Oat Bran Bread

This is the ultimate peanut butter and jelly sandwich bread. Super moist whole grain bread with subtle sweetness.

The original recipe made 3 loaves which seemed like a little much to me… I made half the recipe and baked it in my favorite Pullman loaf pan. Perfect!

This recipe was adapted from Kathleen’s Bake Shop Cookbook: The Best Recipes from Southampton’s Favorite Bakery for Homestyle Cookies, Cakes, Pies, Muffins and Breads by Kathleen King. I doubled the wheat bran in lieu of using wheat germ, used 1 percent milk in lieu of skim, and made half the recipe as a Pullman loaf.

Yield: Makes 1 Pullman loaf (double the recipe makes 3 standard loaves)

  • 1 1/8 tsp dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 3/4 cups skim or 1 percent milk
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1 T canola oil
  • 1/2 T coarse salt
  • 1 3/4 cups oat bran
  • 1 whole wheat flour
  • 2 T wheat germ
  • 2 T wheat bran
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, separated
  1. In a large bowl, sprinkle yeast over the warm water. Stir until dissolved and set aside for 5 minutes.
  2. In a saucepan, heat milk and add molasses, oil, and salt. Cool to lukewarm.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together oat bran, whole wheat flour, wheat germ, wheat bran, and 1 1/2 cups of the all-purpose flour.
  4. Add cooled milk mixture and oat bran-flour mixture to yeast mixture. Beat for 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in remaining 1 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour.
  6. Turn out onto a lightly floured board, and knead until smooth and elastic.
  7. Transfer dough to a large oiled bowl; brush top with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in bulk. (I placed mine in a proofing oven for 1+ hours.)
  8. Punch down the dough and form into a loaf. Put into a greased Pullman loaf pan.
  9. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk. (I placed mine in a proofing oven for 1+ hours.)
  10. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees, preferably on convection, for 35 to 45 minutes, or until loaves sound hollow when tapped with your finger.

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Whole Wheat-Bartlett Pear Crumb Cake

This cake was nutty, earthy, and really really moist. The entire house smelled absolutely incredible while it baked- much of the credit should be given to the orange zest in the batter. Even more wonderful orange flavor was added after the cake was removed from the oven when fresh orange juice was drizzled all over the top. Fabulous!

This recipe was adapted from Huckleberry: Stories, Secrets, and Recipes from our Kitchen by Zoe Nathan with Josh Loeb and Laurel Almerinda. I weighed whole roasted almonds and then finely ground them in a mini food processor instead of using store-bought almond flour. I used fat-free Greek yogurt instead of whole plain yogurt. I also substituted oat bran for the toasted wheat germ in the original recipe. Wheat bran or ground flaxseed would also work as substitutes. I also baked the cake in a 9-inch springform pan instead of a 10-inch cake pan.

The authors offer seasonal adaptations to this recipe by substituting blueberries, raspberries, cranberries, apricots, peaches, or figs for the pears. Yummy!

Yield: Makes one 9-inch cake

For the Topping:

  • 1/2 cup (110 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 55 g (1/2 cup plus 2 T) almond flour
  • 20 g (1/4 cup plus 2 T) rolled oats
  • 50 g (1/4 cup) granulated sugar
  • 30 g (1/4 cup) whole wheat flour
  • 3 T all-purpose flour
  • 2 T oat bran, toasted wheat germ, wheat bran, or ground flaxseed
  • 2 T light brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp coarse salt
  • 20 g (1/4 cup) sliced almonds

For the Cake:

  • 170 g (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
  • 200 g (1 cup) granulated sugar
  • 2 T light brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp coarse salt
  • 1 T pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 160 g (1 1/4 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 55 g (3/4 cup) oat bran, toasted wheat germ, wheat bran, or ground flaxseed
  • 25 g (1/4 cup) almond flour
  • 3 T rye flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup (240 ml) plain yogurt (I used fat-free Greek yogurt)
  • zest of 1 orange, *fruit reserved*
  • 3 pears, peeled and thickly sliced into 6 pieces each (I used Bartlett pears)

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To Make the Topping:

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the butter, almond flour, oats, granulated sugar, whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, wheat germ, brown sugar, and salt. Blend with a pastry blender until homogenous.
  2. Add sliced almonds and blend with your fingers. Refrigerate until needed.

To Make the Cake:

  1. Position a rack in the middle of your oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Line and grease a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper and cooking spray.
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and salt on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  3. Incorporate the vanilla and eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl well.
  4. Pause mixing and all the all-purpose flour, wheat germ, almond flour, rye flour, baking powder, baking soda, yogurt, and orange zest. Mix cautiously, just until incorporated. Do not over mix!
  5. Scoop the batter into the prepared pan and cover evenly with the pears.
  6. Top with the crumble, allowing a little fruit to poke through.
  7. Bake for 1 hour 5 minutes or up to 1 hour 15 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Do not over bake!
  8. Allow to cool for 15 minutes in the pan; then squeeze the orange over the entire cake.
  9. Remove the side of the pan and gently pull the parchment paper from every nook and cranny of the cake.

Note: This cake is best served the day it is made, but it will keep, tightly wrapped, for up to 2 days at room temperature.

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Pull-Apart Irish Soda Bread

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When I saw a photo of this bread in Martha Stewart Living, I had to make soda bread this way! Because the pieces are smaller, the baking time is much shorter than traditional soda bread and the result is much more moist and tender bread. This recipe is also loaded with raisins and wonderful flavor and texture from caraway seeds. Great! Perfect for our annual St. Patrick’s Day soda bread breakfast. 🙂 (and week before St. Patrick’s Day soda bread breakfasts…) This recipe is from Martha Stewart Living. Happy Fiesta Friday #7 at the Novice Gardener!!
  • 1 1/3 cups whole milk
  • 1/3 cup apple-cider vinegar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface and dusting
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup unprocessed wheat bran
  • 1/4 cup caraway seeds
  • 1 cup (5 ounces) raisins
  • Salted butter, preferably Irish, for serving
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Mix milk and vinegar in a small bowl, and let stand until thickened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a large bowl. Cut in unsalted butter with a pastry cutter or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal.
  3. Add bran, caraway seeds, and raisins; stir to distribute.
  4. Pour milk mixture into flour mixture; stir until dough just holds together but is still sticky.
  5. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Pat and press the dough gently into a round, dome-shaped loaf.
  6. Divide the dough into 16 equal pieces and, with floured hands, roll each into a ball. Transfer the balls to a parchment-lined baking sheet in 4 rows of 4, making sure each dough ball is touching the ones around it. With the tip of a paring knife, cut a 1/4-inch-deep X on each ball.
  7. Bake, rotating halfway through, until golden brown and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes (on convection). Let cool on a wire rack. Cool to room temperature before serving with plenty of salted Irish butter.

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