The Weston A. Price Way

Monday, October 17, 2011

Soaked Grain Molasses Gingerbread, Dark, Rich, Moist to the Max!

Molasses Gingerbread is the bomb! Finish it off with a puff of real whipped cream spiked with a few seasonal spices and life becomes doubly good. To me, there's very little that compares to gingerbread during the autumn season, and this renovated recipe is brimming with WAPF-friendly ingredients. Be ready for a sumptuous, moist dessert that will make you and those you love want 'just one more' piece.

I experimented with this recipe because I was looking for a way to get more iron into one of our grandchildren without causing a gag reflex. Even my choosiest grandchild likes it and ate every morsel off  her plate. Because of my 'mission', I chose a molasses with a high iron content.The 20% daily value of iron found in this one was not the highest to be found. The one I chose is unsulphured blackstrap molasses and also has 20% of the daily value of calcium...You may be surprised to find out that the iron percentage varies vastly. In one grocery store alone, I found five different levels, starting as low as 3%. This is good to know, because while children and women generally need more, older men need much less, and I've recently been told, but have not yet verified, that older women need less, too.

I am going to give you the recipe exactly as I made it, but you may find you want to improvise. If you're good at improv, go for it! I will put some ideas down for you as well.

Because this requires soaked grain, don't go into this thinking you're going to have gingerbread in an hour...The soaking stage takes a minimum of 6 hours. Can you skip the soaking? You can. But I do not recommend it as not soaking grains inhibits the release of health-boosting nutrients. It also inhibits digestion and the body's ability to assimilate the nutrition found within the grain. On the other hand, soaking the grains mimics the natural process of germination and not only releases the nutrients, but multiplies them. Read more about it HERE.

This is not totally sugar-free or gluten-free. I am not a GF cook, so if you can 'fix' this to work in that area, feel free to take it and make it your own. It is, however, soaked and therefore, better for digestion than 'untreated' grains. I do think there is hope for making it sugar-free, too...Just keep reading...

Molasses Gingerbread

This recipe creates enough batter for a 9x13 pan.


1& 1/4C. Bob's Red Mill Organic Whole Wheat Pastry Flour* (found mine in the organic section of Farm Fresh)

1 & 1/4C. Fresh and finely ground hard white wheat, organic or chemical-free
If you don't have a mill, just use 2 &1/2 C. of the first ingredient. If you can't find that, try to use the freshest ground whole wheat flour you can find. King Arthur Brand is a good choice that can be found in most grocery stores.
1 C. Buttermilk (If you have your own cow/cowshare, you know how to get enzyme-rich buttermilk. But pasteurization kills beneficial enzymes, so if you use store-bought buttermilk, you'll need to add whey. NOT whey from a canister sold in powder form at health food stores, but whey gleaned from yogurt. See how HERE. If you choose this, lessen the buttermilk to 3/4 C. and mix it with 1/4 C. whey. This mixture will be used for the soaking phase.)

1 TBS ground ginger
2 & 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 & 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 tsp. Celtic Sea Salt
1/4 C. packed brown sugar (Sorry, folks, not sure how to get around this one. Most people don't do well jumping straight into a completely molasses flavor. I have not yet tried substituting honey for the brown sugar, but think it could work. If I do try it, I will use the same amount of honey as the brown sugar called for here. In the meantime, you may want to try muscavado sugar if you want to at least up your mineral intake.)
3/4 C. Dark Molasses
2/3 C. Butter, melted (Don't you dare use margarine!! -Pretty Please?)
2 Large Eggs, beaten (pasture-grazed, preferably!)

Soaking Stage:
Put the flour in the buttermilk and stir well. Cover. Leave in slightly warm area 6 to 12 hours...(an oven with the light on, the top of a running dryer, beside a running dehydrator, on a rack above an oven set on low heat. Don't put directly on top of hot oven as this should be a slow process and you don't want to start the baking process!)  

Mixing Stage:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray or oil pan. ( I use Pampered Chef's spray bottle filled w/my own olive oil.)

The mixture you set aside may be a bit gelatinous, (called a 'sponge'), after 6 hours. -That's okay. In fact, it's good.  
In a separate small bowl, whisk together: ginger, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. 
When well-mixed, add: sugar, (or honey, but remember, I haven't tried the honey yet!), molasses, melted butter and egg. Now, stir this well into the flour and buttermilk mixture. 
Pour batter into prepped pan, spread evenly and bake 25-30 min. (I always check 5 minutes before the shortest time.) 

Add real whipped cream or ice cream for an extra-special treat. I like to sprinkle just a taste of ginger and cinnamon on the whipped cream.

*Pastry flour has comparable protein, but less starch than cake flour. It is milled from a soft, low gluten wheat and is often used for pastries. Bread flour is not a good flour choice for those with gluten problems as it is quite high in gluten for the purpose of higher rising.

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