Coffee-bran bread

"It's slammin!" -- Austin Heitzman

(After The Wooden Spoon Bread Book, by Marilyn Moore)

Combine and let cool:
  • 1 cup coffee
  • 1 1/2 cups hot milk
  • 1/2 cup soft or melted butter
  • 3/4 cup dark-brown sugar
  • 1 cup bran or all-bran cereal
  • 1 tablespoon salt

    In another container, combine:
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar or brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger

    When coffee mixture has cooled below 115 degrees, add it to yeast mixture and add:
  • 1 cup wheat flour
  • 3 cups bread flour

    Beat well -- at least 100 strokes. Start adding gradually:
  • 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

    Turn the dough out on a countertop as soon as it looks ready. Start kneading, adding flour by the handful until the dough is pleasantly elastic and not too sticky if you poke a finger in. Knead at least 10 minutes. Then shape the dough into a ball and put it into a large, oiled bowl, turning to oil the outside of the ball. Cover with a clean dish towel.

    Let dough rise in a warm place till more than doubled in size. Punch down and shape into three loaves, either to fit greased loaf pans or to put on greased and lightly cornmealed cookie sheets. Let rise again 45 minutes to an hour. Bake at 375 degrees 35 to 40 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer registers about 200 degrees. Remove loaves from pans and cool on a wire rack.

    BREADMAKING TIP: The best thing you can do for yourself if you intend to make bread regularly is find some good loaf pans (I have four "professional" loaf pans from Williams-Sonoma -- they're about $14 each -- and I swear by them), as well as a thermometer and a $2.50 plastic dough scraper, which you'll wonder how you ever lived without.

    Three loaves

    Coffee-bran loaves at Camp Windsor Hill, Rangeley Lake, Maine, July 2001.