Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Otis Cafe's Black Bread

If you have been following this blog, you saw the sourdough starter recipe that I made a few days ago. I needed it in order to bake this wonderful black bread.

In case you missed it, here is the recipe again.

Sourdough Starter

This recipe comes from the Otis Cafe in Otis, Oregon ...

See Sourdough Starter on Key Ingredient.

I was very happy with how fast the starter was ready. If was actually ready to use in 4 days. It must have been very active yeast! Today I had a few hours free to actually make the bread. I have the bread baking in both ovens as I type. I wish you could smell my house right now. It smells really good!

This is what my starter looked today before I used it.

 A view from the top

 A view from the side.
The layer of clear liquid on top that means it is ready.
 You need to stir it well and then it is ready to use.

Now that the starter is ready to use, here is the recipe for the Black Bread.

Black Bread

This recipe is from the Otis Cafe in Otis, Oregon ...

See Black Bread on Key Ingredient.

In a separate mixing bowl, I mixed the all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour and baking soda. I stir it with a spoon to mix it up. I set this aside.

 These are the flours that I used

In the bowl of my KitchenAid, I added the buttermilk, milk, eggs, light and dark molasses and sourdough starter. I mixed it well, using the paddle attachment, until it was combined. 

I used these "dark" molasses today.

 The Grandma's brand is available at most grocery stores near the pancake syrup. I bought the Plantation brand at Sprout's, a local farmers market/health food store. 

Some of the molasses that I have in my pantry. 

The Grandma's Original is the "lightest" molasses that I have found. The Blackstrap is about as dark as I've found.  You can also use 1 cup of all light or dark, instead of mixing 1/2 light and 1/2 dark. I spray the inside of my metal measuring cup with non-stick spray so that the sticky molasses slides right out with very little mess.

Back to the recipe: You gradually add the flour mixture in about four portions, mixing well after each addition. Now you are ready to pour into your greased baking pans. The recipe calls for two 9x5-inch bread pans, but we like our bread in smaller portions. I baked mine in two long narrow baking pans and one smaller bread baking pan. Don't forget to let the dough rest in the pans for 20 minutes before you put them into the oven to bake.

I baked the two long narrow loafs for 35 minutes in my large oven and the loaf pan in the smaller oven for about 45 minutes. It is really good right out of the oven!

When the bread is completely cool, I slice it up and wrap with plastic wrap and then foil wrap. I put it in a zip-lock freezer bag and put it in the freezer. It stays very moist and is excellent toasted. Enjoy!


  1. The bread looks delicious! I was just thinking that if you warmed and fed your starter a few hours before baking (so that it was all bubbly and active), you could do without the baking soda to leaven your bread.

    I will try your recipe this way to see how it goes.


  2. this is amazing bread! It's been years since I've had my last bite. I remember that once we got inside the Otis Cafe, we would look up on the shelf above the counter to see how many loaves of bread still remained for sale. You definitely had to order your loaf to go before you ate your breakfast. I've never seen the recipe before. Now that it seems so easy, I might have to try my hand at bread making. Will let you know how it turns out.



  3. Hi, I am from Otis and have been making this bread for years but it is just never quite the same, For starters mine is always a bit lighter than theres and it just doesn't seem quite as sweet, Do you think i am doing something wrong?

  4. Best bread I have ever tasted and I don't usually like bread.

  5. Awesome bread I am going to try making it today thanks