Thursday, October 4, 2012

Protein pumpkin bread French toast

Topped with cinnamon and a blob of coconut butter -- reminiscent of frosting!
This was inspired by a recipe for banana bread French toast. If it can be done with banana bread, why not pumpkin? It's a perfect breakfast for an autumn morning.

I opted to use protein powder as my primary flour substitute. It worked great, although the texture of protein powder based baked goods tends to be very smooth and a bit gummy. I think that almond flour yields a nicer crumb, so if you don't care about macros you can make a different pumpkin bread recipe such as this one. However, I was willing to compromise for a more satiating breakfast. I also added a bit of golden flax meal to improve the texture and also add some extra fiber. And of course there are also eggs and coconut oil. So it's French toast, but you're also getting plenty of protein, healthy fats, fiber, and even a veggie serving from the pumpkin!

This recipe is kinda-sorta dairy-free. I used whey protein isolate, which has all of the lactose and casein removed. Most people who eschew dairy avoid it because of one or both of those compounds, so even if you don't eat dairy you might be okay with this particular protein powder. If not, you can try egg white protein or rice protein.

I baked it in a petite loaf pan so that it would rise like bread, rather than getting little rectangles like you would get in a conventional loaf pan. They are easy to find; I saw foil ones at Wal-Mart for a little over a buck. You can bake it in a regular loaf pan, you just might need to adjust the cooking time and the slices will not look as nice.

I doubled up on the pumpkin by adding pumpkin puree to the egg wash mixture as well. If you prefer a fluffy French toast, you can make this recipe for the bread but use the pumpkin egg batter and add extra spices. This is more dense than fluffy, as is characteristic of any quick bread. I try not to eat very sweet things, so I just topped it with coconut butter and cinnamon. However it would be terrific with a drizzle of maple syrup, either the real stuff or make your own sugar-free version.

PROTEIN PUMPKIN BREAD FRENCH TOAST
Makes 8 thick slices, or 12 thin ones

INGREDIENTS

For the bread:
  • 2 scoops vanilla whey protein isolate (True Nutrition WPI in natural premium vanilla or Jay Robb brand are stevia-sweetened)
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 Tbs milled golden flax seed
  • 4 Tbs melted coconut oil
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbs pumpkin pie spice (or combine 2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground ginger, 1/4 tsp allspice, and 1/4 tsp nutmeg)
For the egg batter:
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup canned coconut milk, stirred
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • Coconut oil or ghee for cooking
DIRECTIONS
  1.  Preheat oven to 350 F
  2. Combine the flax meal with 1/4 cup water in a small bowl. Set aside to soak while you mix the other ingredients.
  3. Combine the protein powder, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin pie spice in a small bowl. In a larger separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, coconut oil, and pumpkin. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix thoroughly. Add the flax mixture and stir to combine.
  4. Grease a loaf pan (preferably a mini pan) and pour in the batter. Bake at 350 for about 35 minutes or until solid. Let cool thoroughly before slicing, at least an hour. Ideally, chill it in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.
  5. When ready to make French toast, preheat a nonstick skillet over medium heat until quite hot. Whisk together the egg batter ingredients except for the oil. Working in batches, dip slices of pumpkin bread in the batter, then cook over medium heat in coconut oil or ghee until both sides are golden brown, turning only once. Serve.
Freezing directions:  Let cool, freeze in ziploc bags, and keep frozen until ready to eat. To serve, place in toaster oven or microwave for 1-2 minutes.

9 comments:

Adrian said...

I've made this a few times, and it has been pretty good. But I've been struggling to get it out of the pan. Normally I line the pan with teflon parchment. When I do that with this bread the bread shrinks away from the bottom of the pan and I get a big hollow at the bottom of the loaf. But if I just grease the pan it is impossible to get the loaf out.

Any suggestions?

Erica said...

Hmmm...what do you mean by a big hollow? Maybe if you cut the parchment to fit? Or, if you can deal with the fact that it has some shady ingredients, Baker's Joy spray is magical.

Adrian said...

I use a piece of reusable teflon sheet that is cut to fit the pan. What happens is that the bread sticks to the teflon. The teflon does not stick to the pan. The bread shrinks a LOT as it cools---including up away from the bottom of the pan---but stays stuck to the sides, so when I remove it, the bottom of the loaf has shrunk, maybe an inch upwards from the bottom of the pan. So there's a hollow space under the loaf an inch high. When I slice the loaf the bottom edge of the slices curve up an inch in the center. (One could argue that weird shaped bread slices aren't a catastrophe, but I think the teflon sheet was wrinkled, which would shorten its life, so that's bad. That's why I quit using the sheet.)

Does baker's joy really work better than buttering and flouring the pan? I mean, I butter and flour, though I was trying to avoid the wheat. As an aside, there's something wrong about a product made from oil and flour being able to bill itself as "fat free" and "carb free".

I wonder if I could get it to shrink less. I've been mixing it in the blender, which might be introducing lots of air and making it puff up more.

Erica said...

Baker's Joy is definitely sketchy, I agree with you :) I just mention it as an option since you only use a tiny bit. In my experience it works better than butter and flour but I might just be buttering and flouring wrong. One thing I can think of is that I use a very small mini loaf pan when I bake this and it's completely full of batter, almost overflowing. If you're using a larger pan, maybe you get some strange shrinking?

Adrian said...

I've been using a Magic Line 7.5x3.5 loaf pan, which is pretty small, though I wouldn't call it "mini". I think the batter almost fills the pan.

Adrian said...

I finally got around to making this again, and I took pictures. This time I put my liner in the bottom of the pan and I removed it from the pan immediately after it came out of the oven. That was a mistake, because it allowed the bread to shrink in all directions instead of just from the top, producing a weird looking shriveled loaf. Basically it is acting like a souffle: puffing up in the oven and then falling. I guess because this version fell in every direction it was denser, so it soaked up less egg, which I thought was not so good.

You can see the pictures here:

https://picasaweb.google.com/hummingjoni/Bread#

I tried to blend conservatively to introduce less air, but it didn't seem to matter. One thing that might be different is that got "pumpkin puree" by cooking a squash and mashing it up and I'm using 4.5 oz of that. It's pretty dry and dense. I am using 2.2 oz of whey protein isolate which was my guess about the "2 scoops".

Adrian said...

For a laugh you can go to the same link, where I added a couple more pics. One shows what happens when I use the blender freely, which is that I got something like a popover.

The second picture shows what I got when I was as conservative as possible, with just a few seconds of the immersion blender to take out lumps. That one was much more reasonable, though it still collapsed a lot. I wonder if I'm underbaking.

Anonymous said...

i have a sikicone baking pan, will see if that eill work..no need to grease, things just pop out. will let u know! i have to get to the store sumtime this week for the pumpkin :-)

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