Saturday, August 22, 2009

MMMM Banana Bread, Oatmeal Brown Bread...but I have to lose twenty pounds!

You will very quickly learn that I love to bake, but unfortunately I also love to eat it. I need to lose weight, my dear friends, at least twenty pounds. I have had three slices of this delicious banana bread already and am hoping that tomorrow, when my husband comes home, he will eat all of the rest or take it to work with him. This recipe is my adaptation of a nice and simple recipe my mother-in-law gave me years ago. I like my baking to be grainy and full of nuts or seeds. The following recipe is healthy but not low in calories. I find it quite sweet and might try a little less sugar next time. The bananas are sweet enough!


Yummy Banana Loaf

1/2 cup canola oil ( healthy but it is still fat)
1 cup unrefined sugar (I might reduce it to 3/4 c next time)
3 ripe bananas, mashed
2 Tbsp soured soy milk*
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 cup ground flax
1/4 cup shelled hemp seeds

Stir together the oil and sugar. Add the mashed bananas and sour soy milk. Combine the remaining dry ingredients and stir until mixed into liquids. Spread the batter in a lightly greased loaf pan and bake 1 hour at 350 degrees F. Keep and eye on the loaf. Mine was well browned on top before the time was up so I covered it loosely with aluminum foil about half way through.

* soy milk can be soured in the same way as regular milk. In a measuring cup put 1 tsp of lemon juice. Fill to 1 cup with soy milk. Let this sit for a few minutes and it will curdle. I had approximately 2 Tbsp of sour milk left in a carton. I put in two drops of lemon juice and this worked out just fine. Baking usually requires more precise measuring than cooking does. I am not good at precise measuring and I usually get by just fine. I think this particular ingredient was one that had some room for me to play. The measurement of salt or oil or baking soda are likely more crucial.


I'm also baking my favourite bread recipe today. This one is called Oatmea Brown Bread and it is one my mother has been making for years. I don't know where it originally came from. It was possibly from an old issue of Canadian Living magazine. I have made some minor changes.

Oatmeal Brown Bread

2 1/2 cups scalded soy milk poured over 1 cup wheat germ and 1 cup rolled oats.

Dissolve 2 Tbsp yeast in 1 1/2 cup warm water mixed with 2 tsp brown sugar*

Add to the yeast mixture and stir.
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup shelled hemp or sesame seeds
4 tsp salt

Add the soured milk mixture and stir all of these liquids and grains together.

Add
8 cups whole wheat pastry flour or
6 cups whole wheat and 2 cups unbleached all purpose flour

Stir as much as possible and then turn out onto a floured counter and continue to incorporate the flour by kneading. Knead for about 5-8 minutes. Dough should be elastic and smooth. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and let it rise until double in size. Punch down and if time, let it rise up again in the bowl.

Shape the dough into two loaves and place in non-stick or lightly greased loaf pans. Let it rise in the pans at least 30 minutes. Bake for 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven. If you make buns, bake for about 25 minutes.

This bread is delicious for sandwiches and as toast. It is slightly sweet, tender and full of whole grain flavour. I will have some tonight along with the kale I got at the Farmers' Market today (sauteed with garlic and ginger) and mixed garbanzo and adzuki beans in a curried mustard mix that I will be making up as I go along.

* follow the instruction on your yeast package if you are using Rapid Rise. When I use the quick rising types of yeast I just add it along with the dry ingredients.

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