This month’s Recipe Redux is all about quick and easy breads, which I am so excited about. Quick breads are on the top of the my list of favorite foods and I can’t wait to check out all the other recipes.
Creative Quick Breads
The holiday baking season is upon us. And this month we’re going way beyond grandma’s banana bread. From sweet to savory and whole-grain to gluten-free, show us your new quick bread creation fresh from the oven. And if you have a tip for wrapping and giving your lovely loaf, please share that too!
This month I wanted to share a new take on a old family recipe for what we call Health Bread. This bread reminds me of warm and cozy holiday nights with my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Somehow I was lucky enough to end up with the original recipe on a well-used recipe card. I always loved this bread, it is sweet and chewy and can be enjoyed all by its self. Or as my Dad recommends, it goes great with a piece of cheddar cheese for a sweet and salty snack. But I decided to pair it with cinnamon honey butter because really you can’t go wrong with that combination.
According to my family, this recipe used to be made in cans. After doing some research, I discovered in the late 1940s when metal was scarce it was popular to make a sweet breads in recycled cans because they were cheaper and easier to find than bread pans or muffin tins. This type of recipe was also popular then because it requires no kneading and the ingredients are very simple. I added cinnamon, vanilla, and nuts but those add-ins are optional.
The original recipe calls for All-Bran. I found Bob’s Red Mill Wheat Bran and it worked perfectly. You could also substitute wheat germ or ground flax. With bran, oatmeal, and dried fruit this bread really racks up the fiber points.
This bread also travels really well so it makes a nice gift. It is quite hearty and the raisins and dates keep it from drying out. I recommend wrapping in waxed or parchment paper, tying with bakers’ twine, and affixing a cute tag. You could also give a small jar of the butter along with the bread.
Now I realize the irony of sharing a ‘health’ bread recipe also with a butter recipe but hey everything in moderation and balance is my philosophy. If you are dairy-free, you could substitute coconut oil.
(inspired by a family recipe)
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup dates, finely chopped
1 cup oatmeal
1 cup wheat bran
1 cup flour (all-purpose or bread flour)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk with 1 teaspoon baking soda added
Loaf pan, greased
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Boil dried raisins and dates in 1 cup of water for 5 minutes. Let stand while combining all other ingredients in a large bowl. Mix until dry ingredients are wet. Add in dried fruit and liquid. Pour into greased baking pan and bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.
Honey Cinnamon Butter
6 tablespoons room temperature butter
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Mix until well combined.
Don’t forget to check out all the other links below by my fellow talented Recipe Reduxers!