While on a tour with "Wildman" Steve Brill, we came upon a field of sweet clover, the red/purple kind; which the "Wildman" told us was very good for you. Upon tasting the flowers, I was reminded of this dandelion bread from Fat of the Land; and I knew I had to try to make a clover version--with my own small twists, of course!
I wanted to try to create a somewhat healthier version of the original. I substituted half of the white flour for whole wheat flour, but feel free to use whatever you have on hand. I also decided to use an old trick for reducing the fat of a dish, by replacing unsweetened apple sauce for the oil. The result is an almost fat-free bread--the egg still has a little fat in it. My first loaf was missing something, so the second batch got a dash of vanilla extract, which really perked it up.
There is a slightly bitter note in this bread; I would assume it comes from the green parts of the flowers, which are impossible to remove entirely. Still, it is rich, hearty and dense, with a touch of sweetness and a very pleasing texture. It tastes great with a pat of creamy butter, or toasted with a drizzle of maple syrup; but my favorite way of serving it is to add a razor thin slice of sharply-flavored cheese (I used Asiago), to top each slice of bread.
1 Cup of packed red clover blossoms, leaves and stems removed
1 Cup whole wheat flour and 1 cup white flour (or 2 cups white flour)
1 1/2 Cup fat-free milk
1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
4 Tbsp honey (or maple syrup or sugar)
1 1/2 Tsp baking powder
1 Tsp vanilla extract
1/4 Tsp salt
- Inspect your clover blossoms. Remove leaves and stems, and make sure no foreign material is mixed in. Give your blooms a rinse (optional), and make sure to check for insects.
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- Working in batches, places the blossoms in the food processor. Once broken-down, remove as many of the large green "cores" that you easily can. You may want to remeasure, and add additional flowers to get to a full cup.
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine flour(s), chopped clover blossoms, baking powder and salt. Stir gently to combine.
- In a larger bowl, combine milk, apple sauce, honey or other sweetener, vanilla extract and the egg.
- Slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet, stirring as you go. The batter can be lumpy, and will be fairly wet.
- Coat a loaf pan with cooking spray (or butter or oil). Pour the mix into the loaf pan.
- Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, start checking for doneness by inserting a butter knife into the thickest part of the loaf. If it comes out clean, its done. If not, keep checking every 5-7 minutes more.
Cook time: 30-40 minutes
Makes 1 loaf, serves 10-14