Happy New Year to all of you! Let me start by apologizing for my ridiculously long blogging absence. What's my excuse you ask? Well...embarasingly enough, I don't have a good excuse. No earth-shattering revelations, discoveries, or lessons to report. All I can say is glad to be back and hope to be here more often. Is that my New Year resolution? No way -- that's one sure way to make it not happen. I also felt this pressure to make my first blog post something really special and mind-blowingly complicated. But why? So here is a simple, healthy, yet delicious recipe. Your kids will sure sing your praises at lunch time.
I have baked, sampled, and devoured many a carrot cake in my not-so-long lifetime. I also admit that I have yet not pledged my loyalty to any one recipe. They are all good. I mean, what's not to like. Yet, I have always been in search of that one carrot bread recipe. One that is healthy and actually uses a decent amount of carrots. I hate recipes for carrot bread that can barely manage to sneak in a measly cup of grated carrots. What's up with that? That is barely a micro serving of carrots per slice. No good.
But wait! Here is the good news. I have finally found the carrot bread recipe I have been searching for. It calls for a whopping 3 1/2 cups of grated carrots, and yes for a 9 inch X 5 inch loaf! If you are not a carrot lover, this loaf of bread is certainly not for you. It is the carrotiest ( sorry, I know made up words suck) carrot bread I have eaten.
Thank you, my baking goddess (Rose Levy Beranbaum). As she recommends, this bread is best the next day when all the moistness has settled in. Make a sandwich with some cream cheese, and I guarantee the kids lunchboxes will be licked clean!
(adapted from the Bread Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum)
Makes one 9 inch x 5 inch loaf of real goodness
1 cup all purpose flour (I recommend King Arthur)
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
3 large eggs
1/2 cup grapeseed oil (or other neutral oil)
1 cup sugar
3 1/2 cups finely grated carrots
1 cup raisins
1. Move the oven rack to lower middle level. Preheat the oven to 350F.
2. In a medium bowl, add the dry ingredients - flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Whisk well to incorporate evenly.
3. In a stand-mixer bowl, cream together the eggs, oil, and sugar, until well blended. Add the flour mixture gradually and stir on low until just incorporated. Add the carrots and mix on low speed to mix. Add the raisins and mix just to distribute evenly through the batter.
4. Grease and flour a 9 inch x 5 inch loaf pan. Scrape the batter into the pan. Bake till a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, approximately 1 hour. If it looks like the bread is browning too quickly in the oven, you might want tent the bread loosely with foil during the last 15 - 20 minutes of baking.
5. Cool the bread on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife along the edges to release the bread. Turn teh bread out onto the wire rack and allow it to cool completely.
6. You can eat the bread right away, but patience will pay off here. Wrap the bread tightly in plastic wrap and let it sit overnight to help distribute the moisture evenly.
Serve as is, or with butter or cream cheese.