Louisiana has humidity. Mosquitoes. And lots of history. The Indians were here 10,000 years ago living in the swamps on top of the salt mounds. We have been under French, Spanish, and American Rule.

    Natchitoches was established in 1714 by Louis Juchereau de St. Denis. It is the oldest permanent settlement within the borders of the 1803 Louisiana Purchase. Natchitoches was founded as a French outpost on the Red River for trade with Spanish-controlled Mexico; French traders settled there as early as 1699. The post was established near a village of Natchitoches Indians, after whom the city was named.”

So why am I telling you all this. Because of the bread I am making – Molasses Bread. It was one of the breads made at Fort St. Jean Baptiste in Natchitoches. The fort was established in 1716 to protect the early settlers from marauding Spanish Soldiers.

It is where St. Denise set up his government, held court, traded, and fought against the invaders. St Denis is important to the family because his daughter married Joachim d’ Ortega who is my Husband’s Great Great Grandfather. (I think I have all of that right!!!)

the bread may be based on a non-yeast bread made by the Chickasaw People who are found further south in Louisiana. It was baked in cast iron dutch ovens in the huge fire places in the hot coals.

Okay enough history. On with the Bread.

Molasses is made from sugar cane or beets in the United States. It was imported from the islands in the early days of the U.S. and most often made into RUM!!! But it was also used in making breads and other baked goods. Sugar was often expensive and honey wasn’t always available. This is a sweet bread.

3 1/2 cups bread flour
1/3 cup corn meal
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup molasses
2 1/4 tsp yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp butter
1/2 tsp salt {I added this because the 1st time I made it, it was rather flat tasting}

Mix together the flour and cornmean.
Boil water and add the molasses.
Place all ingredients into a bread maker. {Yes, I know they didn’t have these in 1700, but this is how they make it now!}
After the dough cycle has finished remove and let rise in a clay baking pot until about doubled in size.
Cut a cross on the top.{Which I forgot to do…}
Bake 20/25 minutes at 425 degrees.
{If you choose to continue in the bread machine and it is sticky, add a little flour.}

Bread and History for World Bread Day. World Bread Day 2010 (submission date October 16)