This is my recipe for a healthy carrot bread. This well-spiced bread is light and tender. It will fill your home with the delicious smell of baking bread. Your toaster oven is the perfect place to bake it.
Most people have had carrot cake and this gives them expectations when eating it. This once healthy dessert is now loaded with sugar and white flour. It is then smothered in a sugary icing further degrading its healthy status. I have made healthy versions of this cake, but most people frown upon changes to such a well-known dessert. My solution was to make something different: a loaf of carrot bread. No one expects over-the-top sweetness from a loaf of bread, so people are pleasantly surprised by the natural sweetness of the carrots which gets a small boost from a little bit of honey.
It is all about perception. Most people will tell you a natural carrot cake is not sweet enough, while they feel a natural loaf of carrot bread is quite sweet. I most often serve a slice of this bread simply toasted and buttered. Adding a bit of orange marmalade to an untoasted slice completely changes the flavor. This bread is exceptional both ways.
There are a lot of cake-like recipes for carrot bread. My recipe is different. I use yeast and let it rise like a traditional bread. Not only does that give the bread a different (and delicious) flavor, but it also makes it light and tender even though I use whole grain flour.
I like to bake this bread into a small loaf in my toaster oven. There are no preservatives in this carrot bread, so I don’t like to make a lot of it at once. I bake the loaf with chopped walnuts on the top. The close proximity of the heating elements in a toaster oven beautifully browns the walnuts. You can skip the walnuts if you aren’t a fan of nuts, or replace them with sunflower seeds to still keep that wonderful, crunchy topping.
Makes 1 loaf
- 1 cup of whole grain oat flour
- 1 cup of whole grain wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon of dried ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon of grated nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt
- 1 1/2 cups of grated carrot
- 1/4 cup plus one teaspoon of walnut oil
- Walnut oil as needed to grease the bowl and loaf pan
- 1/4 cup plus one teaspoon of honey
- 1 small egg, beaten
- 1 package (or 1 tablespoon) of active dry yeast
- 1/3 cup of warm, but not hot, water
- 1/4 cup of roughly chopped walnuts
Put the yeast in a glass with the warm water and the teaspoon of honey. Set aside till it gets bubbly; this should take about 5 minutes.
Combine the two whole grain flours, the cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt. Mix well.
Combine the grated carrots, the 1/4 cup of walnut oil, the 1/4 cup of honey and the beaten egg. Mix well.
Combine the carrot mixture, flour mixture and the bubbly yeast mixture. Mix well and knead into a soft dough. You can do this by hand or with a stand mixer or food processor. Place the kneaded dough into a greased bowl, flipping it over to coat both sides. Cover the dough and let it rise in a warm, dark place until doubled in size.
Punch the dough down then form it into a small loaf. Place the dough into a greased 5 x 3 3/8 x 2 1/2 inch loaf pan. Let rise until almost doubled in size. Lightly brush the loaf with the teaspoon of walnut oil, being careful not to deflate the dough. Sprinkle the chopped walnuts over the top.
Bake the bread your preheated toaster oven at 375 degrees F. It is done when tapping the loaf produces a hollow sound; this should take about 40 minutes. Let cool completely before slicing or the bread will not set properly.
The Best Toaster Oven For Baking Carrot Bread
You will want a toaster oven that does a good job of maintaining the set temperature. Most mid-range or better models are capable of this. Look for any issues with uneven heating or hot spots when looking for a toaster oven.
Photo. Aline Ponce