Two years ago, I developed a recipe for Raisin Bran Bread to use up a bulk purchase of raisin bran cereal whose flakes were so big and hard and rough that it was painful to eat! We love the bread, so I actually bought more of that aggressive raisin bran whenever Costco issued a coupon, so that I could make more Raisin Bran Bread.
After a while, though, I began questioning whether it really made sense to buy a processed product as an ingredient when I could instead be using the main ingredients from which raisin bran cereal is made, leaving out the preservatives and such. It probably would be less expensive, too, given the low price of bulk wheat bran at our food co-op.
So, I once again mustered my nengkan, guessed at the proportions of ingredients to use, threw in some extra nutritiousness, tweaked it a bit more when it seemed too wet . . . and produced three yummalicious loaves! I think it’s even better than my earlier recipe. I have been eating at least two slices a day all week, and I’m not tired of it yet!
This recipe is vegan and free of soy, nuts, and corn, so it’s great for serving at gatherings of people with diverse dietary needs–except of course it contains wheat gluten. It’s loaded with fiber and iron and protein, and it’s substantial enough for a breakfast that keeps you full all morning (especially if you spread it with almond butter–yum!), and the sugar content is pretty low, yet it tastes so good that you can enjoy it for dessert, too! It is fat-free, so spread the fat of your choice on it and enjoy!
For each loaf, you will need:
- 3/4 cup wheat bran
- 1/4 cup hemp protein powder (If you don’t have this, use 1/4 cup additional flour.)
- 1 3/4 cups whole-wheat flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce (If your applesauce is sweetened, leave out the brown sugar.)
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/3 cup sorghum syrup or molasses
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp. baking powder
- 1/2 cup raisins
Preheat oven to 350F.
Mix dry ingredients, except baking powder, in a bowl. Make a well in the center. Put wet ingredients into the well. If a child is helping you, let him stir it for a while before you proceed. Mix the wet ingredients together, and then mix them with the dry ingredients.
You want to add the baking powder last (except for the raisins) because it will make the batter foamy, and the sooner you get it into the pans after that, the better the consistency of the finished bread will be. If your assistant baker is pretending to be a bulldozer pushing the hillside into the lake and is going to spend 10 minutes at it before you take over to get the batter actually thoroughly mixed, and the baking powder is in the bowl all that time, many of the bubbles it creates will be smashed or simply pop over time, and the bread will be too dense and chewy. This bread has many “heavy” ingredients, so you want maximum fluffing action!
Sprinkle baking powder over surface of batter, distributing it as much as possible. Immediately stir it in. Now stir in the raisins.
Let batter stand just a moment (do not let assistant baker stir it some more!) while you grease the loaf pan. I like coconut oil for greasing pans: It coats the surface easily and thoroughly when applied with fingers, it tastes good when you lick said fingers, and the bread pops right out when done. If you prefer to use some sort of liquid or spray oil, it’s wise to flour the pan too.
Pour batter into pan. Bake 1 hour or until chopstick poked into the center comes out clean.
Eat it plain or topped with butter, coconut oil, nut butter, cream cheese, or apple butter.