Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Frugal Diva: Quickbread Edition ...

Yummy quick bread or heavy-weight doorstop? You make the call.

Ok, I'm kidding, and mostly because I'm not really a fan of quick breads. They're too often leaden in texture and lacking the soft, chewy comfort one desires of a loaf. That being said I'm long ... very long ... on fresh dill and I've still got that barrel of chickpea flour with which to contend. Astra Libris mentioned using the chickpea flour in quick breaks awhile back and that got me thinking; the ginormous bunch of dill residing in my fridge got me baking. Here's what I did with it ...

Cheddar Dill Quick Bread:
  • 1/2 cup of chickpea flour
  • 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup of all-purpose white flour
  • 2 tsp. of baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp. of ground cayenne pepper*
  • 1/2 tsp. of salt
  • 1 scant tbsp. of brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. of fresh thyme*
  • 2 or 3 tbsp. of snipped fresh dill
  • 1 1/4 cup of shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup of grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup milk*
Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine the flours, the baking powder, cayenne pepper, salt and brown sugar and whisk well to combine. Add the shredded cheese and herbs to the dry ingredients and mix well.

In a small bowl, beat the egg and milk together and add them to the dry ingredients, stir to mix until just combined. The batter will be VERY thick and stiff. Scrape the batter into a 9 inch, non-stick, loaf pan, smoothing the top and pressing it into the corners of the pan. Bake the loaf in the middle of the pre-heated oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cool the loaf in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then remove from the pan. Serve warm and enjoy!
The results? A savory, delicious loaf that's bright with the flavor of fresh dill and rich with all the yummy goodness you'd expect from cheese. The chickpea flour, while not the predominant flavor, is there in the background - adding a bit of whimsy and intrigue to the mix. Frankly, I love this bread. I love it too much.

Its delicious all on its own, right out of the pan, but I'm not going to lie - I buttered my slice. So sue me. Life's too short to live without butter!

A couple of notes on the recipe. One, I know its not Beachy. I could probably have replaced all of the white flour with a combination of whole wheat and chickpea flour ... but I was trying to build success into my quick bread mission. Same is true for the bit of brown sugar. Certainly, I could have opted for agave nectar ... but I have yet to master baking with it. Again, success was my intent. Feel free to play around with both the flour and other non-sugar ingredients and report back to me.

As for the thyme, it was hanging around my fridge too. Thyme and dill play well together, so in it went. Feel free to use whatever herbs you have on hand. All will be well. Lastly, the cayenne ... the brand I use is *super* hot. Insanely hot - thus the 1/8 teaspoon. If your pepper is less potent, why not live dangerously and up that to a 1/4 teaspoon? Your choice.

I'm well pleased with the results of my frugality. This savory bread will in no way be mistaken for a doorstop and I've made a small ... ok, very small ... dent in the chickpea flour and dill. I smell a series in the making ... stay tuned!

So, have you got a favorite quick bread recipe that won't be mistaken for a doorstop? Curious Diva wants to know.

Bon appetite!


Dianne1216 said...

Mmmm...looks good although I don't eat cheese...haha. I have an idea for your dill...use it in split pea soup. Dill and split peas taste heavenly together!

The Diva on a Diet said...

You're right, Di, dill and split peas are a marvelous combo! Thanks for reminding me. :)

pixelgal said...

I have a zucchini bread that I may have mentioned already on your summer blogs...but I can't remember if I did or not. It's not too beachy but oh so good. When the garden is in session, I'll bring this up again. It's best with the fresh stuff. And as for the dill, my Greek friend uses it in all her vegetable dishes. Matter of fact I'll get her recipe for roast veges which is a big hit with her family..and me!

Anonymous said...

We whipped up a cranberry orange walnut bread that was the exact way. Soooooo thick and heavy but fairly light at the same time. Definitely delish with lots of butter! We'd love to slather yours with Kerrygold too, but in an attempt to be healthy, we can totally eat it just as is!

Juliet said...

Looks great. Definitely not a door stop. It has cheese in it, it must be great!!! :)


Looks delicious - you can't get anything but a loaf here. Occasionally you'll be able to find Lebanese flatbread but only if you're lucky - it is quite easy to spot though since everybody except me in this town hates it lol!

Scarlet xx

The Diva on a Diet said...

Duo - I remember your quick bread and it looked spectacular! I'd like to slather *everything* in Kerrygold! LOL

By the way, I'll be doing your meme tomorrow. :)

Juliet - you're right, anything with cheese is good. ;)

Scarlet - I'm working on your questions and will have them to you tomorrow! I love middle Lebanese bread too. So yummy.

The Diva on a Diet said...

How did I miss pixelgal?!? Would love to have M's recipe for the roasted veggies - if she'll part with it, I'll be happy to post it. As for the zucchini bread ... it was outstanding, and kind of Beachy with the oat bran. I'd like to post that recipe too when its zucchini season again. :)

Deb said...

The only quick breads I ever made I'm ashamed to admit were the box variety - ugh! I do however make a very good banana bread using the recipe that came with my kitchen aid mixer. Again not beachy but oh so good and ya can't let those old bananas go to waste now can ya?


The Diva on a Diet said...

Deb - love banana bread! Have you tried using some whole wheat flour in place of the white? I'm sure you have ... and I agree, life is much to short to become obsessed with this stuff. Rock on with your banana bread!