The exclamation of joy from the kitchen was all the validation I needed. I looked over and saw the expression on my eldest son’s (M) face as he took his first bite of this gingerbread quick bread – eyes wide, then a slow smile spread across his face. To tell the truth, I wasn’t sure how this bread was going to turn out, but M’s reaction let me know I found the winning formula.
This quick bread started the way most of my baking recipes do – with whole wheat pastry flour, which has all of the benefits of regular whole wheat, but a much lighter texture. When I first starting baking with whole grains, I used regular whole wheat flour, but that produced very dense baked goods. I switched over to a half-and-half mixture of whole wheat and all-purpose flours, but still wasn’t happy with the texture (or the fact that I had to give up the extra dose of fiber). When I discovered whole wheat pastry flour, my baking problems were solved. For whole wheat muffins, quick breads and cookies, it can’t be beat.
Capturing the gingerbread flavor in the bread was easy, following an age-old formula of adding molasses and various spices, such as ground ginger (of course!), cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. I know that ground cloves are more expensive than the rest of the spices, but I guarantee that even half of a teaspoon makes a difference to the flavor. Hopefully you’ll want to make this quick bread more than once to get your money’s worth!
As for the fats and sweeteners, I subbed maple syrup (the real stuff) for brown sugar or granulated sugar, and replaced butter with Greek yogurt and a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil. The texture? Tender and moist. The sweetness? Just right, particularly with a brush of maple syrup glaze on top of the bread.
Serve this up with Christmas breakfast or a cup of afternoon tea, or wrap it up to give away as a hostess gift. And hopefully your reaction will be the same as M’s when you take the first bite!
Other recipes with ginger:
Cookin’ Canuck’s Whole Wheat Oat Gingerbread Pumpkin Pancakes
Cookin’ Canuck’s Crockpot Pear & Ginger Applesauce
Heavenly Healthy’s Gingerbread Granola
The Full Helping’s Ginger Pear Muesli Creamy Cashew Milk
Petite Canteen’s Spicy Asian Turkey Salad with Almond Ginger Dressing
Whole Wheat Gingerbread Quick Bread with Maple Syrup Glaze
The flavors and texture are reminiscent of traditional gingerbread, but with a healthy twist to make this quick bread practically guilt-free!
- 2 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
- 3/4 cup 1% (low fat) milk
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 3 tbsp molasses
- 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted & slightly cooled
- 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a 9- by 5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg and salt.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the egg. Add the yogurt, milk, maple syrup, molasses and coconut oil, and stir to combine.
- Add the yogurt mixture to the flour mixture and stir to combine.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared loaf pan.
- Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Check after 20 minutes. If the top of the bread is becoming to brown, cover with foil.
- Let the bread cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Remove and transfer to a rack.
- Brush the glaze on top of the bread. Let cool. Cut into ½-inch thick slices. Serve.
- In a small bowl, stir together the maple syrup, cinnamon and ginger.
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