The Best Bread for People Who Hate Baking
This fruit, nut and seed bread is perfect for the holiday table or as a gift.
Photos by Leah Lizarondo
A preamble for those who may be joining Brazen Kitchen for the first time: I hate baking. My baking foibles extend to many a loaf of bread that looks perfect on the outside and a glorious mess when you slice into it. The problem is that I hate precise measurements. It’s a true affliction. I get closer and closer to spiking the cookbook with each meticulous instruction, and god forbid that anything I make is in any way ultra-sensitive to the ambient temperature or humidity.
This is why I have the utmost respect for bread bakers. If there is such a thing as a relationship with the food that you’re creating then I believe that good bread bakers have a gift that allows them to understand something that is beyond me. Sort of like a frequency I can’t hear.
Because of this, I am always on the lookout for bread I can actually make. This is one of them. Obviously, this is not “bread” per se. But for the purposes of us super-cool people, it’s bread. It’s fool-proof but very festive and chock full of nuts, seeds and fruit. Better still, it’s perfect for breakfast because it’s made with whole grain oats. This bread reminds me of trips to Europe. The land of dark, substantive breads.
I found this recipe on a beautiful blog by Sarah Britton, a holistic nutritionist in Denmark. My New Roots is filled with healthy, beautifully photographed, covetable recipes.
This bread is gluten-free and vegan, but those are unnecessary qualifiers. You can even ignore that I said that. Because make no mistake — it’s simply, perfectly, deliciously hearty. The recipe calls for some unusual ingredients: psyllium seed husk powder, arrowroot and ground flax seed. All these add fiber and binding power. That’s why the recipe will ask you to let it sit for a bit after you put the dough in the pan. This gives the natural binders in these ingredients time to get into action. The original recipe calls for chia seeds and whole flax seeds. I’ve replaced the chia with arrowroot and ground the flax because I like the texture that it gives.
I am going to make this bread in little loaves and give it away with some delicious jam for holiday gifts. Bella.
Fruit, Nut & Seed Bread
Yield: Makes 1 Loaf
Adapted from Sarah Britton
- 1 cup sunflower seeds and/or pumpkin seeds
- ¼ cup + 2 T ground flax seeds
- Heaping ½ cup hazelnuts or almonds or walnuts or mix of three
- ½ cup dried cranberries, dates, figs (choose one or a mix)
- 1 ½ cups rolled oats (specify gluten-free oats if avoiding gluten)
- ¼ cup arrowroot powder
- 3 T psyllium seed husk powder
- 1 tsp fine grain sea salt
- 3 T maple syrup
- 3 T melted coconut oil
- 1 ½ cups water
1. In a bowl, combine dry ingredients and mix well. In a separate small bowl, combine all wet ingredients and whisk together. Add to the dry ingredients and stir very well until everything is soaked and dough is thick.
2. Pour mixture into parchment-lined bread pan and smooth the top with the back of a spoon. Let sit for at least 2 hours up to overnight. Bread is ready to bake when it retains its shape when you lift and pull the parchment away gently from it.
3. Place in a preheated 350 degree oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove bread from loaf pan and place it directly on the rack for another 30-40 minutes. Bread is done when it sounds hollow when tapped. Let cool completely before slicing.
4. Store bread in a tightly sealed container for up to five days. Freezes well – slice first before freezing.