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Author Notes: This is a great bread for those who want something sweet but don't want to overdose on sugar and white flour products, and also for anyone who enjoys a good, moist fruit bread for breakfast. I've made this bread with no oil or butter to keep the fat content low, and very little sugar, because the natural sugars in the fruit give it a simple sweetness that is very appealing AND healthy. It is also higher in fiber because of the oatmeal, whole wheat and dried fruits, so you can have a healthy, tasty treat without guilt! We love this bread after a soup dinner, with a pat of 1/2 fat margarine while warm, or, sliced and toasted in the morning with a spread of apple butter and a big cuppa coffee. It is always disappears fast at parties and luncheons, and the fragrance of all the fruit and spices will make your kitchen smell heavenly! The measurements of the spices are approximate because I usually just toss in what looks and tastes good to me, so feel free to improvise there. By the way, I know the list of ingredients seems long, but honestly, I make this bread often and it always goes pretty quickly, and is in the oven in no time at all, sending a wonderful scent through the house and drawing people into the kitchen to see what you're making... (the photo already has 4 slices gone!) —BeijingRose
Makes 2 loaves/10 slices each
- 2 cups whole grain wheat flour (King Arthur is best)
- 1 cup cup bread flour
- 1 cup whole grain oatmeal (NOT instant, the good stuff in the round paper box)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon brandy extract
- 1 1//2 cups skim milk or water
- 3 very ripe bananas, mashed
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup dried plums, cut into small pieces
- 1/2 cup Mrs. Butterworth syrup (poured on top before baking IF you want it sweeter)
- 2 eggs, beaten
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two loaf pans with Baker's Joy, or oil the pans and sprinkle with flour, then tap out the excess,--this is prevent your bread from sticking.
- Mix the two flours, oatmeal, all dry spices, salt, & baking soda in one bowl and mix thoroughly. Chop the dried plums and put them, with the raisins, into the dry mixture and toss them to coat. Set all this to one side.
- In a separate bowl mash the bananas, add the eggs, sugar, molasses, and extracts, then mix well.
- Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients bowl and pour in the fruit mixture, then add one cup of warm skim milk --for even more flavor, make it orange juice. Then add the other 1/2 cup of warm water a little at a time--please stir slowly, don't beat the mix or it you'll end up with a dense, very moist, bread pudding that didn't rise (but it's still good, if toasted). Stir only until all the dry ingredients are wet, not forgetting the flour at the bottom of the bowl. Pour into the two oiled/floured loaf pans, and place in the middle of the oven. NOTE: For parties I will sometimes pour 1/4 cup of Mrs. Butterworth syrup over the tops of each loaf before baking because most folks like sweeter breads, but for my family, I don't use it (we try to watch our sugar intake). My own oven will bake this in 35 minutes. so set your time for 35, then check the loaves--if the tops spring back when pressed with a finger, they're done. If they seem a little too soft, add 3 minutes at a time (should take no more than 9 minutes more) until done.