March 29, 2013

nut and seed bread

breadYou guys, this bread. It is difficult for me to find the words to describe it. I wouldn’t go so far as to call it life-changing, but definitely breakfast-changing. Chock full of nuts and seeds, it is probably the healthiest bread I’ve ever eaten (and gluten-free if you make sure your oats are gluten-free). The dense texture invites all sorts of spreads, my favorite being peanut butter, which seems odd considering the “bread” itself is so nutty. But I’m telling you, a little bit of peanut butter spread on a toasted slice of this bread is heaven. It adds a desired creaminess without compromising the nutty flavor. The toasting is also important. This bread is exponentially better when toasted.

bread-ingredientsLately, I’ve been on a bit of a health kick, so breakfast has been a green smoothie, a whole grapefruit and a toasted slice of this bread with peanut butter. Living with Phil has taught me to slow down and enjoy my mornings, as opposed to racing out the door with my makeup bag in hand after hitting the snooze button one too many times. I get in a little morning work out, catch up on my favorite trashy British tabloid, and sit down to a real, nutritious breakfast as often as I can.

bread2 bread1My New Roots’ Life-Changing Loaf of Bread
makes 1 loaf/12 slices

INGREDIENTS

1 cup / 135g sunflower seeds
½ cup / 90g flax seeds
½ cup / 65g hazelnuts or almonds
1 ½ cups / 145g rolled oats
2 Tablespoons chia seeds
4 Tablespoons psyllium seed husks (available at vitamin/health food stores)
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt (add ½ teaspoon if using coarse salt)
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
3 Tablespoons melted coconut oil or ghee
1 ½ cups / 350ml water

PREPARATION

Combine all dry ingredients (sunflower seeds through salt) in a loaf pan, stirring well. Whisk maple syrup, oil and water together in a bowl or measuring cup. Add this to the dry ingredients and mix very well until everything is completely soaked and dough becomes very thick (if the dough is too thick to stir, add one or two teaspoons of water until the dough is manageable). Smooth out the top with the back of a spoon. Let sit out on the counter for at least 2 hours, or all day or overnight. (I’ve tried it all ways and it doesn’t make a difference.)

Preheat oven to 350°F / 175°C.

Place loaf pan in the oven on the middle rack, and bake for 20 minutes. Turn the loaf out upside down directly on the oven rack and bake for another 30-40 minutes. Bread is done when it sounds hollow when tapped. Let cool completely before slicing (otherwise it will fall apart – trust me).

Store bread in a tightly sealed container for up to five days. Freezes well, too – slice before freezing.