Honey Oat Quick BreadEven if you don't like to cook, making soup and bread can be satisfying and comforting. When I first started dating my husband I was shocked to find out that although he rarely actually cooked, he had a favorite bread recipe, by James Beard no less! (How did he even know who James Beard was?) And on top of that, he had even been known to FedEx baked loaves of bread to his favorite relatives around the country.
To warm up against the cold weather I'm digging out a few homemade bread recipes and classic hearty soup recipes-my favorites are bouillabaisse, mulligatawny and cream of mushroom (see recipe below). To make these soup recipes healthier I added extra vegetables and slimmed down on ingredients like fattier cuts of meat and heavy cream.
I love to pair these soups with easy, versatile bread recipes from Nancy Baggett, expert baker and the author of numerous cookbooks. The kneadless olive bread is a yeast bread that is "kneaded" with an electric mixer (either a hand-held or stand mixer) instead of by hand. Great flavor, tender texture and a technique that couldn't be easier are the hallmarks of the simple Honey Oat Quick Bread (see recipe below). For both of these breads whole-grain flour boosts the fiber content and adds a rich, nutty flavor.
Now I just have to enlist my husband to get to work baking this easy bread.
Honey Oat Quick Bread
2 tablespoons plus 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats or quick-cooking (not instant) oats, divided
1 1/3 cups whole-wheat flour or white whole-wheat flour (see Tip)
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
8 ounces (scant 1 cup) nonfat or low-fat plain yogurt
1 large egg
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup clover honey or other mild honey
3/4 cup nonfat or low-fat milk
1. Position rack in middle of oven; preheat to 375°F. Generously coat a 9-by-5-inch (or similar size) loaf pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon oats in the pan. Tip the pan back and forth to coat the sides and bottom with oats.
2. Thoroughly stir together whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Using a fork, beat the remaining 1 cup oats, yogurt, egg, oil and honey in a medium bowl until well blended. Stir in milk. Gently stir the yogurt mixture into the flour mixture just until thoroughly incorporated but not overmixed (excess mixing can cause toughening). Immediately scrape the batter into the pan, spreading evenly to the edges. Sprinkle the remaining 1 tablespoon oats over the top.
3. Bake the loaf until well browned on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes. (It's normal for the top to crack.) Let stand in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Run a table knife around and under the loaf to loosen it and turn it out onto the rack. Let cool until barely warm, about 45 minutes.
Makes 12 slices.
NUTRITION INFORMATION: Per slice: 193 calories; 6 g fat (1 g sat, 3 g mono); 18 mg cholesterol; 31 g carbohydrate; 6 g protein; 3 g fiber; 396 mg sodium; 100 mg potassium. Nutrition bonus: Iron (15% daily value).
Tip: White whole-wheat flour, made from a special variety of white wheat, is light in color and flavor but has the same nutritional properties as regular whole-wheat flour. Two companies that distribute the flour nationally are King Arthur Flour (kingarthurflour.com) and Bob's Red Mill (bobsredmill.com).
1/2 cup pearl barley
4 1/2 cups mushroom broth or reduced-sodium chicken broth, divided
1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
2 cups boiling water
2 teaspoons butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup minced shallots (about 4 medium)
8 cups sliced white mushrooms (about 20 ounces)
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 tablespoon minced fresh sage or 1 teaspoon dried
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup dry-to-medium sherry
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/4 cup minced fresh chives
1. Combine barley and 1 1/2 cups broth in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat; cover, reduce heat to low and simmer until the barley is tender, 30 to 35 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, combine porcinis and boiling water in a medium bowl and let soak until the mushrooms are soft, about 20 minutes. Line a sieve with paper towels, set it over a bowl and pour mushrooms and soaking liquid through it. Reserve the soaking liquid. Transfer the mushrooms to a cutting board and finely chop.
3. Heat butter and oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add white mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until they have released their juices and started to brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the porcinis, celery, sage, salt and pepper and cook, stirring often, until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle flour over the vegetables and cook, stirring, until the flour is incorporated, about 1 minute. Add sherry and cook, scraping up any browned bits with a wooden spoon, until most of the sherry has evaporated, about 1 minute.
4. Add the soaking liquid and the remaining 3 cups broth, increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the celery is tender and the soup has thickened, 18 to 22 minutes.
5. Add the cooked barley and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 5 minutes. Stir in sour cream until incorporated. Garnish with chives.
Makes 4 servings, about 1 3/4 cups each.
NUTRITION INFORMATION: Per serving: 288 calories; 10 g fat (5 g sat, 4 g mono); 22 mg cholesterol; 28 g carbohydrate; 12 g protein; 3 g fiber; 498 mg sodium; 894 mg potassium. Nutrition bonus: Potassium (26% daily value), Selenium (23% dv), Vitamin A (20% dv), Iron (15% dv).
By Jessie Price
EatingWell food editor Jessie Price's professional background in food started when she worked in restaurant kitchens in the summers during college. She started out testing recipes for EatingWell and then joined the staff here full-time in 2004 when she moved to Vermont from San Francisco.
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