Monday, 21 July 2014

Wholewheat Fruit and Coconut Bread -- No Butter No Oil

This one is probably the most healthy bread I have made in a long time now. It is like a Pandora's Box filled with all the healthy goodies. Wholewheat, loaded with fruits and without the overpowering guilt of those unwanted calories. While I did add some light sour cream with 18% fat (regular butter is 80-84%), you can even skip that and make some changes as per the suggestions given at the end of this post. The best part that I like about this bread is the fresh fruit pieces which you dig into in every bite. There is Mango, Apricots, Raisins, coconut, and the list can go on as per your choice and liking. But wait, I hope you are not confusing this recipe with that of a regular yeast bread. This "cakey" bread is actually more closer to being a cake except that it is more dense, crumblier, and makes you full with a single slice and is in fact a complete meal in itself. You can also do small muffins instead of the loaf, which will make it easier for you to carry to office or elsewhere. 
2 cups wholewheat flour
1/2 cup light sour cream (18% fat; regular cream can also be used or homemade malai/cream is also a good option)
1/4 cup milk (either skimmed or full cream)
1 cup brown sugar (can be replaced with 1/3 cup honey and 2/3 cup artificial sweetener like Stevia) 
3 eggs
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanila essence
1 cup dried or fresh mango pieces chopped (I prefer the dried ones as the fresh ones will easily dissolve in the heat)
1 cup dried apricots chopped
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup grated fresh coconut (in its absence, dessicated coconut can also be used)
Any nuts of your choice for topping. Can be added in the batter too (walnuts, almonds, pistachios are a good option)

Beat the sugar, cream, milk, vanila essence, and eggs till light and creamy. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.  Fold this into the egg mixture little at a time till all mixed well and no lumps remain. Add the fruits one at a time and mix. 
Pre heat the oven at 180 degree celsius and grease or line a loaf tin or line the muffin tray with paper liners. Pour the batter onto the prepared pan. The batter will be thick and so you will need to spread it out evenly with the help of a spatula. Tap the bottom a couple of times to prevent any air bubbles. Garnish the top with chopped nuts and let it sit for 5-10 minutes till your oven pre heats. 
Bake in the pre heated oven for 40-50 minutes till a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Do check in between as the oven temperatures may vary. If the top gets over browned and the bread still not done, as it happened with me, tent the top loosely with an aluminium foil to prevent burning. Once done, remove from  oven and let it cool in the pan for 10 min before transferring to a wire rack for cooling completely. Slice when cooled and store in air tight container. This bread also tastes wonderful if lightly toasted.

Healthier Optional Ingredients
Instead of the cream and milk, use buttermilk of the same quantity. That is 3/4 cup. Also, if you are vegetarian and do not eat eggs, replace it with another 1/3cup buttermilk. If the batter appears too thick (should be of drop consistency, add a little milk, 1 tbsp at a time). 
If you are not calorie conscious and want to enjoy this bread in its full glory, add 1/2 cup butter and 1/4 cup vegetable oil instead of the buttermilk/sour cream option. 

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