In our house, nothing rounds out a simple meal like fresh bread. The problem with this preference is that I am, as previously disclosed, not a great planner. If there’s one thing fresh bread needs it’s a little planning time – a little forethought, unless of course you’re talking quick bread.
I don’t know who made the first quick bread, but I suspect it was someone like me who had simply run out of time and decided to see what would happen if you skip the yeast part and make do. If you’ve not tried to make a quick bread (and chances are you have but didn’t think of it that way – i.e. cornbread), it is simply a “bread” that is honestly more like a cake in texture. Denser and more moist than yeast bread, quick bread is not sandwich material, it’s something you put on a plate and occasionally have to eat with a fork because, well, it’s more like cake – and last time I checked that was a good thing.
One of my favorite quick breads is this spicy banana bread (molasses is great for the iron deficient crowd), but for this particular meal I needed a less sweet quick bread – one that was definitely suitable prior to dessert. Cookbook scrambling and a desire to use some of this fabulous vegan cheddar cheese from our friend Somer led me to a recipe for a zucchini cheddar loaf, but zucchini in winter just ain’t happening. I subbed out apples and applesauce (zucchini holds a lot of moisture so I thought the applesauce would help fill this role). The result? Delicious, hearty, slightly sweet and savory. Warm and hearty apple cheddar bread was a perfect companion to leftover mashed potato and leek soup. Bring your cold, winter, we got it covered.
Apple Cheddar Bread (DF) - adapted from Zucchini Cheddar Bread in The All New All Purpose: Joy of Cooking
- 2 c whole wheat flour
- 1 c rolled oats
- 4 t baking powder
- 1 t salt
- 1/2 t baking soda
- 1/2 c applesauce (I prefer unsweetened)
- 1/2 c chopped apple
- 3/4 c chopped or chunked sharp cheddar (I used this vegan cheddar which is FANTASTIC)
- 3 T chopped parsley
- 2 eggs (I used flax)
- 1 c coconut milk (or whatever you prefer)
- 4 T olive oil
Preheat the one to 350 with rack in center position. Oil an 8 cup loaf pan (about 9 by 5 inches).
If you’re making flax eggs, do this now so they can set up while you do everything else. Combine the first 5 ingredients in a large bowl – stir a couple of times to mix. Add the next four ingredients to the flour mixture and toss to separate all the bits and coat them with flour. Combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl, stir, and then add to the dry ingredients. Stir just until there are no dry ingredients. Transfer to loaf pan and bake 55 to 60 minutes. Allow to cool in pan for at least 10 minutes before taking out of pan and allowing to cool on a rack, or stuffing in your face, I mean cutting yourself a slice. Serve with other weather-taming foods for a delish and hearty meal.