Sunday, March 4, 2012

Using What's Been Put Up: Strawberry Bread

Strawberry season is fast approaching.  In North Carolina, we have about a month and a half to two months before they start making their appearances at roadside stands and farmers markets.  Strawberry bread is a great way to use these ripe red berries.  It is a tasty snack, makes an excellent breakfast bread, and could even be eaten for dessert with a small dollop of whipped cream (think strawberry shortcake all in one slice).  It is moist, filled with pieces of fruit, and tastes just like spring. 

I decided to make this particular loaf with several jars of Strawberry Preserves with Mint and Black Pepper canned last spring using a recipe from Cathy over at Mrs. Wheelbarrow's Kitchen.  If you do not have preserved strawberries on hand, you could just as easily use frozen berries you have thawed and drained or put this recipe in your mental file folder and store it away until fresh berries arrive.  Either way, the berries are drained and mashed before being added to the bread.  If using preserved berries (like I did), remove the whole berries from the surrounding jammy goodness and save the jam part for other uses. 

The original recipe for this bread comes from Simply In Season, a fabulous cookbook I was turned onto by way of another wonderful blog, Thy Hand Hath Provided.  The recipe called for cinnamon, but since I was using strawberries preserved with mint and black pepper, I omitted it.  If you are using fresh or frozen berries with no added ingredients, add the cinnamon.  This bread would also be quite tasty with finely chopped peaches or other berries in place of strawberries, and you can feel relatively good about eating it since it contains fruit and whole wheat flour. 

Strawberry Bread- makes 1 loaf

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon (omit if using preserved berries with added herbs/spices)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 cup strawberries, drained of excess liquid and mashed
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9 x 5 loaf pan.

In a medium bowl, combine the flours, cinnamon (if using), salt and baking soda and set aside. 

In a large bowl, combine the mashed berries, sugar, oil, and eggs.  Gently stir the dry ingredients into the berry mixture.  Pour into the loaf pan and bake for 1 hour until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool 5 minutes before removing from the pan to cool on a rack.

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