The recipe for this lovely quickbread comes from the book Knead Peace: Recipes from the world’s best bakers in support of Ukraine (Kyle Books, 2023). Sarah Johnson, who developed it, is a pastry chef, food writer and advocate for regenerative farming. Originally from California, she worked at Alice Waters’s Chez Panisse Restaurant before moving to London to head the pastry kitchen at Spring. We love the combination of earthy rye, fresh gingerroot and sweet black treacle, particularly when served with fresh berries and whipped cream. If treacle is not on your radar, it’s very similar to dark molasses, so feel free to use that instead.
Makes 1 loaf
- 2/3 cup (90 grams) all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup plus 2 ½ tablespoons (60 grams) dark rye flour
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2.3 ounces (65 grams) fresh root ginger, peeled and sliced into coins
- ½ cup (100 grams) superfine granulated (caster) sugar
- ½ cup (115 grams) grapeseed oil, plus extra for greasing pan
- ¼ cup plus 2 ½ tablespoons (130 grams) black treacle or unsulphured molasses
- ½ cup plus 2 teaspoons (130 grams) boiling water (see Step #5 of recipe)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 large egg
- Preheat the oven to 250˚F (120°C or Gas Mark 1/2). Brush an 8 ½ x 4 ½-inch loaf pan with oil and line the bottom with nonstick baking paper.
- Sift the all-purpose flour, rye flour, cinnamon and salt into a large bowl. Set aside.
- Place the ginger and sugar in a blender and whiz until the ginger begins to release its juices and forms a smooth paste. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides to make sure all of the ginger is incorporated.
- Feel free to drizzle some of the oil into the blender to keep things moving. Once the mixture is smooth and there are no more bits of ginger, add the rest of the oil. Turn off the blender and add the treacle.
- Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil. Quickly but carefully measure 130 grams of the water, then discard the rest. Place the measured water back into the pot and return it to the heat.
- Keeping close watch, bring it to another rolling boil, then add the baking soda. Immediately remove from the heat and, with the blender off, pour into the ginger mixture.
- Use a spatula to gently stir the mixture (this will help to loosen the treacle.) Carefully pulse the blender a few times until all the wet ingredients are fully incorporated.
- Place the bowl of flour over a damp towel to secure it, then create a well in the middle of the flour.
- With the blender jug in one hand and a whisk in the other, slowly add the wet ingredients into the dry, whisking to incorporate. Take care to avoid any lumps of flour, and whisk just enough to incorporate everything.
- Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl with a spatula, then finally whisk in the egg until everything is smooth.
- Pour into your prepared loaf pan and place on to a rack in the middle of the oven.
- Bake for 30 minutes, then rotate and bake for another 15 minutes.
- Turn the oven up to 300°F (150°C or Gas Mark 2), and continue to cook until set (another 5–10 minutes).
- In summer, serve with strawberries, blackberries, peaches or plums and whipped cream. It is also delicious with pears or roasted quince in autumn, or warm poached prunes in winter.
Excerpted with permission from Knead Peace: Recipes from the world’s best bakers in support of Ukraine (Kyle Books, 2023). Recipe by Sarah Johnson; photo by Jessica Wang.