Whole Wheat Quinoa Bread Cake

This recipe came by necessity. I ran out of bread! I wanted to make a soda bread and was looking up other recipes, but then I figured, why not make a traditional loaf…. but one without too much kneading? 🙂

It turns out, I WILL have to make another bread. An actual bread. I don’t know what I made! Bread cake?! Cake Bread?! What is this spongy thing in my kitchen?!

This is how it started. With good intentions. I checked out The Guardian’s recipes and found the How to Cook/Bake the Perfect… Wholemeal Bread. Felicity Cloake had gone through great lengths to try and test a few recipes (wouldn’t mind having her job! :)) and give us the perfect one. She in the end makes Dan Lepard’s recipe, but I believe slightly adjusted. There are photos on her article page and if that one folded over loaf is what the loaf is to look like before rising for 1 1/2h, mine definitely did not look like that. I did use different flours, but she kept saying “it needs to be a sticky dough”. OK. Maybe mine was too sticky? Did I overwork it? Did I overrise it? (if anyone sees this and knows what on Earth happened, let me know)

I am making the half of her recipe. In her flour mix, since this is wholemeal bread, only 12,5% of it is white flour (oh, we’re getting specific here, get ready!). In my version, from the entire flour mix, 45% of it is quinoa flour (I ran out of wholemeal and was not making a white loaf bread!). The box of my quinoa flour says that it should be 20% of the flour mix, in which case I should’ve used 31 gr instead of 70 gr. I am only saying this because quinoa can come off as a strong taste if you’re not used to it. I do like it better in cooked quinoa or puffed as cereal than in flour form. Surprisingly, I swear, NO ONE can tell there is the slightest HINT of quinoa!

What is interesting here is the vitamin C. Dan Lepard suggests half of a 500 mg vitamin tablet (for the whole recipe) crushed to a powder and added along with the yeast. Felicity does give the tablet ingredient in the final recipe, but she said she used lemon juice when testing the recipe and it worked fine. She does not say how much. I also had no tablets in sight, so on a whim I decided upon 2 tsp of lemon juice.

The recipe calls for melted butter and brown sugar. I opted for a drizzle of olive oil and maple syrup. Neither could hurt. I was also lazy and didn’t want to dirty my measuring spoons and since the oil and sugar are not detrimental to the final product, they just improve its quality, I didn’t think that not measuring them would prove to be a mistake in the end.

She adds 50 gr butter; I would have needed 25 gr of course. I know I just drizzled the oil and I find it I can feel it is a bit greasy. Well, as greasy as a cake would be 🙂 I doubt that my drizzle of oil would have made this greasier than 25 gr of butter.

I can feel a bit of sweetness, not a lot. I think I felt it more when I spread some salted butter on it. As for it being “sour”, I can tell there is some lemon juice, but I’ve had sour dough bread  way more sour than this. You can use 1 tsp instead of 2, I really didn’t know how much was needed. I was also afraid of some insane chemical reaction, but nothing happened. Maybe cake happened?!

I rose mine covered with an oiled clingfilm for just over 1 1/2h next to the radiator and it looked overrisen. I found it odd that I was supposed to bake it like that, just risen. Maybe it looked weird to me cause it overtook the entire baking dish…. But we were trying a different recipe, were’t we? Apparently, one veeeery different one…

In retrospect, I may have used too much yeast. I used dry active yeast and I measured in my teaspoon measuring spoon. I measure and then I notice the spoon that holds the quantities has a line, like a dent. I flip the back of the spoon packaging (they’re new) and I see it says “half measurement line”. I found that odd since the line is way up the spoon’s … well spoon, and even though the surface up there is larger than the bottom, all that depth on the bottom could not possibly hold the same amount as would the above-the-line surface. So I filled the spoon up 🙂 I mean, how does one level off those spoons?! Besides, it’s not like I don’t have a half teaspoon and quarter teaspoon! Bizarre…

She doesn’t mention covering the baking dish when baking and then removing the lid, but do, because mine was starting to burn. I covered it at the 25 minute mark, till the end, but I would have prefered to have started off covered and then uncover it.

I would just like to say, that yes, it would be nice to actually do the correct recipe and have real bread, but to tell you the truth, I want to keep this as it is. I actually like it and could have it by itself, with nothing good butter on it! Who can resist?


25 gr white flour (3 tbsp leveled off) (T65)

130 gr wholewheat flour (T110)

70 gr quinoa flour

1 tsp dry active yeast

1 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp brown sugar (or maple syrup drizzle)

1/4 of a 500 mg vitamin tablet (unflavoured) (or 2 tsp lemon juice)

25 gr melted butter (or a drizzle of olive oil)

200 ml warm water (the half would’ve been 200 ml, but even Felicity doesn’t end up using it all, I used 150 ml)


1. Sift the dry ingredients together in a bowl and drizzle with the maple syrup, olive oil and lemon juice.

2. Add the water, but not all 200 ml, it needs to be a sticky dough. Cover and leave to rest for 10 minutes.

everything is mixed in….

3. Tip the dough on a lightly oiled surface and knead for 10 seconds. Then put it back in the bowl and let it rest for 10 minutes. Do this twice at 10 minutes intervals. After the last one, let it rest for 15 minutes. (really, knead for 10 seconds, it comes together. The second time I may have done it little more and maaaybe I messed it up then… Wait, did I say mess up? I made cake, people!) 🙂

after the 1st knead (no picture of the 2nd, but it looked worse… I overdid it…)

4. Oil the baking dish you’ll be using. Take it out of the bowl and flatten to the form of your baking dish, fold tightly and place it inside. (I couldn’t really fold anything here, it was so soft and pillowy)

going down for a 1 1/2h nap

5. Cover it to rest in warm place until it doubles, around 1 1/2h.

before baking, after the nap

6. Preheat the oven to 220C/428F and bake the bread for 20 minutes. (I want to say start off with a cover over the dish (I covered it after 25 mins. of cooking) and uncover after between 15 and 20 minutes cooking time)

baked (yes, I did a knife cake test)

bottom side…. cakey….

7. After 20 minutes, lower the heat to 200C/392F and cook for another 15-20 minutes (mine was done after 13 more minutes).

not bad 🙂

8. Let it cool off and enjoy with some butter, or just by itself, with a drizzle of honey…. Mmmmmm….  🙂

just to show how soft it was & this is the corner piece

Allow me this: I am looking at the pictures now and laughing at how much it had overrisen. Is this what yeast cake looks like? Should I have broken pieces and fried them up and I could have enjoyed some donuts? hahaha This might be one of those recipes you can never recreate because of some “mistake” that you are unaware of… quelle misère hahahahah


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