Baking Recovery

It’s been so nice to finally have all of my energy back, and I feel like I might be making up for lost time. Not that I didn’t do any baking while I was recovering from the cancer treatment, I certainly had curtailed the activity.

Well, curtail no more. I’ve been playing with the master recipe from Artisan Breads in Five Minutes a Day (the recipe gives you about 5 one-pound loaves to make over the course of a week, so there’s lots to play with). This particular iteration may have to be part of our routine. It’s a cinnamon-raisin bread that toasts nicely and is perfect, really, any time of the day (I was going to say “breakfast,” but who’s kidding who).

Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Basically I pulled off a pound (or grapefruit-sized hunk of dough) and, using a rolling pin, flattened it into a 9 x 12 inch area. After sprinkling generously with cinnamon and raisins, I rolled it back up into a log-like shape (tucking in the ends) and continued with the directions as is.

What I haven’t mentioned is that I acquired a baking stone, and that has pretty much changed my life. Why did I wait so long? The crust on this bread is thick, the custard resilient (but not too spongy), and, frankly, it’s amazing there is enough bread left to take a picture of.

Of course, bread is not the only baking that I’m doing. I’ve started experimenting with vegan cakes, and I’ve settled on a perfect batter that goes well with all manner of inclusions. Last week it was rhubarb. This week a combination of lemon, blueberries and poppy seeds.

Blueberry Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

Recipe for Blueberry Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

  • 1 cup white flour
  • 1/3 cup (heaping) whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup (or less) of sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 teeny pinch of salt
  • 4 Tbsp poppy seeds

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl, then add:

  • Juice of half a lemon, combined with enough warm water to make 1 cup
  • Zest of that half a lemon
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar

Mix until batter is nearly combined, then add:

  • 1 cup blueberries (we’re cleaning out our freeze in preparation for this season’s fruit, so I thawed some blueberries for this cake)

Continue mixing until all ingredients have been incorporated (don’t over mix). Pour in to 9-inch round cake pan and bake at 350º for 30 minutes (or until toothpick inserted comes out clean).

Let cool and top with glaze made from the juice and zest of the other half of the lemon (basically add some powder sugar until the mixture is pourable, but not too thin – it’s really hard to screw this up, so I just toss a bit in at a time and whisk the mixture until it seems like a good consistency).

Blueberry Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

I’d better start getting out on my bike more regularly, because with all this baking in the house, and only two people to enjoy it…

7 Replies to “Baking Recovery”

  1. Thanks for that recipe! The cake looks divine!

    1. Slice of Cake

      It’s pretty good, too — a little on the breakfasty side (or, that’s just my associations with poppy seeds), but perfect with a cup of tea.

  2. Glad you have your energy back and baking again. Do you have a recipe for homemade granola without a lot of sugar? I took off a whole year from knitting and spinning because of illness and glad to say, I can now do this things with ease.

  3. Thank you so much for sharing your cake recipe! It sounds delicious, and I’m really looking forward to giving it a try. Lemon and blueberries make such a perfect combo.
    Your cinnamon-raisin bread is gorgeous. I have no trouble believing that it was gone not long after the picture was taken!

  4. We also love our pizza/bread stone. I’ve been experimenting with breads from Prairie Home Breads by Judith Fertig. I haven’t tried any gluten-free breads yet, though.

    The cinnamon-raisin bread looks excellent!

  5. Loren, I’ve been experimenting with a couple of different granola recipes, but haven’t settled on one that I really like, yet. I’ll share one after I find it.

  6. I dare say it took me quite a bit longer to start making anything after my bout. Good for you, you are way ahead of the game!

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