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Almond Coconut Loaves

Dearest friends,

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Hi! Happy Hump Day! Today is such a beautiful day for so many reasons. I’ve been so productive AND I haven’t even put pants on yet. It’s 2pm! That’s an accomplishment! I woke up at a reasonable hour, did some homework, cleaned (!!!), wrote, drew, baked, painted my nails…I just went all out. True, very little of this fits within a normal person’s definition of “productive”, but I’m not exactly a normal person. I actually do have a lot I should be doing for school (puke), buuut right now I’m just focusing on doing good, happy things. Not only have I done a ton today, but the weather is near perfect. It’s 70 degrees and sunny. I cannot WAIT to go run errands in this beautiful sunlight.

I feel like these little loaf cake is the perfect balance of sweetness where it tastes decadent and yummy but then you step back and think about the ingredients and it’s not all that indulgent after all! Which is nice. I love almonds. I think they’re perfection in food form. Coconut is pretty fabulous too. Together, they make a great pair.

1 1/2 c. unsweetened coconut, toasted
3/4 c. almond meal
1 c. whole wheat flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. sea salt
3/4 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 c. almond or coconut milk
1/4 c. butter, melted and cooled (or coconut oil!)
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 c. slivered almonds, for the top

Preheat the oven to 350° and toast your coconut flakes. To do so, spread them out on a baking sheet and leave in the oven for 3-4 minutes, but watch them closely! They can get burnt super quickly. Grease one large loaf pan or two mini loaf pans with butter or coconut oil and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the flour, coconut, almond meal, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar. Make sure there are no lumps (that almond meal gets a little cheeky sometimes) and set aside. In another bowl, whisk the eggs together and add the butter, almond/coconut milk, butter and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and gently stir to combine. Pour into your pan(s) and top with the slivered almonds. Bake for about 35-40 minutes for the small loaves, 50 minutes for the big one. (My mini loaves took about 45 minutes but my oven is old and funky so just keep an eye on them!)

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This is a really nice breakfast loaf. A slice of this deliciousness plus a cup of coffee…yummmm. I based this recipe off of a lovely coconut loaf cake one from my Sprouted Kitchen cookbook. It’s a good one; I was very happy with the way it turned out. Try it.

Love, Emily

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1 Comment

No-Knead White Bread

Hi friends,

I made bread! No-knead bread. So no knead for stress. No kneading. Ha. Ha ha. I am so not funny, I’m sorry. (That was for you, Armen.)

Anyways: I don’t think you understand how proud of I was of this lovely loaf. I’m a complete bread-making newbie. I have never in my entire life made my own bread before, and I was so excited to see this come out of the oven. Oh my goodness it was SO PRETTY and smelled SO GOOD and it was SO EASY. Sooooo easy. As in, foolproof, first-time-bread-making-success kind of easy.

I found this recipe here for what promised to be super easy, low maintenance bread and it was exactly that. I barely did anything! Basically all my friends thought it was hilarious that I made a loaf of bread. Most people that encountered it flat out refused to believe that I made it myself. I got a lot of “you did not make that loaf of bread” and “what kind of college student makes their own BREAD?” comments. Whatever, guys, it’s delicious and easy and super cheap. I’d recommend you do the same, in fact. Sheesh. What college student doesn’t love delicious, fresh bread (helloooo, toast is such a 20-something food staple, am I right) as well as bragging rights that you make your own? I’ll definitely make this a lot. Maaaybe weekly. Although this is ambitious, I’m kind of looking to replace buying bread; this is way better. And way cheaper. The only special thing you have to get is yeast which is less than a dollar for a few packets sooooo no excuses. I was a little stressed out by the fact that I don’t have a cast-iron pot (haaa I wish) but I used the big ceramic insert thing from the crock pot and it worked fabulously. I’m sure you could use a big pot with a lid as well, as long as it doesn’t have any plastic or anything on it that would melt. Try it, you won’t be disappointed!

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 3/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. yeast

1 1/2 c. water

(Yes, that’s really, truly all you need. I  kid you not.)

In a large bowl (emphasis on large–it needs room to rise), mix together the flour, salt and yeast. Then add water and stir until the mixture is combined and doughy. Do this in the evening, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit overnight (at least 12 hours) for the dough to rise. When you’re ready to bake your bread, preheat the oven to 450. Once the oven is hot, put your pot and lid in to preheat that as well for at least 30 minutes. While the pot is heating, dump the dough out of the bowl onto a heavily floured surface. Flour your hands (the dough is suuuper sticky, beware), shape the dough into a ball, and cover with the plastic wrap you used to cover the bowl until your half hour is up. Carefully remove the pot from the oven and drop the dough inside, covering and baking for 30 minutes. Take the lid off (again, carefully–450 degrees is hot) and bake for another 15 minutes. You may take this opportunity to get a good first look at your beautiful bread-to-be. Gorgeous, isn’t it? Don’t be stressed if it looks to you like it’s done at this point; I thought if I left it in for another 15 minutes it would burn but I bit my tongue and followed directions and it turned it great. See? I know nothing about baking bread and it still turned out great. After that final 15 minutes, remove it from the oven and put your amazing bread on a cooling rack.

Breathe in the incredible smell of freshly-baked bread, pat yourself on the back, and take some pictures of your masterpiece with your camera and its regrettably shattered lens. And then instagram it and add to your 32897 other food related instagrams, probably annoying the vast majority of your followers. Or at least, that’s what I did.

Love, Emily