This past weekend just whizzed by in a happy blur of food, fun and friends.
On Saturday, it was brunch at my friend Roshani’s. Her parents are visiting from Houston and her mom, Pratima Kothari, had cooked up a huge feast for us. I even got a quick lesson in rolling Khandvi, one of my favorite Gujarati snacks, from Mrs. Kothari who used lemon as the souring agent in the recipe instead of yogurt to make it vegan. Between discussing Bollywood movies, the best stores to buy Indian groceries in the DC area, and Indian and American politics, Desi and I stuffed ourselves silly on delicious Gujarati snacks like Dhokla, Batata Poha (flattened rice sauteed with potatoes and spices — very similar to my Kande Pohe), a stir-fry of sprouted mung beans with Indian spices, and a delicious and healthy sweet dish of dates stuffed with a mixture of pistachios, cashew nuts and saffron. We washed it all down with alcohol-free Mojitos. Yum.
Then on Sunday it was over to my neighbors Heather and Dave’s where they were hosting a get-together to welcome two new neighbors on our block. I made my Applesauce Mini Muffins — always a great hit with kids and adults — and neighbors brought in more delicious sweets, including vegan brownies made by one very thoughtful neighbor.
The days went by so fast, I didn’t have chance to bake any bread over the weekend. So Monday afternoon, project number 1 was to make something delicious that would be perfect for Desi to toast and slather peanut butter and jelly on all week (he’s my kid, that one).
I had some applesauce left over after making those muffins and the Banana Coffee Cake I shared last week, and as anyone who’s familiar with applesauce knows, it tends to spoil if left in the refrigerator too long. So I decided I’d bake up an applesauce bread– not a cake, but a loaf of bread with applesauce in it, and perhaps some cinnamon. The thought made my mouth water, and I couldn’t wait to get started.
I came across this recipe for an Applesauce Oatmeal Bread on the King Arthur website that sounded just perfect. I made some modifications — I added more applesauce, cut down on the oil, and made the bread part whole wheat to make it healthier. It was perfect– I couldn’t have asked for a better loaf to carry us through the week.
A few readers have recently asked for kid-friendly recipes, and this loaf is definitely one. I do have many kid-friendly recipes on the blog, but I haven’t categorized them clearly. I will try to do so soon, and I promise I will continue to post more.
Before I share the recipe, thanks to all you beautiful people who left comments and sent emails after my last post. It is always wonderful to hear from you, and your affection humbles me– honestly– and it keeps Holy Cow! going. I wanted to also share this image that a lovely reader, Anusha, sent me. I wanted to pass it on to all of you because I love you.
- 1 tbsp active dry yeast
- ¾ cup warm water
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1½ cups rolled oats
- 1¼ cup whole wheat flour
- 1¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ¾ cup applesauce
- 2 tbsp oil
- 2 tbsp maple syrup (can substitute with sugar)
- ½ tsp salt
- Mix the yeast in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, with the sugar and 2 tbsp of warm water. Set aside for the yeast to activate.
- Place the oats in a bowl and pour the remaining water over them. Set aside for 20 minutes to soften the oats.
- After 20 minutes, add the oats to the yeast mixture along with the applesauce, maple syrup and oil. Mix everything.
- Add the flours, salt and cinnamon and knead until the dough comes together. You want a rather stiff dough. Add some more all-purpose flour if the dough is too wet.
- Remove the dough to the platform or a flat surface and knead briefly by hand. Form a smooth ball and place in an oiled bowl, turning over once to coat the top with oil.
- Cover with a plastic bag or a kitchen towel and let it rise in a warm place for 2 hours.
- After 2 hours have passed, turn out the dough on the platform, knead slightly to deflate, and form into a loaf. Oil a loaf pan, sprinkle the bottom with some cornmeal, and place the loaf in it.
- Brush some soymilk or spray some oil on top and sprinkle a few oats. Press down slightly so they adhere to the loaf.
- Let the bread rise for 1 hour and 30 minutes, until the top domes over the loaf pan. Bake in a preheated oven set at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, dome some aluminum foil over the top of the bread and continue baking for another 25 minutes.
- Remove to a rack and unmold when the pan is cool enough to handle. Let the bread cool thoroughly on a rack.
- Slice and eat.