It seems like summer is maybe on its way out, and fall is finally on its way in. Potatoes have been appearing at the farmers’ market, and we actually had an overcast day or two this week. Which means…it’s time for potato leek soup!
I used my usual recipe (see link above), though I made a pretty large batch, with three large leeks, 5 medium potatoes, and 8 cups of water/broth (no milk or half-and-half though). We ate soup for dinner, and still had enough left over to store 32 oz. containers in the freezer, plus another container (two bowls’ worth) and two Ball jars (one bowl each) in the fridge for later this week.
In addition to the soup (and the Apple Snacking Spice Cake from the Flour cookbook that Ben made earlier in the day), we made molasses brown bread. I tried this recipe once before, and it went much more smoothly this time (primarily because we actually had a 28 oz. can, and weren’t lining a makeshift container with wax paper).
I halved the recipe, thus:
1/2 cup bread flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup molasses
1 cup water
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
First, set up the “steamer” (in my case, my largest soup pot, filled with water so that when I put the can of bread batter in, the water would come about halfway up its side). Put the lid on and set the heat to low while prepping the ingredients.
Mix the dry ingredients, then add the wet ingredients and mix till smooth. Pour into greased can; it should fill it about 2/3 of the way. (You can also use two 16 oz. cans, which I would guess cuts down on baking time a little.) Cover the top of the bread can with aluminum foil and secure the foil with a rubber band or kitchen twine.
The bread can shouldn’t sit directly on the bottom of the steamer pot. (Ben found an old tuna can, cleaned it out, and inverted it in the steamer pot, then I balanced the bread can on top.) Replace the lid and let it simmer and steam away for about an hour and 45 minutes; at that point, remove the foil and check the bread. Ours had risen up to meet the foil. Done!
We let the bread rest in the can until it was cool enough to handle. I used an offset spatula to loosen the bread from the sides of the can, then I inverted the can over a deep soup bowl (Ben’s idea, so the sides of the bowl would catch the cylinder of bread if it tipped over) and tapped the bottom. The bread released easily (hurray!).
This bread is actually not the best complement to potato leek soup (a non-molasses brown bread or a beer bread would be better), but it is delicious on its own.