Monday, January 12, 2009

Honey quick bread for any occasion

With the non-traditional, non-9-5 work schedule I have going on at the moment, I find it difficult to get into a regular routine where I can say “I know I will be waking up on Tuesday at 7:00 a.m.” or “Thursday evenings I will go for a jog.” However, I don't necessarily consider this to be a bad thing. As long as I have everything written down on my calendar, keeping track of where I am supposed to be punching my time card, and at what time, is relatively simple. Also, the consistency of inconsistency keeps things interesting, and keeps me open. For example, tomorrow I have a bit of a later start, so I can take advantage of a leisurely morning to take a walk down to the water front. One downside of this lack of schedule is that I'm not always quite certain which meal I'll be eating where: do I need to pack a lunch? Pack a lunch and a snack? Will dinner be at home or in a break room?

This is why I'm finding it essential to have a supply of easy-to-reach food that I can pull from my pantry, that do not require refrigeration, and that are – of course – delicious. And it is for all of these reasons that I like quick breads; especially the wholesome whole wheat quick bread I made for myself early this week.

Much to my delight, this loaf contains no sugar, but is sweetened by honey. Why would I be delighted by a lack of sugar? Why, because now I'm trying to be slightly more mindful of my sugar intake, and if I make a breakfast out of Honey Whole Wheat Quick bread, I like to know that it's not as sugar-laden as a doughnut. And this bread is most definitely suitable to start the day with, as the oats help to give it a heartier quality and the cinnamon and honey give it a homey taste. On top of all this, I was pleased to find that the honey in my cupboard was actually Huckleberry honey, supplied by a farm in Montana. If you can find different flavored honeys, this is definitely a good recipe to try to experiment with.

Since the ingredient measurements are slightly on the small side, this recipe, as given, will not yield a full loaf pan of bread, which is why it can simply be placed on a baking sheet. Given the simplicity of the recipe, though, I'm sure it can easily be doubled. I didn't mind the yield, though: it seems like the perfect amount to keep me going when I'm not sure where else my next meal might be coming from.

Honey Whole Wheat Quick bread

1 cup rolled oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup milk
½ tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
In a large bowl, combine oatmeal, flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. In a separate bowl, dissolve honey in vegetable oil, then stir in the milk and vanilla extract. Combine both mixtures and stir until a soft dough is formed. Form the dough into a ball and place on a lightly oiled baking sheet.
Bake in preheated oven for about 20 minutes, or until bottom of loaf sounds hollow when tapped.

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