Friday, June 18, 2010

Another option

When someone says 'quick-bread' I do not immediately think, "savory," or "onions," or even "whole wheat." I think "bananas-butter-zucchini-sweet-sweet-sweet." I should know better. I should think fun and exciting things like "candied ginger and chocolate" or "persimmon oat spice." I should then think of savory possibilities as well, like "cheddar and green peppers," "cottage cheese and dill," or on a day like today, "spring onions, nuts and seeds." I have gotten a little better. Obviously, since I made a savory quick-bread. That should count for something!

I had to get into the savory breakfasty baking when I catered in Vancouver. My catering partner and I made a concerted effort to never serve the same thing twice. That may sound like a no-brainer, but most catering companies have a menu to choose from. We made up our menus to-order depending on season, occasion, and whim. The difficulty came when we catered for one group on a regular basis. We had to get a little creative.

For me, this meant finding as many different baked morning snacks as possible, and every morning break had to have something savory. At first, this sent me scrambling--no pun intended. I did not want just savory eggs! What do you make in the morning that isn't eggs, but isn't lunchy either?

Then I discovered savory quick breads. Problem solved. They are everything morning. Soft bread, savory but with a little bitty hint of sweet. I have a thing now with nuts and onions, herbs and cheese. And though I haven't experimented yet on the quickbread, the subtle qualities differences in various flours would add another array of possibilities. For now, this savory seedy-nut bread is my favorite.

Savory Seedy-Nut Bread (adapted from Broccoli Forest)

I might not be quick on the savory uptake, but this bread stole my heart and was the food I snacked on during those long caterings. With some salt and pepper cream cheese, or fresh goat cheese, it was a delightful treat for an early start.

butter or oil for greasing baking pan
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup finely minced green onion (can substitute yellow onion)
1 cup finely chopped nuts and seeds*
1 1/2 whole wheat pastry flour
1 cut whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups buttermilk or yogurt
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a loaf pan and set aside.

Melt the butter in a medium-sized skillet. Add the onion, nuts, and seeds and saute over medium heat for 5-10 minutes--until the onion is soft and the nuts are lightly browned. Remove from heat.

Combine flours, baking powder, soda, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center.

Combine the buttermilk or yogurt and the eggs in a separate bowl. Pour into the well in the dry ingredients, and add the nutty onion mixture, stirring until completely blended (but don't overdo it).

Spread into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a knife inserted all the way into the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then rap sharply and remove. Cool on a rack for about 30 minutes more, or the bread will crumble. Serve warm as soon as possible, or cooled and toasted. Enjoy!

*I used 3 tablespoons poppyseeds, heaping 1/4 cup walnuts, 1/4 cup almonds, 1/4 cup sunflower seeds. It was nice, but I highly recommend some pepitas in the mix!

1 comment:

  1. Healthy... this is my type of food!! Well done and the pepitas a good tip!!