Homemade Maple Oat Bread

I owe you all some winners from the last two giveaways, but today is recipe day, so that will have to wait.

Nothing fancy, just a good loaf of bread that I adapted from Kevin’s recipe over at Closet Cooking. He tops the loaf with maple sugar. I did sprinkle on a little coconut sugar one time that I made it, and it was tasty. It enhances the maple flavor and gives that nice sheen to the bread that you see in the picture below. Still, I did opt to omit the sugar topping in my second loaf so that it could be used either for breakfast toast or sandwich bread. It was still quite delicious, but the maple flavor was slightly more subtle.

maple oat bread

If you haven’t made bread from scratch, it’s time to get started …

Maple Oat Bread

This recipe is Vegan / Vegetarian, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Nut-Free, Soy-Free, and Refined Sugar-Free.

  • 1 Cup Warm Water
  • 2-1/4 Teaspoons (or one packet) Active Yeast
  • 1/2 Cup Rolled Oats
  • 1/4 Cup Oil (I have used coconut oil and extra-light olive oil)
  • 1/4 Cup Maple Syrup
  • 1-1/2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1-1/2 Cups Bread Flour or All-Purpose Flour
  • 1-1/4 Teaspoons Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 to 2 Tablespoons Maple Sugar or Coconut / Palm Sugar (optional)

Combine the warm water, yeast, and oats in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, stir together the flours, salt, and cinnamon. Stir the oil and maple syrup into the yeast mixture. Gradually add the flour (I do about 1/3 at a time), stirring after each addition. Once the dough starts to come together, continue adding the flour and knead it with your hands. If the dough is still too wet, add a little more white flour; if it is too dry, feel free to add a wee bit more warm water. This ratio actually came out just right for me, but I live in a dry climate.

Place the dough back in the large bowl, and cover, letting the dough rise for about an hour.

Note: I had a reader comment that I should add to the directions to grease the bowl before adding the dough to rise. You may want to do this. I actually let the dough rise in the bowl I make it in, which is a round glass pyrex bowl with a glass lid. I don’t bother greasing since there is residual flour from the dough, and have never had a problem with this.

Grease and flour (I usually flour just the bottom and corners) a 9×5-inch loaf pan. Punch the dough down, knead it a few times, and shape it into a loaf that will fit lengthwise in your loaf pan. Place the dough in the pan, and leave it to rise for about 1 hour.

Preheat your oven to 350ºF. If desired, brush the loaf lightly with water and sprinkle on the sugar. Bake the loaf for 20 minutes. If it is starting to brown quickly on top, tent it with foil. Bake it for 15 to 20 minutes more. Let the pan cool for 15 minutes (I usually place it on a wire rack to get the air circulating around it) before removing the loaf to cool completely.

Note: I have trialed a higher ratio of whole wheat flour, but this ratio was better. If you want to go 100% whole wheat, I recommend adding a little wheat gluten to the mix.

Makes 1 loaf

maple oat bread

Chocolate Explosion Oatmeal Cookies

I was in a baking mood and my husband was in a cookie eating mood, so I whipped out my copy of Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar for a little inspiration, and to give the book another go. So far, it has been a little hit and miss … the hits scoring big points, and the misses still tasting okay, but often a bit too sweet and lacking in the performance category.

Fortunately, the Chocolate Fudgey Oatmeal Cookies were a hit with the husband … and I liked them too! I omitted the fruit, and added in more chocolate. Craving perhaps? Anyway, these are the chocolatiest oatmeal cookies I have ever tasted … almost like an oatmeal-spiked brownie.

chocolate explosion oatmeal cookie

I made a few adjustments to the recipe including an ingredient swap or two, but stayed true to the concept. Here is my modified version …

 

Chocolate Explosion Oatmeal Cookies

Recipe adapted from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar. This recipe is Vegan, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Nut-Free, and Soy-Free.

  • 2 Cups Quick Oats (not instant)
  • 1-2/3 Cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
  • 2/3 Cup Cocoa Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1-1/2 Cups Sugar (I have to admit, plain white sugar (organic if you can) is a standout in chocolate cookies and brownies, but if you want a wholesome alternative, feel free to experiment here with evaporated cane juice or granulated palm sugar)
  • 2 Tablespoons Ground Flaxseed
  • 2/3 Cup Unsweetened Milk Alternative (I used coconut milk beverage)
  • 2/3 Cup Olive Oil (extra-light or regular)
  • 2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Cup Chocolate Chips (I used the mini-chips from Enjoy Life Foods)

Preheat your oven to 350ºF.

In a medium-sized bowl, combine the oats, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, flax, milk alternative, oil, and vanilla. Stir or mix until smooth.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and stir until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Drop the batter by the heaping spoonful (a couple tablespoons) onto your baking sheets (I lined mine with a silpat). Shape and flatten the cookies slightly, they only spread a wee bit.

Cook for 10 minutes, or until the tops are no longer shiny. I prefer them a little soft in the middle, and 10 minutes seemed to be spot on for this.

Yields 12-16 brownie-like pillows

choc explosion oat cookies

Apricot-Raspberry Crumble Bars

My home is still overflowing with apricots from our CSA, so I knew they would make their way into some sort of dish for our “neighborhood” 4th of July BBQ.

Last year we moved into a small group of tall condos that share a very nice common backyard. Since it is a tourist town, we only have a few permanent neighbors, while the rest are vacation homes. But almost everyone is in town for the 4th of July to enjoy the mountain air and the beaches … so it seems they have started an annual barbecue tradition as a way for everyone to meet up … even past owners of the condos! Yep, even those who have moved onto new places showed up to visit old friends and neighbors. We were honored to have been invited.

Perhaps we will receive a repeat invite next year, since these apricot-raspberry crumble bars seemed to go over quite well …

apricot-raspberry crumble bars

 

Fruity Crumble Bars

Feel free to use the fruit and/or berries of your choice (peaches, blueberries, cherries, apples, blackberries, etc.). You can vary the sugar in the fruit filling based on the fruit you use and how ripe it is. I only used 3/4 cup for the apricots and raspberries, but the filling came out a bit too tart – I would use a full 1 cup for those next time.

This recipe is Dairy-Free, Nut-Free, and Soy-Free.

  • 3 Cups All-Purpose or Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
  • 1/2 Cup White Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Firmly Packed Brown Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Cup Dairy-Free Margarine (I used Earth Balance Soy-Free)
  • 2 Tablespoons Orange Juice or Milk Alternative
  • 4 Cups Berries and/or Finely Diced Fruit (I used 3 cups diced apricots, very well packed and one 6-ounce pint of raspberries (about 1-1/3 cups))
  • 2 Tablespoons Orange Juice or other Citrus Juice
  • 1 Teaspoon Orange Zest (optional)
  • 3/4 to 1 Cup White Sugar (see notes above)
  • 1 Tablespoon Cornstarch

Preheat your oven to 375ºF and grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.

In a mixing bowl, or in your food processor, combine the flour, sugars, baking powder and salt.

In a small dish, whip together the egg and vanilla.

Add the margarine and egg mixture to the flour mixture, and cut it in with a fork or pastry blender (this can also be done in a food processor). Thick crumbs should form.

Remove 2 full cups of the crumb mixture (about half) to another bowl and set aside.

Add the juice or milk alternative to the remaining crumbs and combine. It should make a thick dough. Press the dough evenly into your prepared baking dish.

In a medium-sized bowl, combine the fruit, juice, zest (if using), sugar, and cornstarch. Spread the fruit mixture over top of the dough in your baking dish, and sprinkle it all with the reserved crumbles.

Bake for about 45 minutes, or until it is slightly browned on top.

Optional: If you want to ensure the flavor of your fruit filling, go ahead and cook the fruit / berries over medium-low heat, along with the juice and zest, sweetening to taste. Thicken with the cornstarch. 

Yields dozens of cakey, crumble-topped bars

apricot-raspberry crumble bars

Blog Events:

I had (have) a tone of apricots, but I threw in the raspberries just so these bars would qualify for this week’s Blogger Secret Ingredient (BSI) Event!

Marvelous Maple Cashew Chocolate Chip Cookies (Gluten-Free & Vegan!)

Unfortunately, an onslaught of review requests these past few months kept me from getting to one of my newest gems, The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook by Alissa Segersten and Tom Malterre. But ever since I finally cracked it open, I haven’t put it down. It is dusted with flours and splattered with oil, and already deemed a staple in my kitchen.

Since this is a recipe blog, not a review blog, I only share those cookbooks here that inspire some delicious recipes, and this one certainly has. Beyond helping me with my new CSA load with a recipe for Balsamic Roasted Beets and another for Collard Wraps, I quickly gained appreciation for the healthified desserts in this cookbook .. and in typical Alisa-fashion, I jumped straight to the cookies!

Gluten-Free and Vegan Maple Cashew Cookies

The Cashew Coconut Cookies were the first to catch my eye. My husband isn’t a big fan of coconut, but I knew an easy swap for chocolate chips would win him over. And as I taste-tested the dough (come on – you always have to taste test the dough, right?!), I thought it was very good, but perhaps just a touch too healthy for our current cravings. The dough had a mild shortbread sweetness, while we were both craving a sweeter treat. So I made a few adjustments and additions, and viola! My slightly less healthy, but still quite virtuous Maple Cashew Chocolate Chip version.

Just so you know – I did try to “gluten” these cookies in a second batch, since I know that many of you don’t have a problem with wheat (all of the recipes in The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook are gluten-free), and may not have the flours and xanthan gum on hand. I replaced the brown rice flour with whole wheat pastry flour and removed the xanthan gum. I kept the starch since these are egg-free. The cookies worked, but just weren’t as good in my opinion; they were a wee bit too sweet and spread a bit more. I actually really like them the gluten-free way. But, if I were to trial them again with wheat, I would probably switch to cornstarch or arrowroot for the tapioca (it seems those starches yield a softer product) and would reduce the maple syrup by a tablespoon or two. It was a bit overpowering with the wheat, but a nice contrast with the brown rice flour. Just wanted to give you a heads up on that, in case you feel like experimenting!

Here is a pic of my wheaty results – I split the wheat batch, trialing some with raisins (pictured), some with cranberries, and some with chocolate chips – the chocolate chips won hands down.

cashew wheat maple cookies

And yes, even though there are no known problems with wheat/gluten in my household, I always keep various gluten-free flours and starches on hand. It started several years back with some recipe-testing for a few gluten-free / casein-free companies … but I quickly learned that the different flours offer new textures and flavors that are yummy in their own right. So, I just sort of kept stocking them. Fortunately, brown rice flour, tapioca starch (see my sub note above) and xanthan gum can now be found in most major grocers with ease.

 

Maple Cashew Chocolate Chip Cookies

I adapted this recipe from The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook by Alissa Segersten and Tom Malterre. These cookies have a unique but addictive flavor that is maple-rich. Once allowed too cool, they are very cohesive, particularly for gluten-free gems, yet they still have a nice cookie dough-esque texture that I simply adored.

This recipe is Vegan, Dairy-Free, Wheat-Free, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free, Peanut-Free, and Refined Sugar-Free.

Preheat your oven to 350ºF.

Place the nuts in your spice grinder (or food processor) and pulse until you get a powdery /coarse flour-like consistency. It is okay if a few little cashew bits remain, but if you go too far with the grinding, the cashews will turn into a nut butter.

In a mediume bowl, combine the cashew flour, brown rice flour, tapioca, baking powder, xanthan gum, and salt. Briefly set aside.

In a mixing bowl, blend the oil, maple syrup, sugar, and water. Blend in the flour mixture until you get a nice dough. Stir in the chocolate chips.

The dough may seem a bit sticky / greasy, but I still found it fairly easy to loosely shape into balls and place on the cookie sheet (I line mine with a silicone baking mat). If the dough is just too much to handle, pop it in the fridge for about 10-15 minutes, it will firm up quickly. Flatten the dough balls a bit – these cookies don’t spread much as they cook, so what you see is what you get.

Bake the cookies for 12 minutes. Remove them to a wire rack to cool for at least 15 minutes. If your husband’s greedy hands try to pop them off the baking sheet while hot, they will be crumbly, but they do firm up quite a bit as they cool.

Yields 18 to 20 cookies

gluten-free vegan maple cashew cookies

Jam-Filled Snackin’ Muffins (or Soda Rolls)

I swear, sometimes I feel like Celine reads my mind when it comes to trialing out baked goodie recipes. I purchased some all-fruit spread solely for the purpose of coming up with some jam-filled muffins and PB&J granola for my husband’s morning snack … when low and behold, I opened her new book 500 Vegan Recipes (co-written with Joni Marie Newman) to discover recipes for both!

Vegan Jam-Filled Soda Rolls

She calls these muffins “rolls,” which I suppose is fair since they really aren’t very sweet, save for the jam surprise in the middle. Nonetheless, they are perfectly yummy and satisfying for breakfast. I had to modify the recipe a wee bit, based on what I had on hand. I did use honey (sorry, I know it isn’t strict vegan practice, and have no fear, 500 Vegan Recipes is honey-free!), but you can stick with their suggested sweetener or agave as I have noted.

 

Jam-Filled Snackin’ Muffins (or Soda Rolls)

Recipe adapted from 500 Vegan Recipes by Celine Steen and Joni Marie Newman

They do specifically recommend soymilk for this recipe since it curdles best; though you may have success with other milk alternatives. Though we don’t typically stock soy in our house, I was reviewing this soymilk for Go Dairy Free, so I decided to use it here. This recipe is Vegan, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Nut-Free, and optionally Soy-Free and Refined Sugar-Free.

  • 1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1-1/4 Cups Plain Soymilk (see above note for other soy-free milk alternatives)
  • 1-1/4 Cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
  • 1 Cup Whole or White Spelt Flour (I used whole spelt)
  • 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Honey, Raw Sugar or Agave Nectar (I used un-vegan honey)
  • 2 Tablespoons Oil (I used extra-light olive, but you could use grapeseed, canola, or melted coconut oil)
  • 1/4 Cup Unsweetened Applesauce
  •  1/4 Cup Jam or All-Fruit Spread
  • Melted non-dairy margarine (optional)

 Preheat your oven to 400ºF, and lightly grease 12 muffin cups.

Combine the vinegar and soymilk in a medium-sized bowl or glass measuring cup, and allow it to sit as the vinegar “curdles” the soymilk.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Add the sweetener, oil, and applesauce to the now curdled soymilk. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture in your large bowl, and gently stir until just combined. No over-mixing!

Place 1 heaping tablespoon of the batter in each muffin cup. Top each mound of batter with 1 teaspoon of jam. Top the jam with the remaining batter (another heaping tablespoon per cup).

Bake for 15 minutes. As soon as you remove the rolls from the oven, brush the tops with non-dairy margarine if desired. Personally, I would skip this step next time, as I wasn’t a big fan of the salty margarine topping … but I am sure many people would love it. Pop the muffins out (they seemed to come out of the cups nicely, even while still quite hot) and indulge.

Yields a dozen sweet and savory muffins

Vegan Jam-Filled Soda Rolls