Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Peach Mango Oatmeal Bread

“Without wishing in the slightest degree to disparage the skill and labour of breadmakers by trade, truth compels us to assert our conviction of the superior wholesomeness of bread made in our own homes.”
Eliza Acton, Modern Cookery for Private Families (1845)

In celebration of breads made in our own homes, Zorra of Kochtopf baked up Bread Baking Day, a monthly adventure in the oven. This month's Bread Baking Day, #18 - Quick Breads, is hosted by Fun & Food Blog. Deadline: April 1st, 2009.

Quick breads are, by their very nature, um.. quick. They use baking soda or powder (or both) as leaveners, rather than yeast. If you are new to bread baking, this is an excellent way to get your feet wet, or hands, as it were.

I turned to my old friend King Arthur for ideas in the handy-dandy quickbreads section of Whole Grain Baking, where I found this treasure - perfect for breakfast. The texture is a little "muffiny", but quite good. And the smell! Like a bowl of fruity oatmeal. A great way to start the day.

Peach Mango Oatmeal Bread
Adapted from King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking
Their original had only peaches, I added the mango.
Yields one 9 x 5-inch loaf, 16 servings.

2 cups (12 ounces) peeled, sliced peaches and mangoes; thawed if using frozen slices, well drained if using canned
2 cups (8 ounces) whole wheat flour
¾ cup (3 and 1/8 ounces) unbleached bread flour
½ cup (3 and ½ ounces) granulated sugar
½ cup (3 and ¾ ounces) packed light or brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup (3 and ½ ounces) old fashioned rolled oats
2 large eggs
1 cup (8 ounces) milk
¼ cup vegetable oil
¼ teaspoon almond extract

Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan. Cut the peaches into small (¼ inch) pieces; place in a strainer to drain. Stir together the flours, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices in a large mixing bowl. Add the oats and peaches; stir to coat the peaches. Beat together the eggs, milk, oil, and almond extract in a small mixing bowl or large mixing cup. Add to the flour mixture, stirring until just evenly moistened.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for one hour. Test the loaf for doneness; if a toothpick inserted in the center doesn’t come out clean, cover the top of the bread with foil and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, run a table knife around the edges of the loaf to make sure it’s not sticking, then turn it out of the pan and return it to the rack to cool completely before slicing.

Served with - fruity whipped cream cheese. Just leave your cream cheese out on the counter to come to room temperature, whip in the mini processor with a coupe of dollops of your favourite fruit preserves. I used apricot here, and topped with a little more preserves for garnish.