I love the whole retro image of making homemade bread. In my mind’s eye, I picture myself in dainty, flour-covered apron taking plump, golden loaves out of the oven. The smell of freshly baked bread perfumes the house, drawing my loving family to the table. Then, I’m snapped back to reality by the realization that I barely have time to sleep at night. Besides, home-made bread takes hours to make—or does it?
The beautiful thing about a retro recipe is that you can always find a way to make it modern. I love playing with dough, whether it’s bread, pizzas, or pies. Quick bread recipes allow me to re-create a delicious memory in a modern way.
Quick breads provide the taste and smell of yeast breads in a fraction of the time. Most recipes for quick breads contain a chemical leavening reaction of a base, like baking soda, and an acid such as cream of tartar, lemon juice or buttermilk, to produce carbon dioxide. A good quality baking powder contains an acid and a base and only needs a liquid to activate it. The carbon dioxide that is formed makes the bread rise. It also produces a texture softer and lighter then most yeast breads.
My recipe for Liberian Pineapple Nut Bread is about as retro as you can possibly get! It’s an African recipe that I’ve modernized by adding a healthy dose of wheat bran. Wheat bran contains B-vitamins-thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin, minerals, and fiber to keep things, um, moving. The fiber in the wheat germ helps you to feel full faster, and also absorbs fat and cholesterol before it enters the blood stream. This quick bread is perfect as part of a healthy breakfast or a light snack. Best of all, it’s a delicious excuse for those days when you want to play with your food!
LIBERIAN PINEAPPLE NUT BREAD
Turn this quick bread into a “grab and go” breakfast or snack along with a few tablespoons of Eden Foods Organic Apple Butter, Arrowhead Mills Organic Creamy Valencia Peanut Butter, or Cascadian Farms Fruit Spreads.
2 cups King Arthur Flour Organic Artisan All Purpose Flour
½ cup Bob’s Mills Organic Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
1 tablespoon Bob’s Red Mill Non-Aluminum Double Acting Baking Powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Wheat Bran
½ cup chopped, almonds or walnuts
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups crushed pineapple with juice
½ cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla or fresh lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Toast the wheat bran and the nuts together in a heavy, dry pan over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep the ingredients from burning. Set aside to cool.
Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Mix in the toasted wheat bran and the nuts. Add the eggs, pineapple, water, and the vanilla or lemon juice. Mix together thoroughly. The dough should be moist and well-combined.
Scoop the batter into a greased loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick or tester inserted in the middle of the loaf comes out clean. Cool and wrap tightly in food-safe plastic wrap and foil. Loaf can be frozen up to 3 months.
The Kitchen Diva Dish of the Day: What’s your favorite way to play with your food? What retro recipe would you like for me to modernize in a healthy way?
The Kitchen Diva is Angela Shelf Medearis, a regular guest chef on “The Dr. Oz Show” and “The Today Show.” She is the author of many cookbooks, including, “The Kitchen Diva’s Diabetic Cookbook.” She writes “The Kitchen Diva” blog for Vitacost.com on a weekly basis.