Saturday, 16 May 2009
spicy coffee cake
Before going to bed on Friday night, I usually set up some bread dough, usually green tea twirly buns of some sort. That way, I can have warm bread for breakfast on Saturday. Then, one Friday, tragedy struck when I found myself without matcha (which takes some planning to come by in Scotland). I did, however, have a whack of bananas that were past their prime. This bread has quite a kick and tastes like strong, sweet coffee with ginger and cardamom, like they serve in one of the lovely Sudanese restos in town. This is a very dense loaf, and the texture is somewhere between yeast bread and quick bread. Despite the sugar and bananas, this bread isn't sweet. That last sentence will make sense once you look at the list of spices. If you want sweet bread, add about 1/2c sugar and scale back the ginger and mustard (but don't leave out the mustard entirely until you've tried it, trust me). I don't want sweet bread. I want spicy bread. It is spectacular with orange marmalade. And it's better the second day, after all the spices settle in.
3 bananas, mashed
1/2 cup soy yogurt or 1/3 c. okara diluted with enough water to make 1/2 cup goo.
1/3 cup molasses
1/3 cup agave (or sugar)
3-4 tbs orange flower water
1/3 cup cocoa nibs
2 heaping tbs ground ginger
1 tsp ground dry mustard
2 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tbs - 1/4 cup espresso powder (I just use normal espresso, not instant. the grind if fine enough that it doesn't make the bread grainy)
1/2 tsp salt (I used vanilla salt)
about 2.5 cups strong whole wheat flour (bread flour, not pastry)
1 package yeast (2 tbs)
+ about 1.5 cups more to knead in ( I used ww spelt)
Mash first group of ingredients together. Mix yeast with the 2.5 c flour (I used quick yeast, which you add directly to flour, otherwise, go through the appropriate rigamarole of proofing your yeast in some warm water + sugar, and just add a bit of extra flour). Mix yeast flour into mash. Knead in the rest of the flour. continue kneading and adding flour until dough is as wet as possible without still being sticky. Form into a round loaf and place in a bread or cake pan that you've sprinkled with cornmeal. Spray the top of the loaf with olive oil. All of the spices are going to just about (but not quite) kill the yeast, and the bread rises slowly so this does best if you let it rise overnight on the counter (my kitchen is fairly cool). You don't have to cover the bread. It's very moist, and the oil will keep it from drying out. Then again, I live in a very undry country, so this might not be true if you live in, say, Arizona. Use your judgement.
In the morning, heat your oven to 250C. Bake uncovered at 250 for 10 mins, then cover, drop the heat to 220, and bake for a further 15-20 mins. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Eat!