Breaking Bread on a Cold Winter Night

Apple Cheddar Wheat Bread
Green apple, sharp cheddar, and wheat berry bread. (c) Vinita Agarwal, 2014

What it is:

Bread is one of the most basic yet staple part of our diet no matter which historical period or part of the planet you consider. If made with care, it can provide a source of strength and vitality to hold us strong through physically or mentally demanding times when we may not have the time to make a balanced meal, yet need to summon our insight and creative intellect in order to do quality work.

This fall/winter bread comes from the Vitamix recipe book. It’s easy to make and a delight to eat. Most importantly, its nourishing and will go well with whatever you have made alongside or pulled out from your fridge on those challenging nights. It’s hearty, chewy texture makes for a comforting winter meal accompaniment that you’ll enjoy on those cold nights or just keep on a plate next to you as you tap away at your laptop keys.

Benefits: 

Wheat berries (essentially whole wheat kernels) are rich in fiber, protein, and iron. Eggs provide carotenoids like lutein. Apples, milk, cheese, will also in addition bring in the vitamins. In essence, you get a healthy, nutrient rich meal that is also tasty to eat.

Although being tasty is not a sole criteria, it helps in motivating the picky eaters around your house (if that is not you). Remind them that the tongue (where all our taste-buds lie) is only a couple of inches long and should not dictate what the rest of our body needs and wants to be healthy and strong!

How to make:

In your cart:

Wheat berries (to make a cup and a quarter of flour)

All purpose flour (about a cup and a quarter)

Baking powder (2 tablespoons)

Granny Smith apples (3 or even 4 to taste)

Sharp cheddar cheese (one or two cups–to taste)

Brown eggs (two)

Non-sweetened, no salt butter (3/4th of a stick)

Salt (2 tablespoons)

Pecan nuts (1 – 2 cups)

Sugar (1 cup)

Cinnamon sticks (a handful)

Allspice (2 tablespoons)

Milk (2 cups)

Time in blender: (1 minute)

Grind the wheat berries (in Vitamix or any other grain mill of your choice). Grind cinnamon sticks to make freshly crumbled cinnamon powder. It is a world apart from the prepackaged cinnamon powder.

Whisk up the eggs, milk, apples, butter, salt, sugar, and cheese in your blender until lightly tossed and frothy.

Time on counter top: (5 minutes)

Fold in the materials from the blender into your glass bowl and toss gently.

Time in oven: (an hour to an hour and a half)

Pour the material in your loaf pan and set to bake at 400 degrees Centigrade for about 75 — 90 minutes (you can keep checking after about an hour to see if the bread is ready).

Once ready, cut off a steaming slice, serve with some chunky hot soup (or with some homemade bulgur patties as a hearty sandwich with lettuce, tomato, onion, and a side of sweet pickled cucumbers), and enjoy.

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