     require more flour.

Stirring in Molasses, Yeast Rising
September 20, 2020
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved




4.  Add yeast mixture to molasses-oat mixture.  Add one cup of the white flour.  Beat well.

Molasses-Oat Mixture, Flour, and Yeast Mixture
September 20, 2020
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved




5.  Keep adding white flour in one cup increments up to 4 or 5 cups.  As you get near
     the end, you may need to use your hands to work the flour in.  If the dough is really
     sticking to your hands, keep working in a little more flour at a time until it isn't. 
      (Have some extra flour in a separate bowl.  I had to call Terry for help because I didn't have any extra flour out, and my hands were covered with globby, sticky mittens of dough ~ LOL.  I don't know if it was altitude, humidity, or what, but I needed almost 6 cups of white flour.  The dough will feel tacky, but not sticky, when enough flour is worked in.  Mom used to say the dough would feel like a baby's bum.)

6.  Kneed bread for 10 minutes, dusting surface with flour if needed.
     (This is a great way to release excess energy or frustration!  I like punching it down with my fists.)

7.  Place dough in a greased bowl, cover with a towel, and let the dough rise in a warm
     spot until it doubles in size.  It takes about 60 minutes.  
     (Be aware that it might take a little less time or a little more.  You want a doubling in volume.)

Dough Rising ~ Pick a Spot Without Drafts
September 20, 2020
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved




8.  When the dough has risen, divide it into four equal-sized pieces and form the pieces
     into balls.  Place 2 balls in one greased bread pan and the remaining 2 balls in a
     second greased pan.  Let the dough rise until double in size.  It takes about
     45 minutes.  Preheat oven for 350º F while dough is rising in the pans.       
     (Again, it might take a little less time or a little more.  A doubling in volume is what you want.  
      I like to baste the dough with melted butter, but that isn't necessary.)

Butter-Basted Loaves Ready for the Oven
September 20, 2020
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved




9.  Bake bread for 35-40 minutes.  The loaves are done when they are well-browned on
     top.  If you tap a loaf, it should sound hollow.  Carefully remove the pans from the 
         oven wearing oven mitts.  Tip each pan onto a cooling rack.  If the loaves are done,
     they should slide right out of the pans.  Cool on racks.

Cooled and Read to Enjoy
September 20, 2020
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved




10.  When loaves are cooled, they can be sliced with a bread (serrated) knife.  A loaf
       will last for a week in the refrigerator.  Loaves can also be frozen.  
       (This bread is so yummy that you can eat a slice with nothing on it.  Barb and my Aunt Mary Lou say it makes the best grilled cheese sandwiches ever.  Sounds perfect for a Saturday night supper.)

        
Cheers to Sisters Everywhere!
Barb and I
August 2019
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved




Have a safe and happy weekend ~ Bake some bread!





    Till next time ~
    Fundy Blue

     On the Bay of Fundy
       © M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
       All Rights Reserved










Just the Recipe:


Nova Scotia Brown Bread:
Ingredients:
1½ cups quick rolled oats 
2 cups boiling water
½ tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon shortening  
1 tablespoon quick-acting yeast
½ cup warm water
1 teaspoon white sugar 
¾ cup molasses  
4-5 cups white flour  

Steps:
1.  Mix together rolled oats, salt, and shortening in a large bowl.  Pour in boiling water and
     stir.  Let this oat mixture stand until lukewarm, about 15 minutes.

2.  In a separate bowl gently combine yeast, sugar, and warm water.  Let it rise for 10
     minutes.

3.  When the oat mixture is lukewarm, add the molasses and mix well. Do not add the
     molasses when the oat mixture is too hot, or it will change the texture and
     require more flour.

4.  Add yeast mixture to molasses-oat mixture.  Add one cup of the white flour.  Beat well.

5.  Keep adding white flour in one cup increments up to 4 or 5 cups.  As you get near
     the end, you may need to use your hands to work the flour in.  If the dough is really
     sticking to your hands, keep working in a little more flour at a time until it isn't
     sticking. 

6.  Kneed bread for 10 minutes, dusting surface with flour if needed.

7.  Place dough in a greased bowl, cover with a towel, and let the dough rise in a warm
     spot until it doubles in size.  It takes about 60 minutes.  

8.  When the dough has risen, divide it into four equal-sized pieces and form the pieces
     into balls.  Place 2 balls in one greased bread pan and the remaining 2 balls in a
     second greased pan.  Let the dough rise until double in size.  It takes about
     45 minutes.  Preheat oven for 350º F while dough is rising in the pans.       
     
9.  Bake bread for 35-40 minutes.  The loaves are done when they are well-browned on
     top.  If you tap a loaf, it should sound hollow.  Carefully remove the pans from the
     oven wearing oven mitts.  Tip each pan onto a cooling rack.  If the loaves are done,
     they should slide right out of the pans.  Cool on racks.


10.  When loaves are cooled, they can be sliced with a bread (serrated) knife.  A loaf
       will last for a week in the refrigerator.  Loaves can also be frozen. 
    

19 comments:

  1. Brown bread but no brown flour - interesting.
    I can just see you covered in dough and trapped!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was pretty funny ~ Lesson learned! Have a great weekend, Alex!

      Delete
  2. I've been on a bread making spree, too! (That's what you do when the only yeast you could find last April was a pound of it on Amazon. LOL) I hope active dry works, as that's all I have. I might even try it today.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It should work just fine, Diane! Have a great weekend!

      Delete
  3. Replies
    1. I have been, Debra! Have a happy weekend with your Rare One! Wishing you a 29 hand if you play crib!

      Delete
  4. Yeast here during our lockdown was so hard to find anywhere, if we did get a jar it was shared all round the neighbours and friends. The loaves look extra tasty, and you are so right, there is nothing to compare with the aroma and taste of home-made.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't seen any yeast since early March. Fortunately, my sister Bertie sent me 2 pounds from Nova Scotia in early June, so I'm good to go. No one around me bakes bread. Back in Canada is a different matter. Now I have to find a Calgary cheese bun recipe. That's my sister Donnie's favorite. Have a happy and safe weekend. I hope that you and Hugh are well back to yourselves! Hugs to you both!

      Delete
  5. Oh, that looks so good! You make it look easy. What am I saying? That looks totally complicated! 😂

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is so good, Sandi! It's not that complicated. I just gave lots of tips ~ LOL Right now I'm baking cranberry orange biscotti. I'm ruined! I hope all is well with you and yours!

      Delete
  6. My grandfather used to make it quite a bit. Never tried it though as my body would have a complete fit.

    haha so you had frustration to release? Poor bread. What did it ever do to you?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How cool, Pat. I had a great uncle who was a good cook and baker. He and my Great Aunt Louise made Nova Scotia Brown Bread. I'm grateful that I've had time to recreate this delicious bread from my past. My body is having fits in a different way. I'm craving it! The bread talks to me from the fridge. It's getting even! LOL Have a great weekend!

      Delete
  7. I would love this so much, you have no idea! Alas, my Richard has celiac disease and our house is gluten free! (I can eat bread but of course, I am a good wife and never eat any in front of him!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Poor Richard! From what I hear celiac disease is no fun. And, of course, you are a good wife because you have a huge heart. I hope that you are all doing well!

      Delete
  8. It looks delicious. The last time I baked bread, I set it on the kitchen counter to cool. One of the dogs stole it. Only a few minutes went by, but the bread was completely gone.

    Love,
    Janie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Smart dog, Janie! LOL We had a dog who was stealing mom's pies. Bread, pies ~ hard to resist for dogs or humans! I hope all is well with you! Sending you a big hug!

      Delete
  9. I've never made bread your post have given me the incentive, must try it.

    Yvonne.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay! Homemade bread is so yummy, Yvonne! I hope that you had a lovely weekend!

      Delete
  10. That was fun to read.
    Baking bread is the best.
    I recently started to use molasses
    in my bread and I LOVE IT.
    Oats are always good too.
    I love tossing oats and oat flour
    into my batches of dough.
    Wishing you more yummy days ahead.
    Cheers and boogie boogie.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for your comments! I appreciate the time and energy you put into making them very much.