Sunday, April 1, 2012

Baking Nut Bread

The wind has been howling and we have had a deluxe mixed bag of weather to greet us today.  Dark skies, rain, sleet, snow and now a peek of sunshine - the first we have had in a week or more.  I think today is the epitome of April fool's and the joke is definitely on us!  So in order to chase the cold away, I decided to bake a nice nut bread.  Let's face it - there is nothing like carbs to comfort and warm the spirit on such a blustery day. 

When the sun broke through I ran outside to capture the blue sky that lingered for only a few moments before being swallowed up again.  As I came in the front door -breathless from fighting the wind, the smell of the cooling bread assailed my nose and whisked me back to grade school.  Although I  Risk dating myself - when we were kids, the lunch ladies actually cooked us real food in the cafeteria for lunch.  The hallways would smell of baking cinnamon rolls, or pizza made from scratch or taco filling simmering.  Funny how smells can be the catalyst of time travel.  It wasn't the greatest cuisine in the world but it was real food unlike the swill they feed today's children.  I can hear the trays clacking, and the monitor checking the tray before you could dump it's remains and head out to recess.  The salad actually contained leaf lettuce and we used to surmise that some of that lettuce wasn't lettuce at all but aspen tree leaves that they'd somehow managed to sneak into the salad to stretch the budget!  Kids!  But at least we had imagination!  Including how to avoid said "aspen leaf salad" by covertly hiding it in the empty milk carton so we could get past the tray monitor and go outside.  So, despite the weather, it's been a nice trip to Tahoe Valley Elementary School circa 1967 or so.  Here is the recipe so you can do your own time travel.  I hope you enjoy the journey as much as I did.

Nut Bread

Pre-heat oven 350 degrees
Prepare a 12 cup Bundt pan or 2, 9 inch loaf pans by spraying with non-stick cooking spray

1 cup sour milk (1 cup milk with 1 Tbsp vinegar)
4 eggs - slightly beaten
1/2 cup canola oil                                       1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
1/2 cup oat flour (make your own by whirling rolled oats in a blender or food processor)
1/4 cup flax seed meal                               1 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar                                   3 1/2 cups unbleached white flour
3 tsp. baking powder                                2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt

Combine all dry ingredients and nuts in large mixing bowl.  Add the milk, oil, and eggs.  Mix by hand until well blended making sure there are no dry spots.  Spoon into prepared pan.  Bake 50 - 55 min for tube pan and 40 - 50 min for loaf pans.  Bread is done when a wooden skewer comes out clean.  If top looks like it's getting too brown, you can cover with foil for last 10 min. of baking.  Cool in pan for 10 min.  Then remove from pan and cover with towel until cool.  Enjoy!


  1. Looks wonderful and I bet the smell was amazing.. I will have to write this one down - how do you think it would do in High Altitude??

    I loved those days in the lunchroom with the real food. Mind you it was not what my German mother made - Saturday at our house was baking day - several kinds of breads, sweet rolls, a cake or torte and cookies for the lunch bags. We grew most of our veggies even when I lived in town and half our meats came from my fathers rifle - great food.. At school I learned what others ate like the pizza with no real taste, the peanut butter cookies that was like gold and my Mom volunteered in the lunchroom three days a week to be that lady who checked your plate before you could go outside... She made you open your milk carton...

    Great memories..

    1. The bread should do fine at high altitude. I would increase the BP to 3 1/2 tsp. though. I baked it at home in Tahoe for years and we were over 6000 ft. Truthfully, my dad made my lunch every morning - I would barter it for the occasional hot lunch so I could sit with my friends. They separated us by hot or cold lunch in the lunchroom! Your mom was smarter than the average bear....!