June 12, 2014

Blueberry-lemon quick bread — GF or not

Blueberry-lemon version.

The Fire and Earth Kitchen folks, who recently taught a cooking class at my house (read about it here), just posted a recipe for blueberry breakfast bread on their Web site. The texture looked very appealing, and even though I don't usually eat cake for breakfast, I was immediately attracted to the recipe. Please don't misunderstand me here, I'm not saying you shouldn't eat cake for breakfast, just that I usually don't. Or didn't. The fact is, I baked a pan on Tuesday, and another one today. I shared some of the Tuesday cake with Miss E, her baby brother and their mom, but there was a lot left, and now there isn't. I think I ate cake for three meals a day, along with other food of course, but my husband is out of town, so it has fallen upon me not to waste the cake. And I didn't.

The crumb. Do you see the crumb?

I made the bread again today because I was tampering with the recipe and wanted to test a small adjustment before I posted it. I didn't have enough blueberries left, so I made up the difference with 1/2 cup of cut-up strawberries, and I liked it even better than the plain blueberry. But here's the most interesting thing about the bread — it can be made gluten-free without any additions like flax eggs or xanthan gum. The texture is perfect, and the taste is excellent. I rarely, if ever, use xanthan gum anymore, but I've never tried baking a cake without something like chia or flax. In fact, I've been doubling up the flax to improve my results. So, gluten-free bakers, why did this work?

Blueberry-strawberry-lemon version. Just look at the rise! Doesn't it look good?

I'm also still obsessed with adding lemon to my baked goods, and by that I mean whole chunks of lemon, skin and all. I add it with all the wet ingredients to my Vitamix, and blend it smooth. I don't know if a regular blender would purée the lemon as well as a high speed blender, so if I were using a regular blender I'd just add the juice and zest of 1/2 lemon. I measure the liquid by putting the lemon into a measuring cup and adding enough almond (or other) milk to make one cup.

I have to admit that the original recipe is simpler — so easy in fact that I actually remembered all the ingredients. I do like my version a lot, though.

Berry-lemon quick bread
based on a recipe from Fire and Earth Kitchen for
blueberry breakfast bread
makes one 9"x9" pan

  • 1-1/2 cups Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour 
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1/4 cup oat flour 
(2 cups of wheat flour can be used instead of the other flours, if you aren't baking gluten-free. I haven't tried it but F & E Kitchen says yes, and I trust them.)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt (1/4 teaspoon or less)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 small organic lemon, seeds removed, plus enough almond (or other) milk to equal 1 cup (see story) OR juice and zest from 1/2 small lemon plus enough almond milk to equal 1 cup
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup oil (I used avocado oil)
  • 1.5 cups fresh blueberries or 1 cup blueberries plus 1/2 cup strawberries cut similar size to blueberries

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly oil 9"x9" pan. (I used a glass baking dish.)
  2. Whisk together all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. 
  3. Add all wet ingredients plus the lemon, if using, to a blender jar and blend until smooth. 
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, scrapping out the blender. Mix until the dry ingredients are incorporated.
  5. Add half the berries and fold in. 
  6. Place the batter into the greased pan and spread the remaining berries evenly over the top. Press in gently, so they still show on top.
  7. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the top is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack for about 45 minutes before serving. Can be served warm or cool.
I'm making the bread again to bring to a Father's Day brunch.


Impressing company with Ethiopian food

My husband made an entire Ethiopian dinner by himself — for company — and it was so good, and I was so into eating, that I forgot to take pictures until it had been demolished. So, while it may have impressed the company, it sure won't impress you. You'll just have to take my word for it that it was excellent and beautiful. He used Kittee's recipes from when I was a recipe tester for her upcoming Ethiopian cookbook, and injera from an Ethiopian restaurant. You'll want to buy the book as soon as it comes out. Seriously.


Who are these tourists?

And when we're not cooking or eating? We're just a couple of Seattle tourists on a boat ride on Lake Washington. 


  1. Replies
    1. We really enjoyed both the quick bread and the Ethiopian food!

  2. That quick bread looks so mouthwateringly good! I've seen a lot of blueberries today in the blogosphere, and it's causing a serious craving!

    I am so excited about Kittee's cookbook! I am madly in love with Papa Tofu Loves Ethiopian, and I can only imagine how many more recipes I will fall in love with in her new book. Lucky you getting to test recipes, and even luckier you to have your husband make them! :)

    1. I'm excited about the cookbook, too, and I already have most of the recipes! We love Ethiopian food and are lucky to be able to find all the ingredients and to order injera pretty easily. One of these days I want to make real, fermented injera. I've made the quick versions, but I love the sour taste of the real thing.

  3. I typically want savory things for breakfast — like hot buckwheat cereal with tomatoes and olives. But, breakfast bread that's not too sweet, can be a nice occasional change. Right now, I can't face another bite of cake. :)

  4. That looks good! I don't make cakey breakfast things often either, not even muffins, but they can definitely be a nice treat every once in a while. Lately I've been on homemade yogurt kick... but I did make some baked oatmeal with peaches lately, which was quite yums.

    1. I remember when I used to make homemade yogurt — it was so good. The cake isn't very sweet, and though it's supposed to be for breakfast, it tastes like dessert to me.

  5. I can do cake for breakfast juuuust fine. Interesting use of avocado rather than oil! I'll have to try that.
    Am very excitedly looking forward to Kittee's cookbook.
    And such a nice shot from the boatride! There is a free ferry from the city to Staten Island, not altogether a scenic ride, but I'm excited to get out on the water this summer!

    1. Actually, it was avocado oil. Sorry for the confusion. The boat ride was the longest I've been on in a long time — 1-1/2 hours. Ever since I experienced sea sickness, I've been afraid to do more than a short ferry ride.

  6. I don't really eat cake for breakfast over much, but for this one I'll make an exception. I went out for Ethiopian food last night, and it was so good. It reminded me I should have it more often! I definitely need to get my hands on that cookbook when it comes out.

    1. I love Ethiopian food, though it can be a bit too oily for me. When you have the recipes, you can control the ingredients to your taste — that's one of the reasons I love cooking. And yes, you probably need that cookbook!


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