Have y’all heard of Food Not Bombs? It’s a great worldwide charity that does food drives for the hungry. When I was in high school, I used to bake this bread for Food Not Bombs every Sunday, and my friends would make soup or whatever, and we’d all hang out in the park and feed people.
Homeless people can be pretty fucking awesome by the way. Some of them were just poor, or disabled, some were brilliant and had Ph.Ds, and all of them had fascinating stories to tell. And if any of you, my belovèds, are homeless or experiencing hunger or know someone who is, contact your local Food Not Bombs organizer to find out when and where they hold food drives. They have them in many major cities, on every continent. Except Antarctica.
My mama taught me how to make this bread many many years ago, and it is ridiculously simple, nutritious, and even vegan. You can cut extra thick slices and have it with soft butter and a generous cut of aged cheddar cheese, or if you have a sweet tooth, spread it with soft butter and a drizzle of honey or cinnamon sugar!
RUSTIC WHOLE WHEAT BREAD
- 3 cups of warm water
- 2 tbs of instant yeast
- 1/2 cup of molasses or honey
- 2 cups of white flour
- 2 cups of whole wheat flour
- 4 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 3 more cups whole wheat flour
- Optional: handful of rolled oats
- Suggested music: John Lennon “Make Love Not War”
In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water and a tsp of the molasses or honey, and let it hang out (proof) for 5 minutes. It should be nice and bubbly. If it doesn’t froth, the poor little yeasties have died. Sad face. Hopefully that won’t happen, but if it does, just start over with some new yeast.
Next, add the rest of your molasses/honey, then add your flours, one cup at a time. Stir the whole mixture about 100 times (this is great for your triceps), then cover with a slightly damp cloth and let it rise in a warmish place for 1 hour.
Once it has riz (spring is sprung the grass is riz, I wonder where the birdies iz), add your salt, oil, and the last 3 cups of flour. Then on a clean and lightly floured surface, knead your dough, and then shape it into a ball, and brush the top with oil. Put it back in the bowl, cover it, and let it rise again for 30 minutes.
Heat your oven to 350ºF (175ºC). Grease your bread pan(s)- it depends on the size of your bread pan if it makes one or two loaves. Punch down the risen dough, shape it, and place it in the pan(s). Brush the top of the loaf with oil and sprinkle some oats on it. Bake for 50-60 minutes. You know the bread is done when you turn it out of the pan and tap on the bottom- it will sound hollow. Here is a demonstration of this technique.
Transfer the loaf to a cooling rack. Or screw it, don’t wait, and eat the bread warm. Because oven fresh bread is the best.