Being the obsessively organised creature that I am, I had pencilled in ‘write blog post, or else’ into my diary for Monday evening. I.e. right now. What I hadn’t factored into this planning was roasting my finger-tips until very ‘well done’ indeed at work just hours ago. Ouch. Consequently said fingers make little mighty loud squeals of protest each time they hit the keyboard. The ‘or else’ was looming. Fortunately I still have a stash of pre-typed posts up my sleeve…this Apple Pecan Flaxseed Loaf is one of them. Go forth and read if you fancy. Meanwhile these fried finger-tips are on a mission to seek relief in something icy.
Baking with a loaf tin always feels as though you’re automatically making something healthy. Put any batter in the tin and voila! it comes out healthy. Hmph if only that was the case. Decadent coffee cake still comes out as, well, decadent coffee cake. Fortunately this recipe is relatively healthy from the get-go, so there’s no chance of healthful disappointment. Is that a thing? Now it’s a thing. Whole-wheat flour and flaxseeds up the anti on the fibre – who needs All Bran when you can have a slice of loaf instead?! The soft, moist crumb and natural sweetness is thanks to fresh apple in two forms. Grated and diced. Oh my.
Sick of banana bread (though, is that actually possible)? Tired of zucchini loaf? Step outside the box and change it up with this Apple Pecan Flax Seed Loaf. It’s still got your one fruit/veg that one hundred percent justifies it as health food, and that trademark (well it’s trademark around these parts anyway) whole-wheat flour component. Why, you’re hardly straying far from home at all! And obviously it’s in, wait for it, the exact.same.form. That deceptively healthy ‘loaf shape’. Furthermore, it is almost as quick to prepare as you’re bog standard banana/zucchini bread. It’s pretty fair to say that this moist, spiced specimen has staunchly joined the ranks of loaves/quick breads that actually are what they appear to be – relatively healthy, yet mighty fine in the taste department too. There’s no smoke and mirrors with this one.
Apple Pecan Flaxseed Loaf
Makes one 11cm x 21.5 x 5cm loaf.
½ cup whole-wheat flour
¼ cup plus 2 tbsp plain flour
1/3 cup loosely packed brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
1 tbsp flaxseed meal (normal flaxseeds will also do)
¼ cup pecans, chopped
½ cup grated apple (about 1 medium) I left the skin on.
Heaped ¼ cup chopped apple (about ½ a small).
1/3 cup buttermilk
40g unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
½ tsp vanilla essence
1 egg, lightly beaten
½ tsp granulated sugar for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease and line an 11cm x 21.5 x 5cm loaf tin with baking paper.
In a medium bowl whisk together the flours, sugar, baking powder and soda, salt, spices and flaxseed meal. Stir in the pecans, grated and chopped apple until well coated.
In a small jug or bowl whisk together the buttermilk, cooled melted butter, vanilla essence and egg.
Tip the wet mixture into the dry all at once. Fold gently with a large spoon or plastic spatula until just combined and no pockets of flour remain.
Scrape batter into the prepared loaf tin and sprinkle with the granulated sugar.
Bake for 30 minutes or until firm to touch and a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre of the loaf.
Set the tin on a wire rack and leave to cool for 15 minutes before turning the loaf out onto the rack to cool completely.
Serve sliced, as is or toasted, with or without butter and/or honey.
Will keep for 2 days in an airtight container. Also freezes well.
Source: Adapted from Joy the Baker.