Admittedly, this photo doesn’t convey the true essence of Dorie Greenspan‘s oatmeal breakfast bread. As often happens in our home when it comes to things like quick breads, a photo is taken the instant the bread comes out of the oven, and then all thoughts of capturing the moment quickly disappear as the bread is rapidly devoured over the next day or so. Not only are they quick to make, with no yeast involved, but they’re quick to be eaten- a slice here, a slice there and before you know it, the only thing left to photograph is a pile of crumbs.
You can clearly see the cinnamony-brown sugar topping, laced with pecans in the photo, no? But what’s hidden is the soft, moist interior, studded with chunks of apricot. It’s a very wet bread- the “almost pudding soft” description that caught my eye on Serious Eats is apropos. Dylan wasn’t crazy about that aspect of it, preferring a slightly drier, more defined crumb in his quick breads, but I thought it was lovely and made the bread taste fresh even after a day of sitting on the counter. The sweet topping makes it equally suitable for a light dessert- should you prefer a less sweet bread, I’d cut the topping in half.
While oatmeal breakfast bread isn’t exactly revolutionary and won’t rock your world, it’s a great alternative to the standard banana bread. Perfect to bring to a brunch potluck or to just enjoy by yourself with a cup of tea.
Oatmeal Breakfast Bread (12 servings)
Adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan
For the topping:
1/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the bread:
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup flavorless oil, such as canola or safflower
1/4 cup buttermilk or whole milk
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves
1/2 cup diced dried figs, apples, or apricots or moist, plump raisins (dark or golden)
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1. Center a rack in oven; preheat to 350°F. Butter 9-by-5-inch loaf pan, dust with flour, and tap out excess. Put pan on a baking sheet.
2. Make the topping: In a small bowl, use your fingers to toss together the sugar, nuts, and cinnamon until evenly mix. Set aside.
3. To make the bread: Whisk together the eggs, applesauce, oil, and buttermilk until well blended.
4. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cloves. Remove 1/2 teaspoon of mix; toss it with the fruit to coat. Set aside. Stir the oats into the bowl. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry, and, using a large rubber spatula, stir just until everything is evenly moistened. Don’t overdo the mixing. Scatter the dried fruit over batter and stir it to blend. Scrape batter into pan; sprinkle over topping, tamping it down lightly with fingers so it sticks.
5. Bake 55 to 65 minutes, or until the bread is browned and a thin knife inserted into center comes out clean. Transfer bread to a cooling rack for about 5 minutes. Run a knife around the sides of pan and unmold. Invert and cool to room temperature right side up.