Saturday, March 2, 2013

Carrot almond loaf

 I've been eating pretty well lately, which is nice but also, when I'm busy, quite boring, as I don't have a lot of time to experiment with recipes and just end up eating loads of raw vegetables, nuts and fish. Which makes my body feel great, but my brain a little antsy. So today, as a weekend treat, I decided to make one of my favourites, which is still not at all terrible for you.

This is a lovely loaf adapted from a recipe for brown sugar carrot bread with almonds on Mark Bittman's blog. I've made quite a few changes to it and it's still very good, so it can handle quite a lot of fiddling around. His version is made with all flour, but the ground almond gives it a really nice depth and richness.


4 tbsp cold butter (1/2 a stick)
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup ground almonds
1/2 to 3/4 cup brown sugar, depending on how sweet you want it
2 1/2 tsp baking powder (less if you aren't using ground almonds)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup milk or almond milk
1 egg
1 tbsp orange zest and a few squeezes of the juice
1/2 cup grated carrot
1/2 cup slivered almonds

1. Preheat oven to 350. At least I think that's what you do, but my oven likes to turn everything I bake into a pile of ash. I baked this at 300, for 15 minutes less than the recipe advised, and it still came out with a very dark bottom.

2. Mix together the dry ingredients, then cut in the butter until the mixture is crumbly and there are no blobs of butter any larger than a small pea.

3. Mix together the egg, milk, zest and juice and pour into the dry ingredients. Mix until just moistened (don't beat it or mix until smooth, or it'll be too dense).

4. Fold in the carrot and nuts.

5. Mark Bittman says to bake this for around one hour. I baked it for 45 minutes, but like I said above, my oven is weird, so you might just want to keep an eye on it.

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