Thursday, November 18, 2010

Jacking (Up) the Apples n' Flax

I've never liked cereal. Even as a kid, when faced with a dizzying array (even back then) of sugar-crusted, "froot" flavoured boxes of the stuff when I went to a friends house, the grocery store or even hotels with continental breakfast options, I just didn't go for it. Don't know why, really - I mean, what kid would say no to Count Chocula or Corn Pops when you know your mom's not looking? But there you have it. I won't say I never ate cereal, since it was kind of hard to get away from it as a convenient, on-the-go breakfast when our family went up to our boat at 5AM, but even then - it had to be dry (I still believe milk + cereal is heresy), and I didn't want any sugary junk in it. For the longest time if I ate it at all, I'd chow on plain old Cheerios, Shreddies or a big brick of Shredded Wheat. Back then (God I sound old, don't I?), the only real "varieties" of these three were the Honey Nut Cheerios and plain frosted Mini-Wheats - there was no "Vanilla Shreddies", or "Cocoa Rice Krispies", or Mini-Wheats in 9 different varieties. I think the extent of the typical lines of cereal extended to maybe a Holiday colour trio of Rice Krispies each year.

When I hit university for some odd reason I developed a craving for cereal. And not just any cereal - I was craving a fake-flavour laced variant of an old love: the Apple Cinnamon Cheerio. And not just a handful or seven out of the box for a snack - I actually ate bowls of it for breakfast, too. Far from getting "tired" of it after slaking my craving, I just loved it more. Though it doesn't necessarily love me back these days, I still do crave it on occasion.

Times have sure changed - for one thing, now when I hit the cereal aisle it's more like shopping in a candy store! But if you search on the lowest shelves, or hop into the nearest bulk store, you can still find the old, plain classics. So I decided to fix my current craving for the apple-cinnamon rings by baking them. Rather than making cookies or marshmallow bars with the plain Cheerios I picked up, I did what I do best: bread!

So though I've been remiss in my general posting and certainly in my submissions to events like Wild Yeast's YeastSpotting (I admit it, I'm in class right now and thoroughly ignoring my prof's "beans + rice always = deficiency in your diet, ergo bad" rambles), I hope to start making it up soon. God knows, I have enough posts in backlog!

Apple Jacks n' Flax Bread
Makes 14 slices
2/3 cup warm apple cider
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup warm, unsweetened applesauce
3 tbsp honey
2 tbsp melted butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat bread flour
1/4 cup potato flour
1/3 cup ground flaxseed
1/3 cup whole flaxseed
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tbsp instant yeast
1 medium tart apple, peeled and diced
1/2 cup Cheerios cereal

  1. In a medium bowl, beat together cider, egg, applesauce, honey, butter and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl or basin of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, whisk together flours, flaxseed, cinnamon and yeast.
  3. Add the liquid ingredients and mix well.
  4. Knead for 12 minutes, until dough begins to form elastic "strands".
  5. Cover and let rest 10 minutes.
  6. Knead a further 7-8 minutes on medium speed, then re-cover and let rest 15 minutes.
  7. Scrape onto a floured counter and knead in apple pieces and Cheerios cereal. It will take a while, but it will all fit!
  8. Shape into a round, cover and let rest 30 minutes.
  9. Lightly deflate dough and shape into a loaf, place into a greased loaf pan. Cover and let rise 1 1/2 hours.
  10. Preheat oven to 350F.
  11. Place bread on the lowest rack of the oven and bake 50 minutes, rotating pan halfway through.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 175.0
Total Fat: 4.9 g
Cholesterol: 19.5 mg
Sodium: 28.6 mg
Total Carbs: 29.4 g
Dietary Fiber: 4.5 g
Protein: 5.2 g