Sunday, March 26, 2017

Quick & Easy Herb Bread

"The smell of good bread baking, like the sound of lightly flowing water, is indescribable in its evocation of innocence and delight." ~ M.F.K. Fisher

There are few things nicer than bread fresh out of the oven, but too often the idea of actually making it conjures up images of long hours in the kitchen (see above, but without Zorn’s charming brushwork). Of course, the truth is that baking bread needn't be an arduous ordeal; with a little planning and minimal effort you can have a proper yeast-raised loaf in a couple of hours. 

But there are those times when even that level of forethought and/or organizational skill eludes us, and that’s where quick breads come in. Cornbread, soda bread, zucchini bread, and even savory muffins are handy on such occasions, and today’s recipe is a worthy addition to that list: a fragrant, flavorful, and eminently sliceable herb bread that can go from your imagination to your dinner table in just over an hour.

Quick & Easy Herb Bread
~ 1.5 cups plain, unsweetened soy milk
~ 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
~ 1 tbsp. ground flaxseed
~ ⅓ cup good quality olive oil
~ 2.5 cups white whole wheat flour
~ 1 tbsp. baking powder
~ ½ tsp. each: baking soda, garlic powder, white pepper
~ 1 tsp. each: salt, sage, thyme, marjoram, parsley
~ 1 tbsp. vegan margarine, melted (or more olive oil)

~ Preheat the oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit and coat a loaf pan with cooking spray.
~ In a bowl or beaker, whisk together the soy milk, vinegar, and flaxseed. Add the olive oil, mix well, and set aside.
~ In a separate mixing bowl, sift together all the dry ingredients (flour through dry seasonings) and combine thoroughly.
~ Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the soy milk mixture; stir with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until just combined.
~ Transfer the batter to your waiting loaf pan, smooth with a spatula to make sure it spreads evenly. Pour the melted margarine (or olive oil) over the top and add a few grinds of black pepper.
~ Bake in the center of the oven at 375 degrees fahrenheit for 45-50 minutes, or until a knife or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
~ Remove the bread from the oven and allow it to rest in the pan for 5 minutes before turning it out onto a board to cool for another 10 minutes before slicing.

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