I t seems it is the season of quick breads on many a food blog right now, with St. Patrick's Day this month. " Quick breads" is also the theme for Bread Baking Day (a.k.a BBD) this month. A quick bread is different from yeasted breads in that chemical leaveners like baking powder and/ or baking soda or cream of tartar are used instead of yeast. So there is no long process of proofing or rising involved here and hence the name "quick" bread.
Quick breads can be made using the muffin method (mixing the dry and wet ingredients lightly), the creaming method (creaming the sugar and fat as for cakes) and the biscuit method (cutting chilled fat into flour as for pie crusts). It is important not to work the dough or batter too much, no matter what method is followed to make quick breads. Muffins, cornbread, panckes, waffles, scones (or biscuits), certain fruit breads including the banana bread and soda bread are all quick breads.
Looking for a quick bread to bake for BBD, I decided I wanted to make something "hatke". In Hindi, the word "hatke" means "away from the trodden path" or "different". Not Irish soda bread (not this month), not fruit muffins (I just made some strawberry muffins and zucchini bread, and I don't like banana in bread), no scones or biscuits (want to keep the fats down) or waffles (I should post one of mine) but something "hatke"!
If you were somewhat familiar with the Bollywood (the world of Indian popular cinema) actor lingo of sometime back, "hatke" used to be a favourite expression of many an upcoming actor. Whenever they were asked about their character/ part in a particular movie, many actors would say it was "hatke" meaning different from the usual run of the mill movies everyone else was doing. What this "hatke" would invariably translate as was that they were doing the same old stuff Bollywood was churning out in huge numbers, but that their costume or make-up was different!!
And I must say, my "hatke" story here is somewhat Bollywood style!!! My quick bread didn't turn out all that different either. If you look carefully at the recipe, you will find that it really is a mega muffin posing as a bread. I found the recipe at Eating Well and I tweaked it slightly to make it eggless and added some raisins. If you are careful to ensure that the batter is not over-mixed, this recipe produces a reasonably light and soft bread. And no one would believe it has oats in it because you just can't see it in the bread.
1 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup + 1 1/2 tbsp rolled oats
1 cup all purpose flour
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup plain low fat yogurt
1 cup low fat milk
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup mild flavoured honey
1 tbsp powdered flax seed + 3 tbsp warm water
1/2 cup golden raisins
Place all the dry ingredients (the first 6 ingredients above, keeping the 1 1/2 tbsp of oats aside) in a bowl and whisk a couple of times to mix them well. Add the raisins and mix again, ensuring the raisins are well-coated with the flour.
In another bowl, whisk together all the wet ingredients just enough to mix them. Make a well ion the dry ingredients and pour the wet mixture into it. Very gently mix the two together, taking care not to over mix. The batter will be quite thick and lumpy.
Scrape this batter into a greased loaf pan and sprinkle the 1 1/2 tbsp of oats on top. Bake the loaf at 190C for about 45 minutes till the top is brown (not dark) and a skewer/ knife inserted into the loaf comes out clean. Cool the loaf in the tin for about 15 to 20 minutes and then turn it out on a rack to cool completely. Slice and serve. This bread tastes better the next day. Its excellent, when toasted and buttered, along with a cup of coffee or tea.