Breads & Sweet Treats

Quinoa & Currant Bread Loaf

May 5, 2015

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Now that it’s spring, the sun rises in Boston around 5:30. I usually set my alarm clock to wake up at 5:30, but it never happens. My body is still in winter mode – no way am I getting out of bed that early (yet?). I am a morning ritual kind of person. The weird guy who wakes up early to go for a run, read, pour a cup of tea, and head off to work. It’s quiet. I like to wake up before the city, or at least before most people in the city are moving around. It gives me a chance to take a breath of air before the day gets going.

It’s warm (yay!) and the doc has given me the thumbs-up, so I’m running again. Much slower than I was a few months ago, but I’m running, finally. It felt good to get out and move my legs over the past few days. At lunch, I ran along the Charles River where everything is in full bloom. Around Back Bay, Boston starts to feel like a college town. The students at all the major universities in the city are graduating, so their families are here and the city is alive with so much change.

Despite all the newness, Boston is still known for its historical landmarks. A couple doors down from our apartment you’ll find the house of William Lloyd Garrison, one of the most famous abolitionists and author of The Liberator (says the plaque in front of the estate). We have a fort leftover from the revolutionary war. At the top of the hill there is a skyline view of Boston. In the morning, when the grass is still wet and the sun isn’t strong enough to make everything sticky, I lace up my shoes and hit the pavement (or trails if I can find them).

At physical therapy today, the PT told me that I need to take more rest days. Run less. Give my body a break. I’m the kind of person that’s all or nothing. It’s not that I try to be that way, it just happens. It’s kind of always been that way. I find something that I enjoy doing, or a song that I like listening to, and I run it into the ground. No balance.

Huh, what a concept?

She didn’t say do nothing. She suggested cycling, swimming, cross-training. Do something different. It was hard to hear, which I think goes for most times that I’m out of balance – it totally sucks when somebody has to hold up the mirror and says, hey don’t forget to work on this part of your life. And I have a bunch of resistance to running less. After she told me, I was just silent. I had to take a moment to get my composure, listen to what she was saying.

I have to believe that our bodies (sometimes) do things to send us messages about our lives – or at least mine does. She’s right. I was running too much. I’ve been doing too much. Luckily, nobody said we have to be the same people we were yesterday. There is always space to throw ourselves into something new. Here’s to having the patience, tenacity, and grace to be someone different than we are today.

Quinoa-Whole Wheat Bread with Currants

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I love rustic loaves of bread that I can eat in the morning with some kind of nut butter, avocado, or roasted squash. This whole-wheat loaf of bread is earthy and lightly sweetened with maple syrup, which gives it a nice caramel flavor. The currants add a tannic sweetness to the bread that gives the loaf more complexity that is super delicious. This recipe was adapted from Quinoa-Whole Wheat Bread with Raisins from Saveur.

Yields: 1 Loaf

Ingredients

¼ cup toasted flax seeds
5 tbs red quinoa
3 oz. active yeast
2 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup whole wheat flour
1 ¾ tbs sea salt
1 tbs maple syrup
½ cup currants

  1. Heat quinoa in a small pot for 2-3 minutes, until lightly toasted. Add 1 cup + 2 tbs of water. Reduce heat to medium and cover, so that the quinoa can simmer until the water is fully absorbed. The quinoa should be soft and fluffy after 25-30 minutes. Once the quinoa is done cooking, add toasted flax seeds and let sit until cool.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together yeast, flours, and salt. Make a well in the center of the flour. In a medium bowl, mix together maple syrup and 1 ½ cups of water. Pour this mixture into the well until a loose, sticky dough forms. Add quinoa, flax, and raisins.
  3. Turn dough out onto a floured work surface and knead for 4-5 minutes. Shape the dough into a tight, round ball and cover with a damp towel. Let rest for 4 hours.
  4. Remove dough from the bowl and turn out onto a floured work surface. Knead for 3 minutes, incorporating more air into the dough. Let chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  5. Prepare your oven for baking the bread by placing one rack on the top third of the oven and the other on the bottom third. Heat oven to 480°. Transfer the dough to a baking pan and slice with a leaf pattern. Brush the dough with water.
  6. Bake the dough for 15 minutes on the bottom third of the oven. Transfer the bread to the upper rack for 15-20 minutes. Let the bread cool completely before serving.

Yeast

Flour and Currants

Quinoa and Dough

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quinoa whole wheat bread

 

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  • Kevin Lopez

    Through every decision, through every season, you will continue to inspire not only me but many other athletes who admire you.

    Super delicious bread btw! That is a true rustic bread!

    Con mucho amor,
    Kevin