Time to Bulk Up

What’s up? Fitness fanatics! It’s me, your swole guru and it’s time to get…Hah! Made you think you came to the wrong blog. At least let me pretend, dear reader. Here I am again, I’ve been busy, again repeating recipes, I’m getting my Cottage Pie making skills down to a very fine art, involving as little clean up as possible. A few Sweet Mango Curries and Wholegrain Basmati Rice sets have been frozen. I do have plans for a new-ish version of my Buckwheat Bakewell, so I’ll ask this: Is there any interest in a play-by-play guide of making it, I’m think of making miniature ones, but the process remains mostly the same. If there is let me know in the comments, if not, well, I might do it regardless. Aside from that I’ve finished running putty, the nightmares will never cease. The garden is dormant for the most part, aside from the anomalous spring bulbs that are growing. So here I am, thumbs-a-twiddling and in lieu of a new recipe I thought I’d impart some of my mind’s wealth to you, and no, I’ll still have enough left afterwards thank you very much.

So, the title wasn’t complete bunk, we will be dealing with bulking up, breads that is. One of the reasons, aside from the fact that a lot of commercial gluten free bread is disgusting, I scorned bread early on in my journey was that it was too expensive and severely lacking in nutritional value. So even when dealing with home-made there is a problem with expensive flours making little loaves. So, I would tell you the story of how I overcame and create breads, but it’s fuzzy and boring. Instead I’ll break down some options for increasing the size of your loaf while also doubling down on the goodness therein. Boring, eh? Bear with me, it gets worse. Heh. Now, to the standard communication method for complex narratives on the vast worldwide web: Bullet points! No, not bullet hell, although that would be more fun.

Pre-emptive Loaf Preparation

As with all things in life we start not at the beginning, nor at an informative, exciting junction, but at a period of utter uncompromising dullness. I wonder how many of you have already tuned out. Hmmmm. Neener neener, booger-eater! I like to keep it classy around here. I will forewarn you that not all loaves, breads, cakes, whatever you’re bulking up will react the same way. Some can take quite a bit of additions, whereas others will crumble with the slightest hint of anything optional. I’ve found my Buckwheat Breads can take about 200g-250g of additions before they start to fall apart. That’s a lot of purée of nut butter when it concerns a medium, twelve slice loaf. You’ll have to figure out this by trial and error. I of course never make mistaeks. That was a joke, don’t just assume I’m that dumb and carry on reading!

Hempseed

I find hemp-seed useful as it’s not very noticeable due to it’s soft texture. It does impart some softness so you’ll have to account for that. You might lose some of the good when baking, but it can’t hurt to try. And, no, it won’t make you high.

Nut and Seed Butters

Ah nut butters, for those with disposable incomes that can range from almonds to pecans, whereas with the rest of us it means peanut butter. I find natural, skin-on butters work best. Additional oil and sugar butter would mean you have less control over the end product. This changes the loaf twofold, aside from taste naturally: The bread will be sturdier and will be slightly drier. I like to pair it with fruit, like bananas or squash. What? It’s a berry! And delicious. Don’t forget your seed butters either. Tahini, pumpkin seed butter etc They’re all equally delicious options for the nut-allergists out there.

Purée

If the idea that vegetable or fruit purée in your baked goods makes you blench, no not barf, just look it up! Then, er, yeah, you’re missing out. Not only does it add substantial bulk and body to your breads, it can impart a moistness and soft texture that’s hard to match. Vegetables such as sweet potato, squash, carrot etc make for great sweeter breads, whereas green apples, cauliflower etc are better for plainer breads. I’ll let you figure out why these items all are nutritionally valuable, you’re a smart kid, dearest reader, for the most part.

Seeds

Easily forgotten, or hard to obtain if you’re me, seeds, and nuts even, are an easy way to add some nutrition to any bread. Either stirred through the batter or baked on top, in the latter case be prepared for them to tumble everywhere upon cutting, they are packed with goodness and can elevate a simple loaf into something more tasty and substantial. They obviously won’t add much bulk as far as size goes.

Blended Fruit

I know it seems I’m repeating myself, but this is different. Berries like strawberry, raspberry and blueberry are delicious when baked whole, but not so much when frozen and defrosted, depends on the fruit really. What? A squash a berry? No, in this paragraph it’s treated as a vegetable, do try to keep up. So, what’s to be done to avoid sodden baked fruity goods? Blend them! I blend the berries with the liquid ingredients and stir it all into the dry, maybe add some nut butter before baking. That way you get the taste while avoiding the mess. It’s simple, but it’s great in muffins or even breads where you might not be able to add much bulk without destroying the integrity of the end product. Basic, but good food is good food. It can also add sweetness without sugar.

Powders and Spices

Carobs, spices or all sorts, even dried herbs can help boost a loaf’s nurtional value. You obviously be able add too much. Handily there are a lot of cheap options here so you don’t have to resort to expensive powders. Cinnamon is really versatile in baked goods and can compliment many of the aforementioned additions. But spice mixes, like Mixed Spice can be great too.

Dried Fruit

I’m histamine intolerant, so to hell with dried fruit. No, no, I didn’t type that. You imagined it, dearest reader. All things in moderation. Dried and firm fleshed fruits can be a really delicious addition to your baked goods.

So, I feel like I’ve  imparted, well, something to you. No, I’m not making another rash joke. I’ll be back again, maybe with a recipe, maybe with just myself, try to console yourself in my absence, dear reader. For I’ll always be right there, no, I’m not pointing to your heart, I’m pointing to the garden. Until we meet again.

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3 thoughts on “Time to Bulk Up

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