Oatmeal Sandwich Bread
This is a recipe that I talk about in the book Year of No Sugar– I LOVE it because it answers the question: “but isn’t bread making hard?” With a resounding “no!– not this one!” However, as you’ll see, it does take a little time, so plan to make it when you know you’ll be home for a couple of hours. I also love that it makes two loaves, because homemade bread always goes fast.
- 1 cup old fashioned oats
- 3 cups boiling water
- 1 1/2 Tbsp active dry yeast
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup barley malt syrup (can also use brown rice syrup)
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 5 cups all-purpose flour
In bowl of a mixer put the cup of oats. Pour boiling water over the oats and let sit one hour. At one hour, sprinkle the yeast, salt, and olive oil on top. Add the barley malt syrup and mix with the dough hook. Stir in the whole wheat flour. Stir in two cups of all-purpose flour. Then stir in two more cups of all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup at a time, mixing in between each addition.
Turn dough out onto a floured surface for kneading. Use final cup of flour to add to the dough whenever it gets sticky. Knead for a full five minutes, until dough has absorbed most of the final cup of flour and feels smooth. Place in a bowl and allow to rise for one hour.
Butter two loaf pans and heat oven to 350 degrees. After the hour has passed, turn dough onto the counter, cut in half and place each half in a bread pan. Allow to rise another 30 minutes.
Bake at 350 degrees for 33 minutes. Remove bread from oven and allow to sit five minutes before turning loaves out and letting cool on a rack.
Pancakes are a BIG favorite in our house… we eat them pretty much every weekend and if there are ever leftovers I freeze them with a piece of wax or parchment paper between each one so we can heat them in the toaster oven on a school morning during the week.
- 2 cups all purpose flour (or: 1 cup AP flour & 1 cup whole wheat flour)
- 2 Tbsp dextrose
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 large egg
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted & slightly cooled
- 2 cups buttermilk (or: 2 cups water & 8 Tbsp powdered buttermilk)
- canola oil
Whisk together flour, dextrose, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl (also powdered buttermilk, if using). In a separate bowl whisk together egg, melted butter, and buttermilk (or water). Make a well in the center of dry ingredients, pour the egg & butter mixture into the well, whisking gently until mixture is just incorporated. Be careful not to overmix: a few lumps should remain.
Heat a skillet over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes, use small amount (1 Tbsp) of canola oil to cook the cakes and add more as you go as needed. Use a ¼ cup measure to scoop batter onto hot skillet. Cook until bubbles begin to appear and then flip pancakes, cooking until they are nice and golden brown.
Instead of maple syrup, for sweetening we’ll often top pancakes with sliced fruit such as bananas, blueberries or strawberries. Or, we’ll add these fruits into the pancakes themselves as they are cooking on their first side.
Variation: Try mixing 2 ripe mashed bananas and 4 Tbsp unsweetened dried coconut into the batter to make Banana Coconut Pancakes.
Dad’s Poppyseed Cake
- 1/3 cup poppy seeds
- ¾ cup milk
- ¾ cup butter (1 ½ sticks)
- 2 cups dextrose
- 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cups flour
- 4 Tbsp cornstarch
- 2 ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 4 stiff beaten egg whites
Soak poppy seeds in milk for one hour.
Heat oven to 375. Grease and flour two 8 inch cake pans. Cream butter then gradually add dextrose until fluffy. Add the milk/ poppyseed combination. Add vanilla. Stir until evenly mixed. Sift dry ingredients together and then stir into the liquid ingredients. Mix until smooth. Carefully fold in the stiff beaten egg whites.
Pour batter into two cake pans equally. Bake in 375 oven 20 -25 minutes. Cool in pans 10 minutes and then remove.
One of the biggest mental hurdles I had to get over on the No Sugar Project was the Mayonnaise Problem: I just couldn’t find No Sugar Mayo… but neither were we prepared to go a whole year without it. I was terribly intimidated… wasn’t homemade mayonnaise one of those things you had to be a real chef to make? Not so. If you have a Cuisinart you will be amazed at how ridiculously easy this is.
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp mustard
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 1 ½ tsp white wine vinegar
- 1 cup canola oil
Place all ingredients except oil in food processor. Process 15 seconds. With the motor running, add the oil in a consistent stream. (If you are using a Cuisinart, there is a hole in the white plastic plunger designed just for the purpose of funneling in oil at a nice steady pace so your mayo turns out perfect.)
Fresh homemade mayonnaise lasts about three days.
We’ve made a lot of cookies this year in an attempt to curtail our collective family sweet-tooth. This most recent recipe got the biggest raves of them all, from kids and grown-ups alike, so I finally felt these “Dirt Cookies” might be good enough to share… Be sure to make them nice and big!
- 1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 2 1/4 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup chopped dried apricots (unsweetened, and unsulphured if you can find them)
- 1 1/2 cup dextrose
- 3 large eggs
- 3 c. rolled oats
- 1 1/2 c. raisins
Heat oven to 325 degrees. Whisk together in a small bowl the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg.
In an electric mixer, beat together the buter and dextrose on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes.
Beat in the eggs one at a time until combined, about 30 seconds, scraping down sides as needed.
Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly mix in flour mixture until combined. By hand, mix in oats, apricots, and raisins.
Working with 1/4 cup dough at a time, roll dough into balls and lay on parchment-covered baking sheets (I use a Silpat), spacing them about 2 1/2 inches apart. (I get about six cookies per cookie sheet.) Flatten cookie tops slightly using your palm.
Bake until the tops of the cookies are lightly golden, but the centers are still soft and puffy: 22 to 25 minutes, making sure to rotate and switch baking sheets halfway through.
Let cookies cool on baking sheet for ten minutes, then serve warm or transfer to a wire rack to let cool completely.
Again, this recipe is the best of the bunch after we tried several variations. We enjoyed them most with carob chips until we realized carob, for our purposes, was yet another processed sugar (whoops!) Anyway, they’re great without them too, and of course you could always add some toasted nuts or maybe even raisins… hmmmmmm…….
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 3 1/2 cups dextrose
- 4 large eggs
- 1 1/4 cups cocoa (Dutch-process is best)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 Tbsp vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a 9″ x 13″ pan.
Melt butter over low heat then add dextrose and stir to combine.
Crack four eggs into a bowl and beat them with the cocoa, salt, baking powder, and vanilla. Add the hot butter mixture and stir until smooth.
Add the flour, stir until smooth. Spoon batter into greased pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Remove from oven and let pan cool on a rack before cutting and serving.
Eve’s Apricot Lemon Date bars
My earliest experiments with No Sugar Baking all involved dried apricots, dates and bananas… this got old pretty quickly, but these Apricot Lemon bars stood out as the best of the bunch. They’re sweet, cakey and great for hearty snacks or lunch-boxes.
- 2 cups chopped pitted dates and dried apricots
- juice of one lemon
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup butter, softened
- ¾ cup dextrose
- 1 egg
- 1 ¾ all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup rolled oats
Preheat oven to 350.
In a saucepan combine dates, apricots, lemon juice and water. Cook covered, on low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a bowl, cream together the butter and dextrose. Add egg and continue to mix. Stir in flour, salt and baking soda. Finally, add the oats and mix with your hands. Press two-thirds of the crumbly dough into an oiled 8 or 9 inch square baking pan. Spread fruit mixture over the dough. Crumble remaining dough on top. Bake for 30 minutes. Cool in pan. Cut into bars.