Brown Bread

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 4 hr (includes rising and cooling times)
  • Active: 15 min
  • Yield: 2 country loaves
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1 1/2 cups warm coffee (about 100 degrees F)

1 tablespoon brown sugar 

2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast 

2 1/4 cups bread flour 

1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour 

1 tablespoon cocoa powder 

1/3 cup honey 

2 tablespoons salted butter, softened 

2 tablespoons molasses 

Olive oil, for greasing and drizzling


  1. Mix together the warm coffee and brown sugar in a small pitcher. Mix in the yeast and set aside for a couple minutes to bloom.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix together the bread flour, whole-wheat flour and cocoa powder. Add in the coffee/yeast mixture, as well as the honey, butter and molasses. With the dough attachment, mix on medium until a ball begins to form, about 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and knead for an additional 6 minutes.
  3. Grease a large bowl with olive oil; put the dough in it and cover with plastic wrap. Place in a warm spot in the kitchen and let rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
  4. Divide the dough in half, form into 2 tight balls and put on a baking sheet. Drizzle the tops with olive oil and cover very loosely with plastic wrap. Allow to rise again for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  5. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  6. When the dough is ready, remove the plastic wrap. With a serrated knife, cut an X in the top of each round. Carefully transfer the dough to two 10-inch cast-iron skillets. Place both skillets on the center rack of the oven and bake until the crusts are browned and the centers are set, about 30 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing.
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