(The Best) Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread

For something so simple as Irish Soda Bread, there certainly are a lot of recipes out there for making it.   Luckily for me, I have a recipe for the best ISB I’ve ever tasted and so it’s the one I keep returning to time after time.

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Generally speaking, Irish Soda Bread recipes seem to fall into two categories; those with raisins and those without.  Most all of them call for caraway seeds.  Since I am not fond of caraway seeds, I always leave them out, but we love the bread with raisins.  They add just a touch of sweetness.

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This recipe was submitted by a church member when we were putting together a recipe book of favorite recipes by women of our church.  It contains raisins and NO caraway seeds.  Besides the usual baking soda and buttermilk combination, this version has three eggs in it also, so it raises up nice and tall.  It will fill a 9-inch round pan to the top, with a nice high crown.  The eggs also make the texture of this bread more cake-like.

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When I have this bread around I want to keep having a piece, with coffee, with tea, with just about anything.  I especially like it in the morning with some fruit for breakfast.   Making this bread only once a year for St. Patrick’s Day is way too long to wait to enjoy this wonderful bread.  Once you taste it you will want to make it much more frequently than that.  I promise you’ll be craving it all year ’round.

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Butter spread on warm bread makes it just a little better!!

 

BEST EVER IRISH SODA BREAD

Yield:  1  9-inch round loaf, approximately 12 servings

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour (I used white whole-wheat flour)IMG_9406
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, chilled
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, chilled
  • 1 1/2 cups raisins

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350*F.  Grease a 9-inch round cake pan.

2.  Whisk together all the dry ingredients, flour through sugar.

3.  Using a pastry cutter, cut in the butter until well combined.

4.  In another bowl, whisk the eggs, then add the buttermilk and combine well.

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Lightly beat into the flour mixture.  Stir in the raisins.

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Place dough into the prepared pan.

5.  Bake in 350* oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the bread has risen and the top is golden brown.  A knife inserted into the center of the bread should come out clean.

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Cool the bread in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes before removing.  Serve warm.

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SOURCE:  Feeding the Flock

Banana Cranberry Bread

I love the beginning of the New Year.  There’s nothing going on that makes demands on me.  It’s when I can slow down, do some thinking and planning, and recalibrate my brain.

Banana Cranberry Bread

Banana Cranberry Bread

Whenever I need to get “centered” I turn to my oven, and usually what I want to put into the oven involves fruit in some way.   In the fruit bowl on my kitchen counter or in the crisper drawer of my refrigerator there is usually some fruit or other that needs to be eaten or used up.   In most instances that would be several black and pretty far-gone bananas in the fruit bowl.

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It’s embarrassing when someone stops by, and there are the bananas on the counter wearing their black skins, with maybe a few fruit flies visiting them.  You know what I mean, I’m sure.  Who doesn’t buy a bunch of bananas every time they go to the grocery store.  Come on, that can’t be just me.

So like everyone else in this predicament, I make banana bread.   Familiar, reliable, sweet.  It’s a home run.

My favorite recipe for Banana Bread was my starting place for this recipe.   The yogurt in the recipe, in addition to the bananas, makes a nice tender bread, plus the texture it brought to the finished bread was amazing.   I added some whole fresh cranberries for some bright spots of color and a zing of tartness amongst the sweetness.  They are still appropriate for the season.

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OK, let’s take a deep breath and relax as we make this bread.  This will not be stressful at all!

We will get out flour, spices and salt and whisk them together well.  Nice fluffy flour, with no lumps.  From the refrigerator, take out eggs, yogurt and butter.

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Now about the butter….why add plain butter when you can add browned butter that’s nutty, fragrant, and has an almost caramelized flavor?  Yes, let’s do that!

What else so we need?  Brown sugar and the mashed banana.   This is turning into something special in spite of myself.

Stir it all together:  flour and spices plus all that banana goodness.

Last, throw in the cranberries, pretty little gems.  This is the festive part, the bells and whistles.

It makes a lot of batter for one 9″ x 5″ pan.   This can be one tasty loaf of banana bread plus 1 or 2 banana bread muffins; or divide into 2 smaller loaf pans, one for now, and one to freeze.

Don’t even think of baking this bread without some crumbly topping.  It’s the decorative ending, or beginning, as that is what you will see first, and tempt you to sample this yummy bread.

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This bread can do no wrong.  It’s moist and soft.  Perfect for breakfast and snacking.  Studded with cranberries and topped with a crunchy topping.   I think you should make a loaf as soon as you have some black bananas,  maybe next weekend?

BROWN BUTTER BANANA CRANBERRY BREAD

Yield:  (1) 9″ x 5″ loaf + 1 or 2 muffins, or (2) 8″ x 2″ loaves

For the bread:

  • 6 oz. unsalted butter, melted and browned to measure just over 1/2 cup
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (make part of it white whole wheat if you like)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup mashed banana ( about 3 medium bananas)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1  1/2 cups whole fresh cranberries

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For the crumble:

  • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cold
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 3 Tbsp. lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350*F.  Spray pan(s) with non-stick cooking spray and line with parchment paper leaving about two inches of paper to hang over the long sides of the loaf pan.

2.  Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Butter will begin to foam and crackle as it melts.  When the crackling subsides, the butter will begin to brown.  Swirl the pan as the butter cooks.  When the butter browns and begins to smell nutty, remove from the heat and transfer to a small bowl.  Taking the butter out of the hot pan will stop it from overcooking and burning.  Set aside to cool.

3.  In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt , cinnamon, ginger, and cardamom.

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4.  In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, mashed bananas, vanilla extract, and yogurt.

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When butter has cooled, whisk in the browned butter.

5.  Add the wet ingredients all at once to the dry ingredients.

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Fold together, making sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl to incorporate any hidden pockets of flour.  Fold together the ingredients, taking care not to over stir.

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Fold in cranberries.

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6.  Make the crumble:  Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and rub together with your fingertips until crumbly. (or cut in the butter with a pastry cutter.)

7.  Spoon batter into prepared pan(s).  Sprinkle the crumble over the top.

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Bake the loaf for 50 – 60 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.  Remove from the oven and allow to rest in the pan for 15 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.

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8.  Bread will last for 4 days, well wrapped at room temperature.  This loaf also freezes well.

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SOURCE:    adapted from Coffee Cakes and Quick Breads

 

 

 

Eggnog Fruit Bread

Eggnog Fruit Bread

Eggnog Fruit Bread

Oh eggnog, eggnog, how I do love you.  You are just the ticket for smoothing out a little hootch, happily consumed on Christmas eve in the name of good cheer.   You are the perfect accompaniment to some of those Christmas cookies,  and mixed into the egg mixture, you made marvelous French Toast on Christmas morning.  But why, dear eggnog, is there so much of you left when the celebrations are all over?

Well, there’s just one thing to do…. turn you into something else.

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Poof!  You are now a fruit bread.

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FRUITED EGGNOG BREAD

Yield:    Makes two  7.75″ x 3.75″ loaves, or ( 1 ) 9″ x 5″ loaf

Ingredients:

  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flourIMG_8803
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. mace (nutmeg is a good substitute.)
  • 1 1/2 cups eggnog
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp. rum flavoring
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 3/4 cup mixed candied fruits

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350*F.  Grease a 9″ x 5″ pan or two smaller pans ( approx. 8″ x 4″); or line with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on the long sides of the pans.

2.  In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and mace.

3.  In another smaller bowl, beat the egg with a whisk, stir in melted butter, eggnog and rum flavoring.  Add all at once to flour mixture and stir with a spoon just until flour is moistened.  (Mixture will be lumpy.)

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4.  Fold in pecans and fruits; spread batter in pan(s).  Bake 1 hour or until tester inserted in center comes out clean.

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5.  Cool breads in pan on wire rack 10 minutes, remove from pan(s) to cool.

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This bread will freeze nicely if wrapped in plastic wrap and then foil..   Thaw at room temperature.     Makes 1 large, or 2 smaller loaves.IMG_8837

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The flavor of eggnog is apparent in this bread, but it is not overly sweet.  We like it lightly toasted and served with coffee.  It’s also a nice snack if served with a glass of cold milk or more eggnog.

Pear Hazelnut Bread

Pear-Hazelnut Bread

Pear-Hazelnut Bread

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.

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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.

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PEAR-HAZELNUT BREAD

Yield:   1  9″x5″ loaf

Ingredients:

  • 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

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Directions:

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.

Whisk together all the dry ingredients.

Whisk together all the dry ingredients.

4.  Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ones, mixing just to moisten thoroughly.

Mixing wet ingredients into dry.

Mixing wet ingredients into dry.

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.

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SOURCE:   Adapted from Whole Grain Mornings by Megan Gordon

(Not your Traditional) Irish Soda Bread

Pull-Apart Irish Soda Bread

Pull-Apart Irish Soda Bread

If you are not someone who normally bakes bread, I urge you to give this super-simple recipe a try.  It makes a densely textured slightly sweet bread with a delicious chewy crust.  It is not the typical soda  bread that includes currents or raisins and caraway seeds.  This is a round loaf of bread (or individual pull-apart servings) that includes some healthy whole wheat flour ( use white whole wheat) and buttermilk to work with the leavening agents to give it its rise.

It is delicious all on its own, especially when spread with whipped salted butter, or even better with a dipping sauce of honey, melted butter and a touch of balsamic vinegar.

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Irish soda bread is so closely associated with Corned beef and cabbage and St. Patrick’s Day, that I fear it doesn’t get much attention at other times of the year.  That is really too bad!!  This bread is just great at any meal but especially with soups and stews.   It is so easy to make you can whip it up in a very short time and be enjoying it with your dinner.  We also love it toasted with corned beef hash and eggs for breakfast.

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Instead of baking one big loaf of this bread, try making a version that gives individual servings as I did in these pictures.  You start by making the basic dough, but after turning it out onto a slightly floured surface, divide it into 16 equal pieces and, with floured hands, roll each into a ball.  Transfer the balls to a parchment lined baking sheet in 4 rows of 4, making sure each dough is close to the ones around it.  With the tip of a paring knife, cut a 1/4-inch-deep X on each ball.  Because these pull-apart rolls are smaller than a full loaf, the baking time is cut in half.  Try it!

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P. S.  I love raisins in soda bread, so I added some to my dough by kneading them in at the end, just before forming the balls.  These turned out to be really good, and having the individual biscuits instead of a slice is a good form of portion control.

IRISH SODA BREAD

Makes 1 round loafIMG_6861

Ingredients:

  • 1  1/2 cups regular, all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1  1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 Cup + 2 Tablespoons buttermilk

Directions:

1.  Preheat the oven to 375*F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2.  In a large bowl whisk together all the dry ingredients (flour – brown sugar).  Add the buttermilk.  Stir to combine and form a soft dough.

3.  Turn out onto a floured surface and with floured hands, knead for  about 1 minute to further blend the ingredients.  Form into a ball and flatten slightly.

4.  Dust with a little flour, and with a sharp knife slash the top into an “X”. Transfer to prepared baking sheet.  Allow to rest 15 minutes.

Individual portions bake for about 18 - 20 minutes.

Individual portions bake for about 18 – 20 minutes.

5.  Bake for 40 minutes, or until golden and crusty.  Cool slightly on a wire rack before serving.  Serve with whipped butter, or a dipping sauce of honey, melted butter and a dash of balsamic vinegar.

So good with a smear of butter or a little honey.

So good with a smear of butter or a little honey.

SOURCE:  My Gourmet Connection

OOPS, I Goofed!

Cranberry Coconut Quick Bread

Cranberry Coconut Quick Bread

Sweet breads– those simple sweet treats that come together in just about ten minutes, are taking the place of dessert for me.  I place them in the same category as pudding, meaning that they satisfy that longing for something sweet, yet are not overly rich, and with quick breads you can use ingredients that are good for you, like whole wheat flour, and additives such as fruits and nuts.  This recipe takes  tart little cranberries to new heights by pairing them with coconut – and chocolate chips, too. (Another flavor combination I’m stuck on.)  They do a nice job of off-setting the tartness of the cranberries.

So where does the OOPS come in?  It’s coming, read on….

I love cranberries,  and I think most of us associate them with Thanksgiving, and the Christmas holidays; but cranberries are good any time of year.  The problem is that the growing season is pretty short,  so what I like to do is grab a few extra bags when they’re available and stash them in the freezer for use at a later time.   Some recipes are so routine/ordinary that I don’t want to use one of my precious bags of cranberries to make them,  so I’m quite selective about what I will use a bag for.  This recipe is definitely “bag-worthy”.    I also feel that if a recipe is “bag-worthy”, then it must certainly be “blog-worthy”, so I’m sharing it with you.

Still waiting for OOPS?  Hang in there!

One of my precious bags of cranberries went into this recipe.

One of my precious bags of cranberries went into this recipe.

There is not a whole lot of liquid in this recipe; only what is offered by the butter and 3 eggs, so the resulting batter is quite thick–a lot like cookie dough.  I needed to put it into the pan in small amounts, making sure to tap out any air pockets.  The pan was almost full.  Edit note added after baking:  The recipe does not direct you to chop the cranberries, so I used them whole, and mine were frozen.  I baked the bread for the full 70 minutes and a toothpick inserted into three places all came out clean.  When the bread was taken from the oven, it was a light golden brown with bright spots of cranberries,  looking so pretty.  Within a few minutes the center of the bread began to sink, developing that tell-tale sign of being undercooked.  I was so disappointed.  (and mad!)

Undercooked bread.   BOO_HOO!

Yup,  HERE IT IS!!    Undercooked bread. BOO_HOO!

The flavor is wonderful, (please do add the almond flavoring, its what makes this bread so good )and we really liked the parts of it that we could salvage.**   I am not giving up on this bread.  Next time I will use cranberries that are not frozen, and perhaps I’ll chop them up before adding to the batter. No, on second thought, I like the whole cranberry, so I’ll try cooking it longer.  I think they were probably the cause of the problem.   I hope my experience will not deter you from trying this bread, but instead alert you to possible problems that you could solve in advance.

CRANBERRY AND COCONUT BREAD

Yield:  1  9×5 inch loaf

Ingredients:IMG_6279

  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, cubed and softened at room temperature
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. almond extract, optional, but good
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 2  1/2 cups cranberries, (12-oz. bag)
  • 1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut
  • 1/2 cups mini chocolate chips

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350*F.  Lightly grease and flour a 9″ x 5 ” loaf pan.

2.  Place eggs and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on high until mixture is pale yellow, and doubles in volume, about 5-6 minutes.

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3.  Add in butter, vanilla and almond extract (if using), until incorporated; about 2 minutes.  Then using using a sturdy spatula or wooden spoon,  fold in the flour salt, and baking powder.  Do not over mix.  Next fold in the cranberries, coconut and chips.  Batter will be thick.  Pour batter into prepared pan and spread evenly.

Thick batter.   Nice colors.

Thick batter. Nice colors.

4.  Bake for 60 – 70 minutes.   Start checking at 60 minutes.  Bread is done when cake tester or toothpick removed from the center shows only moist crumbs. ( should not be wet and doughy)

** I took all the under cooked section of the loaf, put it into a smaller loaf pan, and rebaked it.  Not quite the same with a second baking, but at least it became dry and firm, so we could eat it anyway.

The slices at each end were cooked well.

The slices at each end were sufficiently cooked that we could experience what the whole loaf should have been like.

Note to self:  If at first you don’t succeed, try gain.  I am going to get this right because it’s so worth it.

SOURCE:  Baker’s Royale

Apple Cinnamon Loaf

Apple Cinnamon Quick Bread

Apple Cinnamon Loaf

If you love the combination of apples, cinnamon and brown sugar, then you will love this quick bread.  It straddles the fence between cake and bread.  There is a layer of apples, cinnamon and sugar running through the middle, and more on top, ensuring that this is a moist and flavorful bread.  We could devour the whole loaf in one sitting, but, of course, we don’t.  😛

The convenience of quick breads comes from the fact that they’re leavened with baking powder and /or baking soda, not yeast.  Therefore you can mix, bake and enjoy these baked goods in a short amount of time.

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It is important when making a quick bread to have all your ingredients measured, chopped and ready.  Mix all the dry ingredients together before creaming the fat, sugar and eggs.  Add the dry ingredients when called for, stirring in only long enough to incorporate.  A few lumps in the batter is fine.  Once the batter has been mixed and poured into the baking pan, put into the oven as soon as possible, as the leaveners will begin producing gas once they are moistened.   If allowed to stand too long before baking, the bread may have a sunken center.

APPLE CINNAMON LOAF

Yield:   1  9-inch loaf,  about 8 servings

Have all ingredients measured and ready.

Have all ingredients measured and ready.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, not packed
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1  1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1  1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1  3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 cup mik
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored and chopped

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350*F.  Grease and flour a  9×5 inch loaf pan.

2.  Mix brown sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl and set aside.

Brown sugar and cinnamon.

Brown sugar and cinnamon.

Peel, core and chop apple, and set aside.

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3.  Using an electric mixture, beat the granulated sugar and butter together until smooth and creamy.

Have butter softened at room temperature.

Have butter softened at room temperature.

Beat in eggs, one at a time. until incorporated;  add vanilla extract.

4.  Combine flour and baking powder together in another bowl;  stir into creamed mixture.  Mix milk into batter with a spoon until smooth.  Pour half the batter into the prepared loaf pan.  Next add half the apples and half the brown sugar-cinnamon mixture.  Lightly pat into the batter.

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5.  Pour remaining batter over apple layer;  top with remaining apple and add brown sugar mixture.  Lightly pat apples into batter;  swirl brown sugar mixture through apples using finger or spoon.

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6.  Bake 45 – 55  minutes, until a toothpick inserted in center of the loaf comes out clean.  Cooking times may vary, rely on the clean toothpick test for doneness.

Allow to cool on a wire rack.

Allow to cool on a wire rack.

To serve, cut loaf with a serrated knife, using a sawing motion to avoid tearing.  This bread is very tender and moist.

To store, wrap lightly in foil, and store at room temperature.

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SOURCE:   Just a Pinch.com

Zucchini-Pineapple Quick Bread

Zucchini Pineapple Quick Breads

Zucchini Pineapple Quick Breads

Today we have another way to use zucchini.  Zucchini Bread is a popular quick bread and such a great way to get in some veggies disguised as a sweet.  This recipe is all of that and more because it also contains pineapple.  A new twist on an old favorite!

We like to eat this bread for breakfast, but we also enjoy it as an afternoon snack with a cup of tea or coffee.  The pineapple adds a little sweetness of its own, so I  cut back on the sugar to 1 3/4 cups.   The recipe makes a large volumn of batter, enough for two 8″ x 4″ pans, so you can freeze the extra loaf, tightly wrapped in plastic wrap and heavy-duty foil, for up to one month.  Slices are good warmed in the microwave and spread with a little butter.

Some zucchini breads that I have had seemed to have a lot of oil in them and were very sweet.  This recipe is not like that at all.  The oil used is a moderate amount considering that you’re making two loaves.  The color of the bread is also lighter than other zucchini breads that I have had, perhaps because I used a yellow zucchini and a green one. You will note that the recipe calls for 2 eggs and 1/2 cup egg substitute.  However, you could use 4 eggs and eliminate the egg substitute.  Personally, I like using only the two eggs because it’s a way of reducing the overall cholesterol in the recipe.

On the whole we liked this bread very much as a breakfast item because it is not overly sweet.  I am expecting house guests soon and this is one of the items I plan to set out for “make your own breakfast”.

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Recipe:  ZUCCHINI-PINEAPPLE QUICK BREAD

Yield:  2 loaves, 8″ x 4″ each

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups sifted all-purpose flour  ( I use half whole wheat flour.)

    I used both yellow and green zucchini.

    I used both yellow and green zucchini.

  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1  1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups grated zucchini (about 1 1/2 medium zucchini).
  • 2/3 cups canola oil
  • 1/2 cup egg substitute
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2  (8-ounce) cans crushed pineapple in juice, drained
  • baking spray

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350*F.  Spray two 8″ x 4″ loaf pans with baking spray.

2.  Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife.  Combine flour, salt, and next 3 ingredients (through cinnamon) in a large bowl, stirring well with a whisk.

3.  Beat eggs with a mixer at medium speed until foamy.  Add sugar, oil, egg substitute, vanilla and zucchini beating until well blended.  Add zucchini mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until moist.  Fold in pineapple.  Spoon batter into the prepared pans, smoothing the tops.

4.  Bake at 350*F for 45 min – 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool 10 minutes in pans on a wire rack;  remove from pans.    Cool completely on wire rack.

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SOURCE:   Cooking Light

Pumpkin Spice Bread

Pumpkin Spice Bread with Walnuts and Cappuchino Chips.

Pumpkin Spice Bread with Walnuts and Cappuchino Chips.

Challenge Day #2 without a refrigerator.  Back in October when pumpkins were plentiful, I roasted several and made pumpkin puree that I froze in 2-cup measured amounts.  Without the freezer to keep it frozen the puree ( which has a high liquid content) thawed out quickly.    So you have probably already guessed that I am making baked goods using the pumpkin puree.  The first item I made is today’s recipe:  Pumpkin Spice Bread.

This is a very nice recipe, quick to put together, and it makes a tasty bread that is good for dessert, a snack, or for breakfast.  You can add nuts, or chips of any kind to “fancy up” the recipe as you wish.  In this version, I added about 1/2 cup of finely chopped walnuts, and also 1/2 cup cappuchino chips. Regular chocolate chips are also a good addition.  To get a nice crunchy top to the loaf, I sprinkled it heavily with demerarra sugar before baking.

PUMPKIN SPICE BREAD

YIELD:    1  9″ x 5″ loaf

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 3/4 cups flour  ( I used 1 cup all purpose white flour and 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour.)

    Lots of great spices go into this bread.

    Lots of great spices go into this bread.

  • 1 tesp. baking soda
  • 1 tesp salt
  • 1/2 tesp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tesp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tesp. allspice
  • 1/2 tesp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tesp. cloves
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree ( canned or homemade)
  • 1/3 cup water, as needed

1.  Mix together all the dry ingredients i.e. flour through cloves.

Mix together all the dry ingredients.

Mix together all the dry ingredients.

2.  In bowl of mixer, on medium speed, mix sugar, oil, and eggs.  Stir in pumpkin.

Wet ingredients:  oil, eggs, and pumpkin.

Wet ingredients: oil, eggs, and pumpkin.

3.  Slowly blend in the dry ingredients, add water alternately, as needed.   I did not use the water because my pumpkin puree was so thin, that the batter was the right consistency without the water.

4.  Stir in any additional ingredients like nuts or chips.  Pour into prepared 9″ x 5″ pan.

Before baking sprinkle the top of bread heavily with sugar for a nice crunchy top.

Before baking sprinkle the top of bread heavily with sugar for a nice crunchy top.

Bake at 350* for 60 – 75 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean.  Cover with foil if the top is getting too brown.   Cool on wire rack.  Slice and serve when cool.

Fresh from the oven, cooling on a rack.

Fresh from the oven, cooling on a rack.

Delicious while still a little warm.

Delicious while still a little warm.

SOURCE:    Taste of Home

Peanut Butter Banana Bread

Do you like Banana Bread?   I do.  I think most people do.  How about Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips in it?   Yes?  Me, too.  How about Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips in it and  –wait for it—- Peanut Butter?   WOW!   Do I have your attention now?   Well, this recipe certainly grabbed my attention,  and I only found it because I cleaned my bookcase.  There fallen down behind several bigger books was an old issue of Taste of Home magazine, March, 2009.

I knew when I found it that I must have kept it because of some recipe that appealed to me.  Sure enough, the turned down page indicated bread recipes that had won a contest. ( 12 of them!)  They all looked so good, it would have been a hard decision which to make first except that I had two ripe bananas, and all the other ingredients on hand,  so that was the decision maker.

The  smell of this bread baking is heavenly and anyone at home when you make it will come running to find out what smells so good and when they can have some.  It has a layer of crumb topping and melted chocolate chips in the middle, and more crumbs on top.  Every bite is scrumptious!  The recipe makes 2 loaves;  8 inch x 4 inch pans.

TOPPING

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

BATTER

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 pkg. ( 8 0z. ) cream cheese softened.  1/3 less fat is OK
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup mashed ripe banana
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon.  Add the peanut butter, and using a fork, mix in to form a crumbly mixture.  Set aside.

  1. In a large bowl cream the butter, cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in bananas and vanilla.  Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon;  Stir into creamed mixture just till moistened.
  2. Divide half the batter between two greased 8-in. x 4-in. loaf pans; sprinkle with half of the topping.  Top with the chocolate chips.  Repeat layers of batter and topping.

   

  1. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes or until a tester inserted near the center comes out clean.  Cool for about 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to finish cooling.

    

From My Experience:  If you do not have the exact pan size,  go a little bigger rather than smaller  because this is a fairly large recipe and pans will be full.  Also use more than half the crumb topping in the center of the breads, and less for the crumb topping.  I split mine in half as directed and as the bread rose in the oven the crumbs fell off and burned on the oven floor.  More crumbs fell off as I tried to get the breads out of the pans.  Finally, I would suggest using mini chocolate chips so they melt during baking.  My chips were the large size and they remained whole instead of melting .  Everything tasted wonderful, but these were the problems I encountered.

SOURCE:   Taste of Home magazine,   March, 2009