Cyndilu’s BrownSugar and Molasses Scottish Sponge Bread

by Cyndilu Miller on August 31, 2014

in Healthy Family Choices, Recipes

Scottish Sponge Bread – Recipe

Warning – this recipe a 2 day process!!! For the first 12 to 16 hours the sponge ferments with no additional attention required; then it is made into the larger dough, which rises twice, for an hour each time. The dough is then divided and shaped, allowed to rise once more, and baked.

Day One – Making the Sponge

1-2 teaspoons active dry yeast
¼ cup warm water ~ 115-120 degrees F

6 cups high gluten flour (bread flour we use fresh milled wheat berry flour)
1 tablespoon salt – (we use Himalayan Harvest Natural Mineral Salt)

2 ½ cups cold water
¼ cup brown sugar with just enough water to make it liquid (you may also use malt syrup or other sweetener)

Preparing the Sponge:
For the 16-18 hour stand (fermenting) option use the lesser amount of yeast and VERY cold (40 degree F – refrigerated if needed to reach this temp) water
For the 10-12 hour stand (fermenting) option use the larger amount of yeast and cold water (about 50 degrees F)

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water
Combine the flour and salt – you may sift together or simply stir well – the key is to be sure that the salt is distributed through the flour.
Make a well in the middle of the flour
Add the cold water, the yeast/warm water mix and the sweetener, mix them all into a medium stiff dough (If you are doing this by hand knead the sponge by hand for 10 minutes only. We use a dough hook and mix about 8 minutes – enough time for developing to trap the gas – you will knead it more later when you make the bread so you do not want to develop it fully now.
Place the sponge in a container large enough to hold about three times its bulk. Cover it closely to protect the top from drying out and place in a cool, draft free place. (we just store it in a cool cupboard for the night) A sponge is ready when it has fully risen and begun to fall back or recede in the bowl. (It will, in fact, look very spongy) There is a range of several hours during which you can go on to the next step of making the bread and still get good results!

Day Two – Making and Baking the Loaves day!

Here is a picture that will make your mouth water with anticipation of this bread. A Scottish Sponge Loaf of Bread.

mmm mmm rich moist yummy bread!

3 ½ cups warm water (similar temp as earlier)
4 ½ teaspoons salt (we used sea salt crystals in this stage and dissolved them in the water)
⅓ cup molasses – (we mixed this into the water also) you may use honey also
⅓ cup coconut oil – (if congealed melt in the water also) you may use other oils or leave it out completely as it is optional
9 cups plain flour OR 6 cups whole wheat bread flour and 3 cups pastry flour or other low gluten flours.

NOTE: for ONE large batch you will need a giant bowl – about 12 quarts.
NOTE: if your oven will not fit all the loaves – up to five at once time then put two of them to raise in

Preparing the Dough

Put the warm water, salt, molasses, and oil in the bowl – be sure all items are dissolved and fully mixed before going onto the next step.
Break the sponge into little pieces in the liquid and stir in the flour (we mixed in the first 6 cups of flour in first then added slowly the next 3 cups while the dough hook was going.
Mix until the ingredients are well mixed
Feel the dough to evaluate its water content and make adjustments – add flour or water slowly to get to the texture. This may take considerable effort but is essential for a great loaf texture.
Knead the whole dough for 400 strokes or about 20 minutes until the surface is smooth and shiny. (we kneaded with a dough hook for about 15 minutes – we watched for the texture to change to smooth and shiny)
Let the dough rise in the bowl for an hour in a WARM place 80 to 85 degrees F.
Deflate it, and let it rise again for another 45 minutes to One hour.
Divide your dough into loaves – it will make 5 small loaves of bread 8″x4″ pans or if you want you can four long loaves baked together in a 10″x16″ pan they will rise to support each other. butter the sides to make separating them easier.
Grease the pans – (we also put corn meal in the greased pan to make it easier to get the bread out of the pan)
Leave the loaves to rise in a very WARM place 85 to 90 degrees F.  – be patient and allow bread long enough to rise until double – I did not notice much if any oven rise in this dough so raise it long enough before putting it in the oven! NOTE: if your oven will not fit all the loaves – up to five at once time then put two of them to raise in the fridge in a closed puffed up plastic bag.
Preheat and Bake at 375 degrees F – the oven must be at temperature BEFORE you put the bread in the oven – Bake 45 minutes to an hour. the bread is done when you tap on the top and it has a hollow sound.
Remove from oven and tip out of pans and put on cooling rack – allow them to cool completely before cutting – these loaves are moister than many recipes and do better if not cut until cooled.

ENJOY and post a pic on Facebook too! Have fun! Blessings

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