Friday, January 27, 2006

SHF # 15: Sugarless Friday

The temptation to do a vegan recipe for this round of Sugar High Friday was high, with a theme of avoiding sugar from our host, Sam, of Becks N Posh. I considered going this route for some time before choosing not to. Honestly, I make quite a few vegan recipes and often simply experiment with them because the challenge of baking without eggs is fun for me.
I specifically wanted to find a nonvegan recipe for this event, as it would give me a chance to experiment in baking without sugar, without taking into account anything else. Interestingly enough, though I'm certain that many other participants will find recipes to fit the theme, there did not seem to be a huge number of non-vegan recipes that didn't use sugar at all.
I chose this Honey Tea Bread for its simplicity, as it only has a few ingredients (except for the spices, of course) and no added fat. It seemed almost too good to be tru to have a recipe for this even that was low in both fat and sugar, and yet this bread turned out to be delicious. It was easy to make and had plenty of sweetness, both from the honey, the tea and the dried fruit. I used Rooibos Vanilla tea, but a chai or other sweet-spiced tea would work very well in this recipe, too. The loaf has a crisp crust and a soft interior when it is freshly baked and makes fantastic toast, with a little bit of butter and extra honey optional, of course.

Honey Tea Bread
from Waitrose Illustrated )
1 1/4- 1 1/3 cup raisins and dried cherries
1 1/4 cups strong, hot tea (I used Rooibos Vanilla)
1/4 cup honey
2 eggs
2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp cardamom
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Place raisins and cherries in a large bowl. Pour strong, warm tea over the and stir in the honey. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand for 1 1/2-2 hours.
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
Stir two eggs into raisin mixture.
In a small bowl, mix flour, spices, salt and baking powder. Add to raisin mixture and stir thoroughly. Pour into prepared pan.
Bake for 40-50 minutes, until a tester comes out clean.
Turn loaf out of pan and cool on a wire rack.
Makes one loaf.

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