Wednesday, May 25, 2016

My Daily Bread

Sliced, fresh Daily Bread

Time for a new recipe! I make this bread at least twice weekly, and thought it would be a good idea to post it before I forget how to use the blog. ;-)

This truly is my "Daily Bread", which I eat almost every morning for breakfast. It's MUCH better toasted. I usually have it with avocado and a light sprinkling of my homemade seasoned salt, but another favorite is with ricotta cheese and a tiny dab of all-fruit or low-sugar preserves. Sometimes I have it for lunch or a snack as well, with a smear of hummus, a nice piece of soft cheese, a dab of aioli with some turkey or sliced tomato, or back to the avocado or ricotta. It's that good, and i just don't get tired of it. Four small slices usually last me through the morning.

This is a derivative of the "The Life Changing Loaf of Bread" posted in 2013 by Sarah Britton on her blog, My New Roots. Sarah got her recipe from a friend, adapted it and it became a big hit, justly so. There are over 1800 (!) comments on that blog post, and probably 1800 people have made it in 1800 different ways. I have used Sarah's basic recipe, but have changed some of the dry ingredients to create a lower-carbohydrate bread. I try to follow the basic principles of separating fat and carb fuels as much as possible, and on the Trim Healthy Mama plan, this recipe is an "S", for Satisfying, or higher-fat and lower-carb food.

I also have tweaked the baking of the bread — instead of using a regular loaf-sized pan, I use three mini-loaf pans (the disposable aluminum pans work great). The small slices are easier to freeze and I guess I just like the small bites approach to meals. 

Three mini-loaf pans = one regular loaf pan

There are a lot of ingredients here, yes there are. But the recipe is SO SIMPLE. I keep my seeds and nuts in the freezer, and the other ingredients together in the pantry. Since we eat this almost daily, I have to make at least two batches weekly. Sometimes I make both at once, and sometimes I will put the dry ingredients into a large zippy bag for another batch later in the week. Then I just have to dump the contents of the bag in a mixing bowl, add the liquid ingredients, stir and on we go. 

Dry ingredients mixed together
After liquid ingredients are added, but not absorbed.

Did I mention this freezes beautifully? In fact I freeze the bread soon after it has cooled and I have sliced it. There is a corner of my freezer reserved for the stack of Daily Bread containers, and when I see we are down to the last container, it's baking day. I can mix up the batch in 5 minutes or so, and finish the baking/cooling/slicing process during the day as I have time. 

I have successfully traveled with the Daily Bread, by packing slices into a freezer-weight quart zippy bag (yes in a suitcase). I carried a few slices in a napkin into the hotel's breakfast room, toasted it in their toaster, and enjoyed it with cream cheese and a touch of jam. Certainly better for me than the bread and waffles usually available at the hotel!

Here is the recipe I have developed as my favorite version of the Daily Bread. This is how I make it most frequently. 

Cindy's Daily Bread

1 cup sunflower seeds, raw, shelled
1/2 cup walnuts or almonds, chopped
1/2 cup flax meal (or half seeds, half meal)
1/2 cup hemp seeds (or hearts, shelled, raw)
1/2 cup oat fiber (oat bran or rolled oats work too)
1/2 cup rolled oats
2 tbsp chia seeds
4 tbsp psyllium seed husks (available at Trader Joe's, a health food store or online)
1 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp maple syrup
3 tbsp coconut oil
1-1/2 cups water

Mix all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl, until well blended. Heat water with coconut oil and maple syrup until oil is melted. Stir the water/syrup/oil mixture and pour over the dry ingredients. Stir well. It may be very wet, but the dry ingredients will absorb the liquid as it sets.

Spoon into three mini-loaf pans, which have been sprayed with olive or coconut oil spray. Pat into the pans with the back of a spoon. The liquid should be absorbing and you will see the mixture holds together. Set the pans out of the way for an hour or so (up to 24 hours if you need to). Heat your oven to 350 degrees F, and bake the three loaves for 30 minutes. Turn the heat down to 300 degrees F, and remove the bread from the pans, turn the loaves upside down directly on the racks, and let bake another 30 minutes. There should be a somewhat hollow sound when you tap on the loaves. Sometimes I turn the heat off after 20 minutes and let the loaves set in the oven another 20-30 minutes to cool. 

When cool enough to touch, slice the loaves carefully with a very sharp large chef's knife (you will be slicing through seeds and nuts). I slice each loaf into 10 small slices. Pack the slices into a freezer container, and store in freezer.

When ready to use the bread, remove the number of slices you want and toast them from the frozen state. We use a toaster oven, but I have used a regular toaster and used wooden tongs to remove the toast. Top with your choice of favorite toppings, savory or sweet.

Approximate nutrition facts: I do not have an "official" nutrition list for this recipe. I did some research however, and as written above and sliced into 30 small slices, each slice has approximately 85 calories, 7 grams fat, 2.3 grams net carbs (carbs less fiber), 3 grams protein, and .7 gram sugars. It's gluten-free (if made with GF oats), and dairy-free. 

NOTE: The psyllium seed husks are a great source of fiber (and are sold for that purpose), so be aware that your digestive system will have more fiber going through. Be sure you drink plenty of water! The psyllium (along with the chia) also does a great job of holding the bread ingredients together without the need for egg or other binder.

Two batches resting before baking

And fresh from the oven