Food Review: The “Nut Brick” (aka “The Life-Changing Loaf Of Bread”)

I was browsing Yahoo one day and came across this recipe.

I followed the link to the blog from which the recipe came. You can find that here. Turns out that the recipe was put together by Sarah Britton over at My New Roots, a blog she started to share her “edible inspirations”.

“Life-Changing Loaf of Bread”? That’s a pretty bold statement. I mean, it’s bread, and I loooovvvveee bread, so it’s possible that a loaf could very well be that good. But still, to make that claim, you have to be pretty darn confident. What else could I do but try this recipe out?

Here’s the finished product with some butter on top.

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First,some notes on the process. I chose to make this recipe with honey instead of maple syrup. I love sugar of all kinds, arguably too much, but if I have to choose between honey versus maple syrup in a recipe, honey wins every time. Secondly, instead of using hazelnuts, which I loathe, I decided to use almonds. But hey, that’s what this recipe is all about. It’s all about being able to substitute things when the original is unavailable or simply doesn’t appeal to you. Lastly, the recipe calls for being baked in a flexible fiberglass loaf pan. I don’t have one of those, and I wasn’t willing to buy it for this recipe, especially considering how much all the ingredients cost. The reason for the flexible loaf pan is because you have to take the loaf out of the pan a third of the way through the baking and finish baking right on the over rack. What I did was line my glass loaf pan with foil, which allowed me to lift the loaf out during baking, peel away the foil, and finish baking on the oven rack.

Okay, baking done. So how did it taste? Was it life changing?

Let me say at the outset that, given the recent Yelp lawsuit decision, this is my opinion only. It probably doesn’t hurt either that I’m not accusing Sarah Britton of billing me for work she didn’t do and stealing any jewelry. But, to reiterate, my opinion here.

Okay, so, was it life-changing? For me, I’d have to say no, it wasn’t.

I found the bread dense, something that Sarah Britton says she really loves, and which reminds her of bread she had in Denmark. Okay, fine, I don’t mind dense. But this was Dense with a capital D. So dense that it could not be eaten alone, it had to be consumed with a beverage of some kind. I choose coffee since I was eating it in the morning. The bread turned out to be pretty short since my loaf pan is wide, probably wider than what is used in the original recipe. This made it too short for sandwiches. It was also far too dense to be a sandwich bread, and I’m not sure it would hold up if you layered all of the usual sandwich toppings on it. It was so dense my wife, upon trying it, labeled it the “nut brick”.

As for the taste, well, it tasted like nuts. If you’ve read through the recipe, you’ll see that it is a very nut/seed driven recipe. The oats helped keep it from becoming too much like a baked jar peanut butter, but the taste was very nutty. The aftertaste was all sunflower. Were I to make this recipe again, I’d probably halve the amount of sunflowers and up the amount of oats.

And maybe that’s the point. Maybe the point is to take this as a starting point and playing with the amounts until you get something that appeals to you. With a recipe that lends itself so easily to adjustments, maybe the end game is to experiment until you find the right combination to make it a bread you’ll ultimately enjoy and want to make again.

Which leads to the final thought: will I make it again? Probably. I have all these frickin’ ingredients (see below). I have to do something with them.

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