Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Sleepless nights and bran loaf

Since my son was born, I've found I've been craving sweet things more than ever before.  I remember thinking it was the breastfeeding but when he was a couple of months old I read somewhere that sleep deprivation makes you want more sweet foods.  Well since the early days I've been making bran loaf as it's a (reasonably) healthy cake (as far as cakes go) and full of fibre (good in the early days post birth).  Fortunately I made one yesterday as last night didn't involve much sleep; not because he didn't sleep well but because I was lying in bed worrying about his lack of feeding.

Bran loaf (makes one loaf)

The cup measures can be "proper" American cups but unlike most baking recipes I've found it doesn't really matter and using a large mug works well.

1 cup of all bran (or own brand equivalent)
1 cup of dried fruit (you can use fresh fruit, e.g. apples but I think dried, especially sultanas work best)
1/3 - 1/2 cup soft brown sugar (your preference, obviously the more you use the sweeter it will be but the dried fruit gives a lot of sweetness)
1 cup of hot tea
1 egg
1 tsp mixed spice
1 cup SR flour


Mix the first 4 ingredients and leave to stand for 1 hour minimum, preferably a few hours (or until you have a chance to get away from your baby for 5 mins).  Then mix in the other ingredients, if you have stood the mix for a long time you may need to add an extra dsp water to get the ingredients to mix.  Pour into a greased and lined loaf tin or do as I do and get a silicone loaf tin which needs a quick spray of spray oil at the bottom and doesn't need lining.

Bake for 1 hour at 175 degrees C.

It's an ideal recipe if you have kids around because you can do the first stage one handed and then it takes a matter of moments to get it in the oven.  Also no creaming etc needed and no added fat apart from that used to line the tin and in the egg.

Right, now off to try and work out how to do his feeds today and hopefully have a better night.  Life may be tough but at least I have something to have with a cup of tea later.  Small victories ;o)

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