After mourning the loss of my old kitchen and all it’s brightly-lit wonders (and pretty counter tops), I decided to come to terms with my new kitchen, its electric stove/oven and dim, grim non-windowness. (I’ve also taken to making up my own words.) And in order to come to terms with my new kitchen, I had to make it smell nice. And put it to the test. Can it deliver a tasty quick bread?
I’ve been drooling over the tasty delights of Joy The Baker and finally thought it good timing to make one of her creations. And I do not regret it one bite — er, bit. My place, which once smelled a little like old Indian food and body odor (apartment life, I tell you), is now a heavenly abyss of scents of swirly cinnamon, tart apples and crunchy walnuts. And it was so simple, too! After a hectic first week on the job (as an A&E reporter for the local paper, schwing!), the last thing I wanted to do was deal with yeast. A note to yeast: I love you, but sometimes our relationship just does not work out. I only have so much patience. Love, Me. But back to the bread — with the combination of flax seeds, walnuts, grated AND chopped apples, sprinkled throughout a mixture of wheat and all-purpose flours, topped with cinnamon and cane sugar… you get the idea. It’s so good. And my oven did most of the work for me. I guess that makes up for the vampiric conditions of my poorly-lit kitchen. That, and I have a shoddy camera right now (but a fantastic photographing husband!), so the bread only looks a quarter as good as it tastes. Sorry. Make it now, and you’ll know what I mean (especially if your own abode has funky smells too, which I’m SURE aren’t coming from you, oh of course not…). Happy baking!
Debrief: You are free to omit the flax seeds if they freak you out or you just don’t want to get up off the couch and go buy some (because who honestly has flax seeds just lying around, anyway?). But they actually come in handy in a multitude of other foods (hot cereals, muffins, other breads), so maybe go wild and give them a try.
Apple Walnut Flax Seed Bread Courtesy of Joy The Baker
Yields: One 9×5-inch loaf
Ingredients: 1 cup all-purpose flour 3/4 cup whole wheat flour 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed 2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon generous pinch freshly ground nutmeg 2/3 cup buttermilk 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 large eggs, lightly beaten 1 cup grated apples 1/2 cup coarsely chopped apples 1 tablespoon flax seeds 3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, divided cinnamon and sugar for sprinkling
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9×5×3-inch loaf pan and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg. In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, eggs, melted butter and vanilla extract. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Add the grated apples, chopped apples flax seeds and half of the chopped walnuts. Fold to incorporate thoroughly. Spoon batter into prepared pan and top with granulated sugar, cinnamon and the rest of the walnuts. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes then invert onto a cooling rack to cool before wrapping.
Extra punches: As you can see from the pictures, my bread sort of fell apart when trying to cut it, even after letting it cool completely. I suggest freezing the bread and slicing off individual pieces while it’s frozen, and either warming up the individual slices or letting them sit out on the counter until they reach room temperature. Or, you can enjoy the imperfection of the crumbliness and eat it that way.