Friday, January 28, 2011

Carrot-Granola Quick Bread

I just got a new oven after going without one for about six months.  I'm on a baking binge now, and nothing's easier to make than quick breads.  They're called panques in Mexico, though your traditional gringo quick bread has more fat, more sugar, and more spices than its Mexican counterpart.  The difference between a quick bread and regular bread is that quick breads don't have yeast.  Instead, eggs and baking soda or baking powder are used to leaven the bread, making preparation a lot faster, easier, and with a lot less mess.

This recipe calls for ground nutmeg.  I've never seen nutmeg in Mexico.  If you're making this bread in Mexico, you'll have to tuck a jar into your checked luggage or ask that someone bring you some.  I've made carrot bread without nutmeg with success, but the flavor loses some of its complexity.

The recipe also calls for granola.  I use a delightful mix I found in the organic farmers market near my house.  It has toasted coconut, toasted pecans, raisins, puffed amaranth, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, and toasted oats, and it is sweetened with piloncillo, a by-product of the sugar-making process which is Mexico's version of brown sugar.

As for the dried fruit called for in the recipe, feel free to get creative.  I cleaned out my pantry and tossed in a mix of the many tiny bags full of the last pieces of dried fruit I had.  I used a mix of dried sweetened cranberries, prunes, chopped candied figs, and raisins.


  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c sugar
  • 2/3 c oil (preferably canola oil)
  • 1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 c grated carrots
  • 1 c granola
  • 1/2 c dried fruit
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F or 176 degrees C.*
  2. Combine eggs, sugar, and oil in a small bowl.
  3. Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a medium bowl.
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients.  Stir with a wooden spoon until mixed, but don't over-mix the batter.  Add carrots, granola and dried fruit.
  5. Pour the batter into a greased bread loaf pan and bake for about one hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Makes 1 loaf.  This recipe is easily doubled.

* A lot of Mexican ovens either have the numbers 1-5 on their dials instead of temperatures, or the dial controls the size of the flame instead of the actual temperature of the oven, because the oven doesn't have a thermostat (despite the fact that it might actually have temperatures on the dial).  Do yourself a favor and buy an oven thermometer.  It'll save you a lot of heartbreak and burnt breads.

1 comment:

  1. I'm making this next week for my vegetarian friend who just had twins!