Saturday, October 16, 2010

Super Easy Brown Bread

I love my cast iron skillet. We received one for a wedding present (thanks cousin Elizabeth!) and I am amazed at how much I use it. It was one of the gift that Aaron really wanted us to get because he had read about cast iron skillet cooking in GQ I think. I really didn't know much about them except that are good to use for cooking because some of the iron leaches into food, increasing iron content of the food. Now  I use it at least once a week, and today I have already used it twice!
A favorite Saturday breakfast item for us is "skillet pancake." Heat the oven to 450 degrees and place cast iron skillet in oven to heat. Once oven is heated, melt 1 tbsp butter in skillet. While oven is heating mix together- 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup milk, 2 eggs and a pinch of salt. Whip well and pour into hot skillet. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes. Cut into slices and enjoy! We especially love it with Nuttela and fresh strawberries.
Recently I saw a recipe on Dave Lebovitz's blog about  brown bread. It sounded delicious and easy, so I gave it a try with a couple of little twist on Dave's recipe- one being I baked it in my cast iron skillet! Who knew you could bake bread in a pan, but you definitely can. It  turned out great and I think you will enjoy it too! It went great with minestrone soup. Enjoy!

Brown Bread
adapted from David Lebovitz
 *I recommend weighing the ingredients if you have a food scale at home

2 1/4 cups (250g) whole wheat flour
2 3/4 cups (120g) wheat bran or wheat germ, (I used 120g of ground flax seed instead)
4 cups (500g) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt (I used kosher salt)
2 ounces (60g) butter, salted or unsalted
2 1/2 cups (600ml) buttermilk*
2 teaspoons molasses
1. Put the rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350ºF. (180ºC.) Line a sturdy baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat and put it on the oven rack.(or use a cast iron skillet like I did)
2. Mix the whole wheat flour, white flour, ground flax, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.

3. Cut the butter into little bits and rub them into small pieces with the flour mixture using your fingers (or a pastry cutter), until as small as possible.
5. Stir in the buttermilk and molasses until the dough is uniformly damp. Turn out onto a lightly floured countertop and knead not-too-vigorously, until the dough forms a smooth ball. (If making two, divide the dough into two equal-sized pieces and roll each separately.)
6. Use a sharp serrated knife to slice a cross deeply into the top of the bread, about 1-inch (3cm) deep. Place the brown bread loaf on the hot baking sheet, being mindful that the baking pan is hot.
7. Bake for 45 minutes (mine took closer to 60 minutes), or until the loaf is firm on top and when you tap the bottom, feels hollow.
8. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack for one hour.
*If you do not have buttermilk, like me, I added 1 tbsp lemon juice to the milk and let it sit for about 5 minutes or you can mix equal parts plain yogurt and milk according to Dave.


  1. Loving it Laura!! This is gonna sound crazy but I've been blog-stalking you for awhile and figured it was time to reconnect and say hi! My blog is over at Just samples of my design work and whatever else comes to mind!

  2. Hi Jess! Hope you guys are doing well! I will check out your site too :)


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