Monday, 5 April 2010

Non Bread Tasty Loaf Thingy

A friend likes to call this cinnamon and apple soda bread, because it uses soda as a raising agent, but my dad disagrees as it doesn't use buttermilk. He likes to call it a tea bread because that's generally when he eats it, but because it isn't made with tea and doesn't contain yeast I disagree about the whole tea bread theory or even the bread bit to begin with.

It's closest relative is the muffin but because of the size almost everybody disagrees with me. Though if I make individual ones in muffin cases, they'll happily play along.

What everyone does agree on is that it tastes really good, warm or cold and it gets even better as each day passes. It's the perfect little loaf to make in the evening so you can drift off to sleep to the smell of warm cinnamon (perhaps with a slice already in your belly) and wake up to a fat slice for breakfast, spread with a little butter or jam.


Preheat oven to 180C (350F)

1 1/2 cups plain flour (dug in cup fulls from the bag)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white caster sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar (packed firmly)
1 teaspoon bicarb/baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon (we love cinnamon but you can half this amount for a more subtle flavour)

1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 cup applesauce

Place all of the dry ingredients into a large bowl and mix to combine. It's usually easier to scrunch the brown sugar through the rest of the ingredients with your hand.

Place the wet ingredients into a jug or another bowl and again give them a good mix.

Dump the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until just combined, don't worry too much about little lumps, especially where the brown sugar is concerned. Pour the batter into a 2lb loaf tin and spread it around a bit to level it.

This batter starts to rise pretty quickly, even in just the time it takes to mix in the bowl and pour into the tin, the batter will have become almost mousse like. Place the tin in the preheated oven and bake for at least an hour.

It takes about an hour and 15 minutes in my oven, slighter longer in mum's and as much as 90 minutes at a friend's house, but after an hour test for doneness with a skewer. It's ready when moist crumbs cling to the skewer rather than any batter.

Leave it in the tin to cool for about ten minutes and then turn out. It will have a light fluffy crumb on the inside and a crisp crust which softens once it is completely cooled.

Serve hot from the oven, cold the next day or warmed slightly under the grill with or without butter and jam.

You can of course make up this recipe and make individual muffins. It will make about a dozen large muffins and they take about 30 minutes to bake and make a great breakfast on the go.


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