I definitely fall into a negative cycle of baking whenever I'm stressed. Between learning how to file my own tax returns and dodging creepy chiropractors, I bake. Yesterday, an emotional day, I turned to my sister's handy dandy Christmas gift (Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything) for ideas. This cookbook is, by the way, the best cookbook I've ever owned. Not that I own many. Still, the format and comprehensive nature of HtCE is brilliant. I love it. I sometimes wonder what I've done to deserve such a good cookbook. I have stuck pretty close to the original ingredients, save only I had no cornmeal on hand and added in oats and milled flax seed instead.
Despite being denser than your average white bread, the loaf I made turned out to be quite light and moist in texture. For being made of one hundred per cent whole wheat flour, I was impressed with the result. I have to admit I was as skeptical as you probably are, but don't pronounce a final judgment before actually trying some!
Whole Wheat Molasses Quick Bread
2 & 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup oats
1/3 cup milled flax seed
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 & 2/3 cups yogurt
1/2 cup molasses
1. Heat the oven to 325°F. Grease your loaf pan (I used Baker's Joy, since I love it so).
2. Combine all dry ingredients. Stir the molasses and a good squirt of honey into the yogurt. Stir the liquid into the dry ingredients until just combined, then pour/scoop into the loaf pan. Bake until firm and a toothpick or sharp knife inserted in the center comes out clean (about 60-70 minutes). Cool for 15 minutes before removing the loaf from the pan.
3. Consume. Ravenously.
There are quite a few variations, evidently, that you can make to this recipe. The original recipe, in fact, doesn't use oats or flax but has 1/2 cup cornmeal instead. I'm a huge fan of flax and oats, however, so I was willing to take a risk and avoid taking another trip to the store for cornmeal. Also, the cookbook mentioned substituting half of the flour with white bread flour and replacing all of the molasses with honey for a lighter, sweeter loaf. You can also use buttermilk instead of yogurt or create your own buttermilk with 1 1/2 cups milk and 2 tablespoons white vinegar (if you do this, you will need to warm the milk slightly, add the vinegar, and let the mixture sit for a while before adding it to your dry ingredients). Really, the possibilities are endless. Because it's a yeast-free dough, it's not as temperamental.
Did I mention this bread is delicious? I decimated most of the loaf while it was hot out of the oven last night, but I managed to save a thick slice for my lunch today. Mmmm.