Say hello to my new daily breakfast. I’ve made this loaf twice in the last two weeks and have been enjoying a slice in the morning ever since. It’s lightly sweet, nutty, seedy, wonderfully wholesome and dense.
I’ve been craving a dark seedy “bread” like this ever since we spent time in the Netherlands this past summer. So when I flipped through Alanna Taylor-Tobin’s new book Alternative Baker, this recipe immediately jumped out to me.
There’s a lot going on in this loaf – walnuts, pepitas, oats, flaxseeds, chia seeds, psyllium husks and pumpkin puree among a few other things. Once I gathered everything, I was surprised how easily this came together. In the headnote, Alana says “At first glance, the recipe seems impossible, as though it shouldn’t work; but mix it all up, let it rest for a few hours and bake it and you’ll soon find yourself as hooked as I am.”
I was definitely praying to the baking gods that I wouldn’t mess this up, but I followed her instructions exactly and it came out great. Both times 🙂
If you’re gluten free, this book is a must-have. If you’re like me and enjoy experimenting with funny flours – it’s a must-have for you too. It’s packed with gorgeous baking recipes that use teff, buckwheat, coconut, chestnut and amaranth flours, just to name a few. Although it’s not vegan, there are a few vegan recipes and also some suggested substitutions like how to make pie and tart crusts with coconut oil.
The surprising thing about this loaf is that it doesn’t rise – you pack the mixture into a loaf pan and shape it so that it domes on top. Bake it for 1 hour and 15 minutes, until it’s deeply brown. This is best thinly sliced and toasted. It can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. I’ve also frozen individual slices.
I suggest following this recipe exactly as written!
Next, I have my eye on this vegan Coconut Cream and Raspberry Tart – yum!
- 1½ cups (175 g) raw walnut halves
- 1 cup (140 g) raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
- 2¾ cups (250 g) GF old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 cup (145g) dried cranberries
- ½ cup (90 g) flaxseeds
- ⅓ cup (30 g) psyllium husks
- ¼ cup (40 g) chia seeds
- 2 tsp (9 g) fine sea salt
- ¾ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 (15-oz) can unsweetened pumpkin puree
- 1 cup water (235 ml) water
- ¼ cup (60 ml) maple syrup
- ¼ cup (60 ml) sunflower oil (or light olive oil)
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 325°F (165°C). Spread the walnuts and pumpkin seeds on a small, rimmed baking sheet and toast until golden and fragrant, shuffling the pan occasionally, 10-15 minutes. Remove from the oven.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, stir together the oats, cranberries, flaxseeds, psyllium husks, chia seeds, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg to combine. Stir in the hot walnuts and pumpkin seeds. Add the pumpkin puree, water, maple syrup and sunflower oil and stir well with a sturdy wooden spoon or your hands to make sure the "dough" is moistened throughout and evenly distributed.
- Line a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan on all sides with parchment paper and scrape the dough into the prepared pan, packing it in and rounding it slightly on top; it won't rise in the oven. Cover tightly with a piece of plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 2-8 hours.
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400°F. Bake the loaf for 1 hour and 15 minutes; it will be deeply bronzed on top and feel firm to the touch. (Note: the first time I made this I took it out a little early - don't do that - let it cook the whole time even thought the outside will be very dark). Let cool completely, at least 2 hours. The bread is best sliced fairly thinly and toasted well. It will keep, refrigerated airtight, for up to 2 weeks.