Saturday, 28 February 2009

Buttermilk Bran Loaf

I found this recipe many years ago in Encore: the Leftover Cookbook, by Betty Jane Wylie. I was pretty dubious about trying it - no oil? no eggs? hellova lotta bran? - but I did, and it turned out to be lovely. She called for raisins. Dried cranberries would be more local. Chocolate chips are what I actually used. For some reason I love the combination of chocolate and bran, and let's face it, there are worse things to eat with chocolate. Better things to eat with bran, maybe, but I prefer to think of it as redeeming my chocolate chip intake.

Actually, that book had a lot of influence on my recipe writing style. She was a very chatty and relaxed author, and made no attempt to imitate the I-am-the-food-scientist-home-economist-expert-you-must-obey-my-every-detailed-command style of recipe writing that was then still pretty prevalent in most cookbooks. Of course if you are going to write about leftovers, it's hard to get too scientific in your demands, but it was a book you could read, and come away feeling like you had had a nice chat with a friend and learned stuff too.

As with other recipes containing extravagant quantities of bran, consumer discretion is advised. Also if you wait until it cools to cut it, your chocolate chips won't smear, unlike mine.

12 servings
1 1/2 hours - 10 minutes work time, if you drag it out

Buttermilk Bran Loaf with Chocolate Chips
2 cups bran
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup Sucanat or dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup dried cranberries, raisins or chocolate chips
2 cups buttermilk

Mix all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Stir in the buttermilk. Let the batter sit for half an hour.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a standard sized loaf pan.

Scrape the batter evenly into the prepared pan, and bake the loaf for 45 to 50 minutes until it passes the old doneness test with a toothpick.

Let it cool. Slice it up. Eat it with butter and a nice cuppa tea. I'm putting this in because I can't believe the instructions are over already... but they are.


Joanne said...

That looks like it would be a great breakfast bread! I would make it with chocolate chips AND craisins. Why not splurge with such tasty ingredients?

Ferdzy said...

Yeah, I eat it for breakfast... if it lasts that long. And I'm a big believer in splurging!

Fitness Foodie said...

I am going to make this. I always make bran muffins, never thought of a loaf for some reason. Nice looking.

Ferdzy said...

I hope you enjoy it, Parker. I keep thinking I should bake this in muffin trays and see how it works out. Fine, I'm sure; I'd just have to reduce the baking time.

Donwatcher said...

Never having used bran before, I went to the bulk barn to get some. They had white and red bran. The description said that white bran comes from soft kernelled wheat and the red bran comes from hard kernelled wheat. Does it make a difference which type you use here?

Ferdzy said...

No, I don't think it makes a big difference. The white bran will be a little softer to eat and the loaf will be a little smoother in texture. But they should both work fine.