Friday, 1 February 2013

Grain Free Tea Bread GF SCD DF

Loaded with dried fruit, nuts and seeds this tea bread packs a sweet nutritional punch and served on its own or spread with butter, it tastes absolutely delicious! Strictly speaking, it isn't really a "tea bread" since the traditional tea bread is made using fruit which has been steeped in tea but you can eat it for tea and it would definitely go very nicely with a cup of tea.

I've been eating at least a couple of slices of this tea loaf each day for the last couple of weeks while I've experimented with the quantities. The very first one I made contained less almond flour, two eggs and more almond milk. It sank slightly in the middle and was very sticky. It reminded me of one of our favourite snacks of the wheat eating days - malt loaf. When carefully sliced, put under a hot grill for a short time each side and lavishly spread with butter it tasted divine and its texture brought back so many memories! I may make it again this way just for nostalgia's sake!

Since the cost of baking ingredients for grain free breads and cakes is so astronomical, I always make sure I find a way to eat any "failed" bakes by adding them in to other recipes.  For example (unless of course it is burned), you can cut up soggy bread, dry it out in a slow oven then eat it as croutons with soups or add to savoury stuffings, burgers and bread puddings!

I didn't use mixed spice in this particular recipe but since I have added spices to tea loaves I've baked in the past, I've made it optional. If you don't have enough sultanas (golden raisins) or raisins or berries, any chopped dried fruit will do.

Grain Free Tea Bread GF SCD

225g almond flour
100g sultanas (golden raisins)
75g raisins
50g dried berries
50g chopped walnuts
30g sunflower seeds
20g pumpkin seeds
3 large eggs (extra large eggs in the US)
60ml almond milk
60ml honey
1 - 2 tsps mixed spice (optional)
1 tsp organic cider vinegar
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
pinch of sea salt

Set the oven to 160° C (fan/convection oven) and line a 2 pound loaf tin‎ (7½" x 3½" x 2½" (19cm x 9cm x 6.5cm)) with a liner or parchment paper. This could be made in a smaller tin which will create a deeper loaf but you may have to adjust the cooking time.

Measure out the chopped walnuts, seeds and dried fruit into one bowl and the almond flour, salt, spice (optional) and bicarbonate of soda into another bowl.

Break the eggs into a food processor, add the honey and almond milk and process until smooth (you could use a hand mixer if you wish).

Add the almond flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt to the egg mixture mixing in a few tablespoons at a time and blend well until smooth.

Add the vinegar at this stage and mix in quickly because it starts to react with the acidic ingredients immediately to help the tea bread to rise.  Quickly pour the mixture onto the dried fruit, nuts and seeds and mix well.

Spoon into the lined tin and smooth over the top. Cook in the bottom half of the oven of the oven for 50 to 60 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the bread comes out clean and the bread is firm to touch and springs back when gently pressed in the centre. I cover mine with baking parchment after about 40 minutes to prevent it burning. Cool on a rack for about 15 minutes in the tin.

Gently tip the tea bread onto the rack, remove the lining paper and cool on a rack.

Wrap with greaseproof or parchment paper and store in a tin for up to five days in a cool place.