Sunday, April 18, 2010

Whole Wheat Currant Bread

As much as I love to bake with yeast (and I love it enough to have started a bread blog!), I forgot how much fun it is to bake a quick bread. This Whole Wheat Currant Bread is about as quick as a quick bread can get; it's oil-based, so no messing around with softening or melting butter. The currants don't have to be washed, peeled, cooked, or chopped, just measure and stir 'em in. An added bonus to this recipe: it's a deliciously easy way to work whole grains into your diet.

n.o.e.'s notes:

- This bread is from Nick Malgieri's The Modern Baker. I received this book for my birthday last year - in June - and only managed to bake one recipe from it. When Phyl of Of Cabbages and Kings (@gaaarp on twitter) formed a group to bake through the book, I jumped at the chance. Well, to clarify: my jump was quick but not deep! As much as I'd love to bake every single recipe in The Modern Baker, I can't swing that kind of commitment. Luckily this group is quite relaxed and flexible - there is no participation or posting requirement. Being a member of the group will give me the incentive to dip into the book from time to time, joining the others when I can and using the resources of this excellent group as an aid to my baking. Phyl has structured the baking so that the group will spend 3 months on each of the book's four sections. Different bakers will take turns "hosting" the recipes, and this bread is the one that I chose.

- Because this is "my" recipe, I've included some process pictures, for the second time in a week! And like the Swedish Visiting Cake, this recipe is so simple that the pictures are a little superfluous.

- I baked 2/3 recipe in a smallish loaf pan.

- For whole wheat flour, I used King Arthur's Irish Style Wholemeal Flour, which is a rough textured soft whole wheat flour made from red wheat.

- The group doesn't publish the recipes from The Modern Baker, but here are the steps that I followed:

Whisk eggs with sugar and brown sugar;

then whisk in milk (I used whole milk, but you could also use buttermilk)

and oil.

With a rubber (silicone in my case) spatula, fold in a mixture of whole wheat flour, baking powder and salt,

then add currants

and fold them in.

Scrape the batter into a loaf pan and bake in a 350 degree oven.

the verdict:

The bread is sweeter than I thought it'd be, which comes mostly from the currants. The flour I used gave the bread a nice rustic platform, and I could taste the brown sugar's molasses flavor. But the currants, it's really their show, and they perform admirably. My favorite way to eat this bread was toasted, hot with butter.


Audrey said... a B&B in Ireland, with a nice hot cup of tea?

(just finishing your last sentence as I taste vicariously). It looks wonderful! I just bought currants this morning, coincidentally, but for scones. I've never tried that Irish flour, but it sounds lovely.

Di said...

Ooh, looks yummy. I have most of a box of currants in my pantry; this would be a great way to use up some of them. And I love sneaking in some whole grains whenever possible.

TeaLady said...

Looks and sounds yummy! I haven't had currants in ages. I love quick breads and this looks really quick. And grains. Love grains even tho don't follow thru with them very often.

I really NEED to get this book.

Chats the Comfy Cook said...

You just reminded me, I have to post my recipe. I finished it right away but did not get time to follow through.

This looks absolutely delicious, especially with all those dates sparkling inside of the bread.

Anonymous said...

I liked this bread when I baked it. Your loaves look wonderful.

I probably won't officially join the group (even with it's lax rules), I've got too much going on--but I really want to bake more from it.

Rachel said...

Ooooh I love currants and this bread sounds delicious!

mike said...

So strange (but profound) - I just stopped at the store tonight to buy currants! I love them - and Nick's book as well - I'll have to pull that off the shelf again, there are so many recipes that haven't been made yet! Looks heavenly - I love the sweet/healthy aspect of it. Currants are so deceptively small, sweet and wonderful!

Leslie said...

What a great pick, Nancy. That flour sounds like it would be perfect with the sweetness of the currants...and maybe some nuts!

Kayte said...

Love the process photos. This was a good description of the group! I love this group and the way it goes. Your bread looks wonderful, we loved it, too. The currents were so perfect in this. I made minis and they were just the right size for minis.

Anonymous said...

Great job, Nancy! Your bread looks wonderful, and your write up really brings the process to life.