Frugal Foodie Friday: Nothing fancy, just a delicious, tender loaf of bread that I adapted from Kevin's recipe over at Closet Cooking. He tops the loaf with maple sugar. I did sprinkle on a little coconut sugar one time that I made it, and it was tasty. It enhances the maple flavor and gives that nice sheen to the bread that you see in the picture below. Still, I did opt to omit the sugar topping in my second loaf so that it could be used either for breakfast toast or sandwich bread. It was still quite delicious, but the maple flavor was a bit more subtle.
If you haven't made bread from scratch, it's time to get started. Many brands of store-bought bread contain dairy and/or added preservatives, hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup … you get the picture. You really can't beat the quality of from-scratch bread, and it is surprisingly easy to make. Yes, you have to let it rise, twice, but for that you need not be present. Simply 10 minutes of hands of labor will yield you a loaf like this …
Maple Oat Bread
This recipe is Vegan / Vegetarian, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Nut-Free, Soy-Free, and Refined Sugar-Free.
Combine the warm water, yeast, and oats in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, stir together the flours, salt, and cinnamon. Stir the oil and maple syrup into the yeast mixture. Gradually add the flour (I do about 1/3 at a time), stirring after each addition. Once the dough starts to come together, continue adding the flour and knead it with your hands. If the dough is still too wet, add a little more white flour; if it is too dry, feel free to add a wee bit more warm water. This ratio actually came out just right for me, but I live in a dry climate.
Place the dough back in the large bowl, and cover, letting the dough rise for about an hour.
Grease and flour (I usually flour just the bottom and corners) a 9×5-inch loaf pan. Punch the dough down, knead it a few times, and shape it into a loaf that will fit lengthwise in your loaf pan. Place the dough in the pan, and leave it to rise for about 1 hour.
Preheat your oven to 350ºF. If desired, brush the loaf lightly with water and sprinkle on the sugar. Bake the loaf for 20 minutes. If it is starting to brown quickly on top, tent it with foil. Bake it for 15 to 20 minutes more. Let the pan cool for 15 minutes (I usually place it on a wire rack to get the air circulating around it) before removing the loaf to cool completely.
Note: I have trialed a higher ratio of whole wheat flour, but this ratio was better. If you want to go 100% whole wheat, I recommend adding a little wheat gluten to the mix.
Makes 1 loaf
Recipe and photos by Alisa Fleming, the founder of GoDairyFree.org and author of Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living.