Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Seedy Quick Bread

A friend from France is visiting for a few weeks and I am taking her to some of my favorite haunts. Right now we are in Southwest Florida where we haven't been back since Hurricane Charley devastated it in 2004. Charley changed the landscape radically. It also wreaked havoc with many lives as some of the residents have packed up and gone, leaving behind boarded-up storefronts and empty houses. One can only wonder at their whereabouts and hope that they were able to start over somewhere else.
This sorry state of affairs and the slow pace of the tourists' return haven't helped expand the choices in the bread aisle at the local supermarket. Even the so-called whole wheat bread looks suspiciously pillowy and the list of ingredients is none too encouraging. What's a determined baker to do? Bake of course! And since time was of the essence (breakfast was looming), I decided to make a healthful quick bread.
With the few ziploc bags of seeds I had brought from home as well as the flours and foil pans that could be found at the supermarket, I was all set to go. This seedy loaf was indeed very quickly made. Sourdough, it ain't but, as quick breads go, it is excellent. If more convenient (for instance if no foil pan is to be obtained), it could be made into muffins or scones. With the ingredients listed below, I made one regular pan loaf plus a small round loaf which was the equivalent of four big muffins. We were pretty hungry and, as you can see, breakfast took precedence over picture-taking...
Since even a determined baker doesn't travel with her kitchen scales, I am listing the ingredients by volume instead of weight as I usually do. Sorry about that...
Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp aluminum-free baking powder
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 cup of milk
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (a more neutral oil might be better but I only had olive oil)
  • 2/3 of a tsp of salt
  • 1/4 cup poppy seeds
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 2 tbsp roasted unsalted pumpkin seeds (for topping)


Method:
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 F/218 C
  2. Mix all the dry ingredients (except for the pumpkin seeds)
  3. In another bowl, mix the milk, the oil and the egg
  4. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the liquid ones
  5. Stir until the dry ingredients are just incorporated
  6. Spoon into an oiled foil bread pan (since I had too much dough for the pan and the dough was stiff enough to hold by itself, I shape the leftover into a round loaf which I flattened lightly and scored in an X pattern. I placed it in a square foil pan to bake along the loaf)
  7. Top with pumpkin seeds
  8. Bake for 30 minutes
  9. Remove from the pan as soon as possible and set to cool on a rack.

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