There was a time when cakes, cookies and bread was plain old white flour. The notion of health food wasn’t heard of, and the evils of white flour would have been laughed off. Maybe it didn’t do our generation much harm while we were growing up, these were luxuries, not everyday or even a weekly item. Cakes came with Christmas, and cookies were a once in a blue moon phenomenon. As for bread, we had 2-3 slices for breakfast once in two weeks. All that changed with the mushrooming, blossoming and then spreading like wild fire culture of eating out. We had no clue what went into the dishes that we relished with a passion. With the Internet came information and the era of ubiquitous home baking.
Like most others, I started with white flour cakes. When baking became an almost daily affair, the quantity of processed flour, butter and white sugar loomed as a monster in front of my eyes. I had to slay the dragon. If I can point to one person who prodded me in this direction, it has to be Sangeeta of www.healthfooddesivideshi.com. The kind of storm that she cooks up with local, healthy produce has to be seen to be believed. The courage to experiment with multiple grains came from her.
Baking bread is therapeutic. The yeast ferments, just as all the stress and frustrations that had been bottled up for long slowly percolates to the top. The slow kneading eases out the tension in your shoulders and soul. And inhaling the aroma of freshly baked bread can be as peaceful as an hour of meditation. This bread that I tried last week, however doesn’t need any kneading. Just mix, mash and bake. At the risk of sounding like blowing my own trumpet, let me say the texture and the taste was amazing. As certified by the husband, who is not too much into cakes and breads. That in itself is something, I suppose 🙂 Ingredients
Whole wheat flour – 1 cup
Barley Flour – 1/2 cup
Maize Flour – 1/2 cup
Almond Flour – 1/4 cup
Cocoa Powder – 1/4 cup
Brown sugar – 1/2 cup (optional, I didn’t use it)
Baking powder – 1 tsp
Baking soda – 1 tsp
Cinnamon powder – 1 tsp
Nutmeg powder – 1 tsp
Eggs – 2
Oil – 1/2 cup (used sun flower oil)
Honey – 1//3 cup
Ripe bananas – 3 (ripened to the extent that next step would be rotten)
Vanilla essence – 1/2 tsp
Crushed walnuts – 1/2 cup
Sift all the dry ingredients together, thrice. Mash the bananas with a fork. Add eggs, oil , honey and vanilla. Beat at low speed for 1-2 minutes. Add the flour mixture in three batches. Mix gently. Beat at low speed for just a minute so that all the ingredients are blended well. Add walnuts and mix with a spatula. Preheat the oven for 10 minutes at 160 C. Transfer the batter into a well oiled loaf pan. Sprinkle some quick cooking oats and walnuts on top. Bake for 45-55 minutes.
Test whether done at about 45 minutes by inserting a toothpick. If it comes out clean, take the pan out, cool for 10 minutes, and transfer to a cooling rack. Tastes best the next day.