Whole Grain Breakfast Bread!
A Breakfast Craving
This morning I woke up craving breakfast bread - hearty, whole-grain bread filled with fruit and nuts. So, I found a basic bread machine recipe, gave it the dietitian’s touch, and now, a few hours later, here I am enjoying the fruits of my labor!
I chose to incorporate walnuts and cranberries into this recipe as both are nutritional powerhouses. Walnuts are one of the best plant-based sources of heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids, a nutrient found to reduce inflammation and help lower (lousy) LDL cholesterol. These tree nuts also provide vitamin E in the form of alpha-tocopherol, which studies have found to reduce the risk of heart disease. The nutrient content of walnuts do not end there, providing iron, manganese, magnesium, copper, and B vitamins as well.
I chose fresh, dried cranberries as the perfect counterpart for this rich bread. Fresh cranberries are a great source of flavonoids (anthocyanins, flavonols, and proanthocyanidins) and phenolic acids. Studies have found that these phytochemicals help to reduce the growth of certain human cancer cells, and that's reason enough for me to make cranberries a regular part of my meal plan! The more commonly known reason to opt for cranberries is their link with urinary tract infections (UTI). This berry contains certain compounds that exert a teflon-like effect, making it difficult for bacteria to cling to the urinary tract wall, therefore reducing the ability of bacteria to cause a UTI. If eating cranberries helps to reduce your risk of this painful infection, why not? They are especially delicious this time of year, just in time for the holidays!
Round 1 (Subject to Change)
Now this is round one for me with this bread and as a self-proclaimed recipe-tweaker, I may change things up the second time around. Perhaps playing with the balance of whole grain flour versus bread flour, mixing in some ground flax seed, replacing the buttermilk with orange juice (my usual), or swapping out the cranberries for blueberries or diced apple… It’s fun to be able to mix things up, and I often tweak the ingredients based on who will be enjoying the bread with me! Today, my husband is flying home and as a big fan of ‘Craisins,’ I wanted to make sure they were a part of his homecoming treat. What would you do to shake things up in your favorite recipes?
One slices of a loaf cut into 15 pieces will provide roughly 170 calories, 5 grams fat, 200 mg sodium, 25 grams carbohydrate, 3 grams fiber, and 5 grams of protein.
1/4 cup water
1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup milk + splash of lemon juice)
1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
3 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups rolled oats
1-1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup bread flour
1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons bread machine yeast
1/4 cup fresh cranberries
2/3 cup cup dried sweetened cranberries
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1-2 tablespoon orange zest
- Put all ingredients except cranberries and walnuts in the bread machine pan.
- Bake at light crust, basic setting.
- Check the dough in the early stages of mixing. It should form a smooth but slightly sticky ball.
- Add additional flour, one tablespoon at a time, until the dough ball looks right. I usually have to add 2-3 tablespoons more flour, but it varies with the amount of humidity in the air.
- Add cranberries, craisins, walnuts, and orange zest when your machine indicates it is “mix-in” time. If your machine does not have this setting, wait to add your final ingredients until roughly 5 minutes before the end of the kneading cycle.