A Tale of Two Quick Breads, One Savory, One Sweet
I’ve been trying to eat whole wheat bread that isn’t loaded with sugar, which is impossible to find on the bread aisle of an American grocery store. So I’ve sampled a few loaves from local bakeries and one from the bakery department of a local supermarket, and they tasted all right with suitably low sugar content.
A few weeks ago, I stumbled across a PBS cooking show called “Home Chef” hosted by Neven Maguire of Ireland’s MacNean Restaurant. He baked the bread they serve at his restaurant, calling it a wheaten bread, which fits because it is mostly whole wheat. And boy, is it fast! I’ve been baking this bread every week since late June, and it makes the most scrumptious grilled cheese sammies, fried egg sandwiches, and peanut butter toast.
Summer squash are everywhere, and I make a chocolate zucchini bread at least once every summer with the bounty. You can leave out the nuts, and you can double the recipe to make two loaves. The original recipe made two loaves, and I halved all the ingredients to make one loaf. The zucchini bread is a similarly speedy bread. For a week or so now, I’ve been warming a slice in the microwave, then slathering it with peanut butter alongside a cup of decaf for a late-night snack.
MacNean Restaurant Wheaten Quick Bread
Makes 1 loaf that can be cut into approximately 12 slices
1 lb. 2 oz. or 2 c. + 2 oz. whole wheat flour
4 1/2 oz. or a little over 1/2 c. AP flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
1 pint of buttermilk, plus a little extra if necessary
1 T. light brown sugar
1 T. melted butter, plus extra for greasing the pan
1 T. golden syrup or light corn syrup (I used corn syrup.)
1 T. porridge oats (I used old-fashioned oats.)
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease either two 1 1/2-pint loaf pans or one large loaf pan. (I used one 8 1/2 ” x 4 1/2 ” dark metal loaf pan, and I sprayed it with cooking spray.)
2. Sift the flours, baking soda, and salt into a bowl. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the buttermilk, brown sugar, melted butter, and corn syrup. Mix gently and quickly until you have achieved a nice dropping consistency. If necessary, add a bit more buttermilk until the mixture binds together without being sloppy.
3. Divide the mixture evenly between the two small pans or put the batter into the one large one. Sprinkle over the oats. Bake for 1 hour until cooked through and each one has a slightly cracked, crusty top. Check halfway through that the loaves aren’t browning too much. If they are, reduce the temperature or move them down in the oven.
4. To check that the loaves are properly cooked, tip each one out of the pan and tap the base. It should sound hollow. If it doesn’t, return it to the oven for 5 more minutes. (I had to bake mine for 5 additional minutes.) Tip out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely before slicing.
No nutritional info provided by author.
Chocolate Zucchini Bread
Makes 1 loaf that can be cut into 12 slices
from SparkPeople user WINDY01 at www.recipes.sparkpeople.com
3/4 c. Splenda
1/4 c. + 1/8 c. unsweetened or low-sugar applesauce
1/8 c. to 1/4 c. vegetable oil (I use canola. I would start with 1/8 c. but if the batter is not coming together, add another 1/8 c. Sometimes this has happened to me, sometimes it hasn’t.)
1 t. vanilla
1 med. zucchini squash, grated
1/2 c. AP flour
3/4 c. whole wheat flour
1/3 c. cocoa powder
3/4 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 c. chopped walnuts
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray and flour a loaf pan. (I only spray my dark metal 9x5-inch loaf pan, and the loaves always slide out.)
2. In a large bowl, beat together the sugar, eggs, applesauce, oil, and vanilla. Stir in the zucchini.
3. Add the flours, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and walnuts. Stir just until combined.
4. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until toothpick comes out clean. (My cranky oven always takes 1 hour.) Cool in pan for 5 minutes. Remove from pan to cool on a wire rack.
Nutritional info per slice provided by author without using walnuts:
Fat: 3.1 g
Carbs: 13 g
Calories: 80.8 g
Protein: 2.4 g