I thought it was time I did something for my parish this year. I wanted to make something home made for the annual church bazaar tomorrow, instead of donating store-bought baked goods. I made four loaves of molasses and oat bread. Here they are:
I was pleased with the rise. I had four small loaf pans and when I divided the dough into four equal parts, they looked puny. I was afraid that they would not rise enough but…they did! I refrigerated them overnight and was surprised to see that even during refrigeration, the dough had risen some more.
The rich brown color of the loaves was visually appealing. This is a trick I learned from George Greenstein (Secrets of a Jewish Baker). He suggests doing two coats of the egg wash. The first coat must be air-dried, and then a second coat is applied right before the loaves go into the oven.
When Father Moon – our parish priest – reminded everyone last Sunday that Saturday’s bazaar can only be successful if everyone pitched in, I realized that I haven’t been as generous with my time as my fellow parishioners. Yes, of course, I’d attend Sunday mass and leave a little something for the collection box, but an inner voice kept nagging that I should play a more active role. Attending church service every Sunday is the easy part; helping the church accomplish its goals is harder. As motivational speakers say, it’s in the harder things that we force ourselves to do that take on more meaning.
After the loaves were baked, I wrapped them in transparent paper using the UNICEF stickers that I received a few days ago. I added tiny ribbons to “perk up” the appearance of the loaves and typed the ingredient list on yellow strips of paper. The recipe is from Canadian Living Magazine and was posted in an earlier blog (https://sotsil.wordpress.com/2009/07/25/holy-molly-molasses/). When I made these loaves the first time, I had used a thick cream wash. I think I prefer the two-coat egg wash of George Greenstein.
These were loaves before they were delivered to the parish:
I hope some parishioners buy them for the sake of the parish’s fund raising campaign (and for the sake of my ego).
My dream? That someone will take all four loaves and send them off to a shelter for homeless kids. I know I can make that dream come true myself. I should select a Montreal shelter next year and commit to provide bread. And…from now on, Father Moon and our parish can rely on me!