Bread-Baking

Hey everyone!

How are you today? I’m good, but I’m cold! It’s absolutely freezing and it’s not out of the ordinary to see me walking around wearing my Snuggie all day. I’m not the biggest fan of cold weather, but if I can bundle up and somehow manage to be warm, it’s okay I guess. I don’t think my dogs like it, though. Ridiculously cold weather = no walks! They’re getting a bit restless, so I may have to brave the temperatures and take them out soon.

Meanwhile, I have been loving my break. Today is only the second day, but it has been so nice to not have schoolwork looming over my head. That won’t last for long, because I need to start studying for my ACT in February, but I’m enjoying it while I can. Yesterday was actually quite productive! I had time to read blogs, write my big brother, get a blog post up, do my workout and get a little bit of grocery shopping in.

One thing I learned yesterday is that it’s a BAD idea to eat right before you workout. I usually work out before breakfast so I have something to look forward to, but yesterday I waited till the afternoon. I’d just roasted some broccoli, so I ate a few pieces before I started. I felt so disgustingly sick afterwards, and I was almost positive I wasn’t going to keep the broccoli down. My stomach was churning and the very thought of broccoli made me gag. Thankfully after lowering my heart rate, walking around and stretching, I felt better. I won’t do that again, though!

Other than the things I listed above, I also had time to bake a loaf of bread I’ve been drooling over for quite some time, Angela’s Pumpkin Gingerbread. I made quite a few modifications like…

  • Omitted the maple syrup
  • Used 1/4 cup organic sugar + 1/4 cup NuNaturals Stevia Baking Blend (therefore technically reducing the sugar to over 1/4 of what it called for… because I I took out the maple syrup and stevia is not sugar)
  • Used 1 tbsp ground flax seed + 3 tbsp water instead of chia seeds
  • Did 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, as well as 1/2 + 2/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • Increased ginger to 3/4 teaspoon
  • Omitted cloves
  • Used pecans instead of walnuts
  • No frosting

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You would think with all those modifications that it wouldn’t turn out well, but you’d be wrong! It was awesome and I absolutely loved this bread. It was moist, soft, and I didn’t even notice the missing sugar. I actually can’t imagine it being any sweeter. The molasses does a fine job of sweetening it, although I do think the 1/4 cup of sugar/stevia is necessary to cut the bold flavor of molasses. If I were just making it for myself, I probably would not have used the other 1/4 cup. Anyway, with all of my changes I think this recipe could ALMOST be eaten for breakfast? If you only use 1/4 cup of the stevia blend and use all whole wheat pastry flour, it would be even healthier. (Although, I do admit, the unbleached flour makes for a really nice texture.)

Almost-Breakfast Pumpkin Gingerbread
(Adapted from OhSheGlows)

  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup organic sugar/Stevia Baking Blend**
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup full-flavor molasses
  • Flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax + 3 tbsp water)
  • 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup + 2/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 3/4 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • pecans, for topping (optional)

**Whether you use 1/4 cup or 1/2 cup is dependent on how sweet you want this bread to be. I would suggest using 1/4 cup for a breakfast-approved bread, and 1/2 cup for a dessert-like bread. Also, in a recent post I voiced some concern over the artificial taste of the Stevia Baking Blend. You canNOT taste that at all in this bread. The molasses and ginger are strong enough that you don’t notice it one bit.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a regular loaf pan with coconut oil, olive oil or non-dairy buttery spread. Mix together first 5 ingredients (pumpkin, sugar/stevia, coconut oil, molasses and flax egg) in a medium bowl. Next, mix together all the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, spices, salt and baking powder) in a large bowl. Add wet to dry and mix until just combined and there is no visible flour. It should be a fairly thick batter. Stir in chopped pecans and spoon the mix into the loaf pan. Spread it smooth, then top with the optional pecans. Bake for about 45 minutes. Try not to over-bake it, because this bread is great when it’s slightly moist. Let cool (if you can) and enjoy!

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Ohhh yes. So good. Make this bread and you will be happy. I know it looks pretty dry on the outside, but it isn’t. The crust is slightly crunchy and the inside is moist and soft. Also, ignore the burnt pecans. The bread was not burnt at all; it was perfect.

I should also mention that this is not the only bread you will be seeing on my blog. Yesterday my mom made a request for banana bread, and it’s really rare that she asks me to bake her something! I need to find a good recipe for that. I also have had the urge to bake some whole wheat bread (from freshly-ground wheat berries!) for quite a few days, so I will probably do that sometime this week.

Well, I’ve got about a half hour till my workout. I’m going to see what I can get done until then.

Question of the Day: What do you think about the cold? How does it affect your workout schedule? Also, has anyone else caught the baking bug like I have? I always love to bake, but it hits me full-force in the winter time. It’s just so fun. 🙂

Thanks for reading!

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10 responses to “Bread-Baking

  1. Ooh Kelsey, I thought I healthified the recipe, but you really went to town!

    I usually don’t do my workouts outside anyway, so the cold isn’t affecting me too bad. But I do have to admit that it’s so cold I don’t feel like doing anything productive, I just want to stay under the blankets or bake!

  2. That looks delish!!! YUM! I like the modifications, because I’m all about tweaking to make a bit healthier! And I love being able to justify dessert for breakfast! (Hello, banana ice cream! hehe) I hope I can try this recipe soon!

  3. SUCH a good call on the pecans! YES the weather is super hard to deal with in regards to exercise. UGH

  4. I really don’t like cold weather. I tend to want to workout even more, though, because I want to warm up!!!! As for baking, I have a whole LIST of things I want to make over the holidays!!!!

  5. Pecans and pumpkin is such a great combination

  6. spoonfulofsugarfree

    I AM FREEZING!!!! I hate the cold 😦 I wore my sweat pants and sweatshirt to bead. Along with a fuzzy pair of green socks!

  7. sounds like your having a great holiday!!! i like cold..as long as i don’t have to go outside….haha..so i guess i’m not a fan of it
    my workout schedule isn’t as active…i do more yoga and whatever in the house…
    LOVE your layout and everything…loooks awesome!

  8. My mom wanted me to make gingerbread for Christmas morning and I am DEFINITELY using this recipe!! Also I am lovingg your festive page 🙂

  9. Ohhhh…. isn’t making homemade bread so incredibly wonderful??? So glad to see I have a fellow fan! 😉

  10. I’m not a fan of the cold. I think the fact that I have to deal with it while walking to class plays a role in that. Brr!

    The bread looks great. I especially love the design on top!

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