'Back To Life' Breakfast - Farmhouse Loaf
Generally I am one of those people who bounce out of bed and greet each new day in that smug 'good morning star-shine the earth says hello' sort of way when others in the household would love nothing more than to bury their heads and sleep for week..... yes I am miss perky in the morning.... well that is until I enter hibernation mode sometime in early November and then on those dark winter mornings I am the inevitable bear with a sore head!, but at this time of the year there's nothing to beat waking up with the sun and taking a wander around the garden listening to the birds chirp whilst watching the pheasants potter about in the field next door,
My stomach however regardless of the time of year, is another matter. For years I have literally had to force breakfast into myself, it is the most important meal of the day after all.....or so it has been drummed into us.......but according to the most recent research, the skipping of breakfast makes absolutely no difference to your ability to loose or maintain weight....HALLELUJAH!! for I simply loathe to eat first thing in the morning and funnily enough my son is the same, he can't bear to eat for at least 2 hours after getting up......he's a brunch man for sure......bless whoever invented brunch!
I begin my day with a big, and I mean a 'big' glass of water almost as soon as I get out of bed. I would roughly drink a pint of water shortly after waking, and even with that to kick start my system, it takes about another hour or even longer after that first glass for my stomach to be in a state where it can cope with food, even if I attend to my morning 'toilette' and maybe go for a walk with the dog.
But now I know that the nauseating thought of putting anything past my lips is not going to affect my health in the long-term, I am much happier, and don't feel I should be forcing myself to eat for the sake of my health.
When I do get around to having something to eat I would of course make sure that it is a balanced and nutritious 'start', guaranteed to bring my system 'back to life' and set me up for the day.
Along with the usual blood sugar regulating porridge and egg breakfasts, I do love my peanut butter and banana. I also read that if you are one of those people who eat peanut butter upwards of 3 times a week it can help with weight loss and healthy weight maintenance......although I would plump, if you pardon the pun, for the organic, low salt, low sugar varieties.
As a base for my peanut butter and banana treat, and I view it as a treat because it's something I look forward to, I use what I call my farmhouse loaf. It is a crusty, nutty, very nutritious and healthy loaf with plenty of fibre, and it just adds to what is a delicious way to begin the day.
So for my Farmhouse Loaf you will need.......
200 g wholemeal flour 100 g rye flour
100 g spelt flour
100 g self raising flour
60 g pinhead oatmeal........ plus a little extra to scatter on the top of the loaf and make it look pretty
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 heaped teaspoon baking powder
1 egg at room temperature
80 g room temperature butter.... plus a little extra for greasing
230 - 250 mls buttermilk
80 g raw cane sugar
you will also need a 1lb loaf tin or 2 small 1/2 lb tins
butter your loaf tin really well and set aside....or you can use that spray on low cal stuffsieve the self raising flour and baking powderplace all the flours, sea salt and the pinhead oatmeal into your mixing bowldice and add the butter, add the sugarrub the butter into the flour on medium speed or by handbeat the egg and add to the flour, mix gently for a few seconds on low speedadd some of the milk then keep adding milk while mixing on a low speed until all the flour has lifted from the bottom of the bowl and is incorporatedif the mix seems dry then add a little more milk, you should end up with a slightly wet dough...you won't be able to knead this dough and if you can then it's too dry!clean down the sides of your bowl then transfer the dough into your loaf tinsmooth the top of the loaf with the back of a wet tablespoon or even use the palm of your hand but wet it slightlyscatter some of the oatmeal on top of the loaf and place in a pre-heated oven at 180oC for 20 minutesafter 20 mins turn the heat down to 160oC, check your loaf with a skewer after 40 minutes, if the skewer comes out dirty then leave the loaf for another 10 - 15 minutes or until the skewer is dry when you test.when you think it's done give your loaf a tap....does it have a hollow sound? then it's doneremove from the oven and loosen around the edges of your loaf with a sharp knife, with luck it should come away easily from the tinturn your loaf out onto a wire cooling rack and leave until fully cooledstore in a suitable container or freeze in a suitable freezer bag This loaf will keep for a good 4 days and even longer if you store it in the fridge. I love to have it toasted and then top it with a tablespoon of peanut butter and my sliced banana, enjoy with a cup of refreshing green tea with lemon......keeps hunger at bay for hours!
This bread is very tasty with soup too.....even try it baked in the oven with cheese on top.....yummy!