Sigh! The time has come. Yes, it’s finally here, that time of year when you bid adieu to the King of Fruits, Mango. I must admit though, that I’m not in such a deplorable state this year, cos I’ve ingeniously stashed away some mangoes, both in the form of pulp and pieces, in my freezer. So whenever the want to enjoy some mangoes gets the better of me, all I have to do is whip some out of the freezer and tada, I get to eat some to my heart’s content. Well, not so quite to my heart’s content; I have to ration my servings, or you can bet your last dime that I will finish it all up in one sitting alone! For all that I care, I may just end up eating the frozen mango without even letting it come to edible temperature. Now, is there really a term like ‘edible temperature’? If there isn’t, I just invented one! In a crusade to give a befitting farewell to the King of fruits, I decided that bread it was gonna be. After all, this was my first bread and I was also giving the King a befitting farewell throne to settle into. This bread will always hold a special place in my heart, why? One, cos it’s my first bread, and two, it’s my first bread with mango! Read on for some mango-tango…
- Ripe Mango – 1 heaped cup, finely chopped (the more the merrier)
- All-purpose Flour/Maida – 1 1/2 cups
- Whole Wheat flour – 1/4 cup
- Wheat Bran – 1/4 cup
- Sugar – 1/2 cup (increase to 3/4 cup if using oil)
- Ripe Mango puree – 1/2 cup (used as a substitute for 1/2 cup of oil; I actually threw in 3/4 cup of puree…when did the flavour of mangoes ever hurt?)
- Flax seed powder (dry roasted and finely ground) – 4 tsps mixed in 1 cup warm water (substituting 4 eggs)
- Baking Powder – 1 tsp
- Baking Soda – 1/2 tsp
- Cinnamon powder – 1/4 tsp
- Dry Ginger powder – 1/2 tsp
- Nutmeg – a pinch (I like my spices mild, thank you! Feel free to use more if you like it that way)
- Salt – a pinch
- Chopped nuts of choice (Walnuts/Pecans/Pistachios) – 1/4 cup + 2 tbsps (to top), finely chopped/slivered (I used Pistachios)
- Vanilla essence – 1 tsp
- Pre-heat oven to 180C/350F.
- Start by mixing the flax seed powder with the 1 cup of warm water and set aside. Let it do its job of getting a gelatinous texture while you fix the batter.
- Use the muffin method for the batter. In a mixing bowl, mix together the dry ingredients – maida, whole wheat flour, wheat bran, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon powder, dry ginger powder, nutmeg and salt. Stir well with a balloon-whisk to incorporate.
- Stir in 1/4 cup nuts as well.
- Now, fold in the wet ingredients – mango puree, flax seed powder mixed in warm water, vanilla essence, and almost all the mango pieces. Save some mango pieces to top the loaf with. Don’t stir the batter too much, just enough to incorporate all the ingredients. If the batter is stirred too much, the result will be more like a cake than a bread.
- Grease a loaf tin with oil, and pour the readied batter into it.
- Top the batter in the loaf tin with mango pieces and the remaining 2 tbsps pistachio slivers. Press gently with your fingers so that they make contact with the batter on the underside.
- Bake for 60-70 minutes or till the toothpick test gives you a clean toothpick. It took exactly 75 minutes in my oven. I increased the temperature to 190c/375F during the last 5 minutes, just to brown the top surface a little more than it already had.
- Once done, remove from oven and let the tin cool on a wire-rack for 10 minutes. Upturn the loaf from the tin and let it cool on the wire-rack for a good amount of time (I let mine cool almost for 2-3 hours) before you can slice it.
- Once fully cooled, slice the bread with a bread knife/serrated knife and get down to attacking it!
The flax-seed worked wonders in place of the egg, and so did the mango puree in place of the fat. No doubt we loved the bread to the hilt. First day we ate it, I thought – “Hmm, for my first bread, not bad at all, but next time I could maybe do a better job” ‘cos I thought the flavour of mango didn’t quite hit the right notes. I did think the flavours would show up much more the next day. And so with the slightest of hopes, I despondently dumped the loaf into an air-tight container, stashed it away in my fridge, and pretended I was suffering from amnesia and forgot all about it. 3 days later, I decided to treat myself to a slice and when I bit into it, the mango flavour hit me right where it should and I was doing the tango without my knowledge, like a happy dance, cos I knew right then that this recipe was a keeper! Try it, and you’ll know precisely why, and let me take a bet you’ll do the happy dance as well :D