I’ve always been told this brown bread recipe was more than 100 years old. A little detective work on the history of All-Bran (what better way to spend a Friday night?), has led to the discovery that this is impossible. All-Bran was first sold in 1916. In the 1930s it was touted as a cure for depression, with the belief that if your digestive tract wasn’t, shall we say, running smoothly that was the root cause for your melancholia. Later it claimed to bring fresh bloom to a poor complexion by ridding the intestines of poisons. In the 1970s the demand for roughage in diets led not only to shortages and rationing of All-Bran, but panic buying when it became available.
And somehow from all that we have a brown bread recipe. So bake up a couple loaves and enjoy! It truly is the best brown bread recipe I’ve ever eaten. Plus it freezes beautifully, so you can always have one on hand for your next Saturday night baked bean supper. Or for when you’re feeling a little “desolate.”
In a bowl combine and let soak:
3 cups All-Bran (original cereal)
2 cups buttermilk
1 cup molasses
1 tbsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
Divide batter between 2 prepared loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.
Note: If you like raisins in your brown bread, add 1 cup raisins to the buttermilk and reduce All-Bran to 2 cups.
– Faith Pineo