Friday, February 18, 2005

Groovy Loaf

Raise your hand if you know who Euell Gibbons is.

This recipe commemorates, in loaf, that 1960's naturalist, Mr. Gibbons. And it was named with you in mind, you with your pits showing, you of the hippie and granola era, because you will understand it. You might not hanker for it, but you'll appreciate its origins. It's so heavy with grains, seeds, and fruit, that any effort at leavening is totally defeated. It comes out of the oven with the same basic size and shape as it went into the oven, only cured. The first time I made it, I depanned what any discerning person would describe as a brick. I was going to throw it out, but the FRE came home, tried it, and expressed his fancy (for the brick). He liked that it wasn't overly sweet, "more adult" was his phrase. What I thought was too dense, he thought was "substantial". And I suspect somewhere beneath his credible exterior as a potato chips and Girl Scout cookies lover lurks a health food junkie who cries "Amen, Brother!" when he downs wheat germ.

So, for the FRE, who gets credit for naming it ("Hey, groovy, man. How 'bout another piece?"), and in honor of the man who constructed his breakfast from weeds and tree bark (it wasn't until later that Gibbons broke fast with bowls of Post Grape-nuts), I bring you...

Groovy Loaf


1 1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup soy flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup wheat bran
3/4 cup cornmeal
3/4 cup rolled oats (not instant)
1/4 cup sunflower seeds, whole
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, whole
2 tbsp. flax seeds, ground

1 cup chopped dates
1/2 cup raisins

1 cup buttermilk (or plain yogurt, low-fat or non-fat)
2 tbsp. maple syrup
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup honey
2 tbsp. vegetable oil (I used unrefined peanut)

1 large egg


1 Preheat oven to 350°F.

2 Rub 1 tsp. vegetable oil on the insides of an 8 by 4 inch loaf pan.

3 Sift together the wheat flour, soy flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir in the wheat germ, wheat bran, cornmeal, oats, seeds, dates, and raisins.

4 Combine the buttermilk, maple syrup, molasses, honey, and oil. Whisk or beat vigorously until fully blended.

5 Whisk the egg in a small bowl. Add about 2 tbsp. of the liquid ingredients to the whisked egg and beat. Slowly pour the beaten egg back into the liquid batter, whisking the batter as you pour.

6 Combine dry ingredients with wet. Fold together slowly until just combined and no dry lumps remain. Pour into prepared loaf pan. Bake at 350°F. for approximately 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

7 Cool thoroughly (1 to 2 hours) in the pan before removing.

I slice the whole loaf and freeze uneaten slices for future use. This loaf stales easily if left out, and a stale Groovy Loaf performs better as a building block than human nourishment.



Anonymous said...

What the heck is an FRE? Thanks

Bix said...

Hi there. The FRE was short for Fanatic's Resident Eater.

Groovy Loaf ... Boy, this was a blast from the past!