The Bread of Frankenstein

barley malt...
sea salt...
and dew!
in the bread machine


Mountain Dew 7/8 cup
White bread flour 2 cups
Barley malt 1 tablespoon
Dry milk 1 tablespoon
Sea salt 1 teaspoon
Unsalted butter 1 tablespoon
Bread machine yeast 1 teaspoon


Jam all the ingredients in a bread machine. Press "on." Dig the fact you're baking in 20th century and don't have to knead bread. Celebrate by going out and buying a few James Brown CD's. (Note: some bread machines require liquid ingredients first, while others prefer dry, check your owner's manual for your machine's preference. All other things being equal, put the liquid ingredients in last, that way you can watch the Mountain Dew foam at the beginning.)


If you want to substitute any whole grain flour for white, be sure to add 1.5 teaspoons of gluten for every cup substituted and up the amount of time you knead the dough, otherwise your bread may not rise enough and you'll end up with "Dew Bread Pucks." Substituting a little oat flour gives a particularly nice bite to the bread and may get other people to believe you threw in a few insects.

Barley malt may be swapped out on a straight 1:1 ratio for sugar or honey, although barley malt will give the bread a better color and a slightly better flavor than its substitutes. Barley malt is one of those secret-handshake ingredients that bakers use, so by using it you are sociologically hacking a fraternal order that you have no business being associated with in the first place. Reason enough to use barley malt, I say -- look for it in one of those goofy health food grocery stores (be sure to ask for Dew while you're there so you can watch the shop keepers grimace).

Milk provides a bit of smoothness to the bread as well as a little nutritional value, and for those reasons alone you may want to omit it from the recipe. Theoretically 1/4 cup regular milk can be substituted for the dry milk, but you'll have to reduce the amount of Mountain Dew accordingly to 5/8 cup, and honestly, why would you want to do that?

Regular salt can be substituted for sea salt, but what I said about barley malt and the sociological hacking of the baking community goes double here. I would not recommend omitting the salt since that's what inhibits yeast growth and you've already got enough sugar (i.e. yeast food) in this loaf to power a subway the length of Manhattan.

The butter provides smoothness and texture to the bread. You can substitute unsalted margarine (or even oil) here, but the taste will suffer. Avoid salted versions of these fats because they may overpower the otherwise delicate flavor balance of the bread.

Some bread machines have a darkness control for the crust; if yours does, crank it down a notch or two. The high sugar content of this loaf makes the crust more susceptible to browning. On the other hand, you could crank it way up and watch your bread spontaneously combust.

I would not recommend making this loaf by hand unless you can convince someone you don't like to do it. The dough is super sticky, and the foaming part at the beginning may fire the caveman "me no stick hand there" synapses in your brain.

Enjoy your bread and by all means post any experiences you have while making it in the Mosh Pit.





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Copyright (c) 1999 Polterzeitgeist Productions