Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Balsamic Spice Loaf

Experimenting with quick breads until I receive my sourdough starter for free from Carl's! To be honest, I enjoy making quick breads, because I already have everything I need, and I can usually eat whatever I make about an hour from the time I decide to make it. And, they are always incredibly moist, where I feel that yeast breads are a toss up in that category.

My classic is a whole wheat Irish Soda Loaf. What I made today uses the same general chemical processes, but is a lot jazzier and risky.

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup unbleached all purpose flour

4 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons honey

4 tablespoons agave nectar





1 cup nonfat plain greek yogurt

a splash or two of buttermilk

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 egg

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar


melt butter. add sweet stuff. add yogurt and buttermilk. whisk until smooth. add egg and balsamic vinegar. whisk until smooth. combine dry ingredients well and add to wet ingredients. a pasty batter will form that is strange, but go with it and load it into a small bread pan. put it in a 375 degree oven and cook for 20 minutes, until the top is golden, then turn the oven down to 325 and let cook thoroughly, testing with your preferred method, whatever that may be.

Wah! It tastes a lot like banana bread! Moist, good with butter and honey. Would be great with nuts and fruits inside. Also, check the ingredients list. Whole wheat, some healthier sweetener alternatives*, and not too much butter! Most of the moistness definitely comes from the yogurt.

So easy. The next one I make will be a lemon/herb loaf or a beer/cheese loaf or any loaf....


* I started using agave nectar when I had some blood sugar (all speculation, but indulge me) issues. It is low glycemic, because it is way high in fructose, which doesn't rely on insulin and has to pass through your liver, unlike the other popular monosaccharide, glucose, which gets absorbed anywhere and asks for insulin to help. Now, this DOESN'T mean it's a good sweetener for everyone, or even healthy. First of all, nothing is naturally that high in fructose, and your body probably isn't supposed to get that overload all at once, since nothing from nature is that high in fructose (not even fruit). The stuff from the plant is processed to make it that way (high fructose corn syrup, anyone?). Also, it ... ok... I'm just going to link to this article: AGAVE NECTAR. It is a very anti-agave article, and it is a really interesting read. Puts some things into perspective. But, clearly, since agave is in my recipe, the everything in moderation rule is well in place in this chicken's brain.

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