Fruity Nutty Breakfast Bread

breadThe making of this bread was an accident. I was going for something that could be used as a base for a dense, dark, rich Melba toast cracker, but this was far too delicate, absolutely impossible to cut thin. But it tasted good. What I like about it, is its nearly complete lack of refined sugar. It is only lightly sweet. The texture is very delicate, more like a cake than a bread. So as I stared at my cracker failure, it started to take shape as a relatively guilt-free thing to pop in your mouth first thing in the morning.

You could swap the cranberries for another dried fruit. I think golden raisins would be nice. Ditto the seeds. Toasted, chopped walnuts, pecans, almonds etc. would all work.

Fruity Nutty Breakfast Bread (serves about 8)

1-1/4 cups (300ml) whole wheat flour (I used graham flour, but regular whole wheat is fine.)
2 Tbsp. (30ml) cornstarch
1 teaspoon (5ml) baking soda
1/2 teaspoon (2.5ml) salt
1/4 teaspoon (1.25ml) Xanthan gum*
1/4 cup (60ml) dried cranberries (sweetened or not)
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
1/4 cup sunflower seeds, toasted
1 cup water, room temperature
1/3 cup light-bodied vegetable oil like canola
2 Tbsp. (30ml) molasses
1 teaspoon vinegar (I used white, you could use any other except maybe balsamic because of the strong flavor.)

*Xanthan gum helps baked goods hold together, but this is a delicate bread anyway, so if you don’t have it I would press on anyway.

Preheat the oven to 350F/170C degrees. Grease a bread loaf pan and line the bottom with parchment.

In a large bowl, add the flour and cranberries and toss with your ever so clean hands until the berries are lightly coated with the flour and feel separated. Add the cornstarch, baking soda, salt, Xanthan gum, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds. Mix to combine.

In a smaller bowl, combine the water, oil and molasses.

Add the wet to the dry ingredients and stir until thoroughly combined. Add the vinegar and do the same.

Add the batter to the bread pan. Bake for about 40 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Let the bread cool in the pan. Run a knife along the sides and remove the bread from the pan. It should keep in an airtight container for several days. It doesn’t need to be refrigerated.