Quick breads often meet my need for something sweet, without a guilt trip about how many calories I’m ingesting. Of course not all of them meet that description, but this one is a nice compromise between a little sweetness and something you feel good about eating for breakfast. It bakes up nice and hearty, with shredded pears and chopped hazelnuts folded into a cardamom-scented batter.
This bread would be a welcome addition to a holiday brunch or just nice to have with your morning’s coffee, on an average day. Although, in my opinion, no day is average when it starts with a home-baked bread or muffin.
Fresh, firm pears are needed for this recipe, so when they are grated you will not have a pile of mush. I like Bosc pears but firm Bartletts work well also. Wait to prepare them until you’re ready to put the bread together or the shredded fruit will turn brown.
While the original recipe for this bread called for 1 1/2 cups white all-purpose flour, I use a mixture of whole grains to make a total of 1 1/2 cups. Examples are oats, spelt flour, whole wheat flour, and barley flakes. The proportions should be about 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour, and 1/4 cup something else like oats or barley flakes. This will give you a bread that is tender with good texture. Toasting the hazelnuts in the oven for about 5 minutes improves their nutty flavor, but watch them carefully so they don’t get too browned.
Yield: 1 9″x5″ loaf
- 1 cup shredded, peeled, ripe pears that are still firm (about 2 )
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil, or coconut oil
- 1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups flour (see recommended types above)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
- 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
- 1 tsp. lemon zest
- 1 cup chopped toasted hazelnuts
1. Preheat the oven to 350*F. and line a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two sides. Coat well with cooking spray and set aside.
2. Whisk together the vegetable oil, yogurt, eggs, and vanilla together well. Stir in the shredded pears.
3. Whisk together all the dry ingredients, adding in the chopped nuts also.
4. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ones, mixing just to moisten thoroughly.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Test carefully as the top of this loaf may brown and look done while the center is still moist because of the pears.
5. Let cool in the pan for about an hour, then remove from pan and transfer to a rack to cool completely.
SOURCE: Adapted from Whole Grain Mornings by Megan Gordon