A quick & simple, dark & delicious quick bread made with teff flour and oats. Naturally gluten-free, vegan and yeast-free, it is perfect for fueling up before your next marathon, or any of your epic adventures!
Happy Monday, everyone!
The Houston Marathon is fewer than 6 days away, whoo-hoo! This will be my first time running it, and I am especially excited because it is such a short distance away (no plane trips required), it’s super-flat (last marathon–July–was in San Francisco), and all of my Saturday-morning running buddies will be there, too. (Any power hungry readers running this year? I’d love to know!)
The only downside has been training in the cold. Yes, cold in Texas! It has been in the teens the last few weekends, and I hate running in the cold. I would rather run in heat any day! As a reward, I have been making and baking runner-food (e.g., power bars, breads, energy cookies) following frigid runs, to stand by the oven as much as to reap the rewards of my labor.
One of my favorite new developments is this dark and delicious quick bread, made quickly and easily with oats, and teff, a favorite superfood of Ethiopian, Eritrean, and many Western distance runners, too.
I call it Marathon Bread.
The inspiration for the bread came from this recipe for super-seedy, gluten-free bread. It caught my eye because I gravitate towards dark, hearty loaves of bread, plus, I knew I had some teff flour (which is called for in the recipe), waiting for a use, in the freezer. It looked and sounded like a winer.
But then I looked at the recipe more closely. It is a yeast bread (fine), but…did I want to wait around to soak oats proof yeast? No. Further, while I am a fan of nut- and seed-studded baked goods, 2-1/2 cups worth seems excessive, as well as unwise for fuelling long runs (too many pit stops. Enough said on that subject :)).
So, I scrapped the yeast, nuts and seeds, and headed in my own direction, recalibrating the bread as a simple, hearty quick bread.
I love it. I think you will too.
You can whip up this bread in no time flat! First, the liquids are mixed with the oats, psyllium and flax, and then left to hag out for 15 minutes to thicken. The remaining ingredients (teff flour, salt, baking soda, and oil) follow. That’s it!
Note, in the photo below, that the batter is VERY thick, in large part due to the psyllium husk, which adds structure to the loaves. It may seem dry when you first add the teff flour mixture, but keep stirring, it will all blend.
Gluten-free loaves that rely on psyllium and flax need all of the added structure they can get, which is why I decide on four mini loaves as opposed to one 9×5-inch loaf. This allows the bread to bake completely in the centers for a traditional wheat bread-like texture, with minimal deflation after baking.
It also makes it easy to wrap and store extra loaves in the freezer.
The loaves take about 40 to 44 minutes to bake. Do not open the oven to peek, or the loaves may deflate before they are done! When the loaves are finished, they will be puffed high above the edges of the pan, but this is only for a moment (due to the psyllium). The tops will drop almost immediately, but, due to the small loaf size and combination of ingredients, the loaves retain their shape (no center drooping, and no gumminess!).
These are fully-cooled loaves:
The texture of the bread is tender, similar to a whole wheat and oat quick bread recipe I used to make years ago. It is perfect for sandwiches, toast, or anytime gnoshing, plain or adorned with favorite toppings.
While I love the bread best with teff flour, I am happy to report that it also works beautifully with an equal amount of any the following superfood flours:
Stay-tuned for more power recipes this week, including a special guest post tomorrow, which will include a super-food recipe for your favorite four-legged friends!
- 1-3/4 cups water
- 1 cup nondairy milk
- 1 teaspoon vinegar
- 1-1/2 cups rolled oats (old-fashioned or quick-cooking)
- ¼ cup whole psyllium husks
- ¼ cup flaxseed meal
- 3 tablespoons molasses
- 1 cup teff flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1-1/4 teaspoons fine sea salt
- ¼ cup oil (e.g., I used avocado)
- In a large bowl, stir together the water, milk, vinegar, oats, psyllium, flaxseed meal and molasses until combined. Let stand for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350F and grease or spray 4 small loaf pans.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the teff flour, baking soda and salt.
- Add the teff mixture and oil to the oats mixture, stirring vigorously until completely combined (batter will be very thick). Divide batter equally between prepared pans, smoothing tops.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 44 minutes and tops of loaves are very puffed. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely in pans (loaves will begin deflating almost immediately, to about the level of each pan top).
- Remove from pans, slice and eat!
Sweetener subs: An equal amount of maple syrup or honey (if vegan is not necessary) can be used in place of the molasses. If you prefer no sugar, you could add 3 extra tbsp. of milk, or 3 tbsp. of applesauce or pumpkin puree.