Monday, May 16, 2011

Two Delicious Quick Breads - Strawberry-Blackberry and Bacon Cheddar

As I mentioned last week, I baked for the St. Louis Food Bloggers' Share Our Strength Bake Sales put together by Kimberly at Rhubarb and Honey, Stefani of Cupcake Project, Andrew of Andrew Mark Veety. I deliberated what to bake. Cookies are not my gig, and I’m not comfortable enough with my pie crust making skills, so both of those were out of the question. I typically have success with quick breads, maybe because they are pretty forgiving, and if I tweak the recipe, the end product is not in jeopardy of complete ruin. And I like that they’re easy to put together – quick. I tested two new recipes, and both were deemed bake sale worthy. I never thought I liked strawberries baked, a texture thing, but I’ve changed my mind. Based on an old Weight Watchers recipe, the strawberry fruit bread is pretty healthy, but next time I may reduce the sugar a bit. It’s extremely moist with a soft crumb and bursts with strawberry fruit flavor. It started out as strawberry bread but morphed into“fruit” bread because when I baked the loaves for the sale, I realized I only had one cup of frozen strawberries left that we picked last summer, so I defrosted a cup of blackberries we also picked/froze. These breads look gorgeous, too, important when trying to get someone to buy a loaf.

When I told my guys that I was making bacon cheddar breads for my other loaves, they both gave me the “Really?” look. Why not? Who said quick breads need to be sweet? Savory breads are wonderful with soups, chili, salads, and at breakfast. Bacon continues to be THE ingredient and with good reason. It just makes everything taste better. If the aroma of this bread coming out of the oven isn’t reason enough to bake it, taking one bite challenges you not to eat the whole loaf. While it has a tighter crumb than the fruit bread, the contrasting tang from the cheddar balances the salty bacon crumbles. It really works. When you read the list of ingredients, it is not for someone watching calories or fat, but once in a while, a scrumptious splurge is worth it. And I got to use some of the leaf lard that came with our new half hog purchase last month. I also discovered these attractive disposable pans, much better presentation than foil, at The Kitchen Conservatory. No need to grease them and there’s a tab you pull to “unwrap” the bread. Pretty exciting all around.

Strawberry Bread
1 1/2 C flour
1/2 C sugar
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 t salt
1 C thawed frozen strawberries or a mix of frozen berries
1/4 C canola oil
1 t vanilla
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1 ounce coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans

Preheat oven to 350. Spray either a 9 x 5 loaf pans or three small loaf pans with cooking spray. In large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Make a well in the center and add strawberries, oil, egg white and walnuts to well. Mix just until well combined. Spoon batter into pan/s. Bake 45 minutes for large pan and 30 minutes for small or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes and then remove and cool completely on a rack.

Bacon Cheddar Cheese Bread
1/2 pound bacon
1/2 large onion, diced
2 C all-purpose flour
1/2 C whole wheat
1 1/2 t baking powder
1 t kosher salt
Few dashes nutmeg
Couple grinds black peppercorns
2 T brown sugar
1/4 C lard
1 C coarse grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese
2 large eggs, beaten
1 1/4 C milk buttermilk
1 t Worcestershire sauce

Heat the oven to 350 F and spray a 10″ loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Cook the bacon in a skillet until crisp. Drain on paper towels then chop into small pieces. Set aside. Remove all but a tablespoon of the rendered fat, and cook the onion until golden.

In a large bowl combine the flours, salt, baking powder, brown sugar, and spices. Add the lard and, with your hands, mix it into the four until it looks like coarse sand. Add the cheese and toss to combine.

In another bowl mix the eggs, buttermilk, and Worcestershire sauce. 

Pour the wet over the dry and mix until the dry ingredients are almost incorporated.  Add the bacon and onions and fold in, making sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.  Do not over mix. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the top of the bread is lightly brown and a thin knife inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean.

Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, and then turn out on a wire rack to cool.

Photo Courtesy - J. Pollack Photography


7 comments:

  1. Your bread looked fantastic! It was great to meet you!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I can't wait to make both of these breads!

    Thank you so much for baking for and volunteering at our bake sale ... you rock, Denise!

    ReplyDelete
  3. yes bacon makes everything sooo much better! I made a savory bread pudding last weekend and the bacon made it incredible. your cheddar bacon rbead sounds like it's right up my alley!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Denise! I am saving the bacon cheddar recipe right now! Also just wanted to let you know I received a blogger award and would now like to pass it on to you, stop by my blog for details:)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Back again, ha! Just thought of you because my husband and I are planning a trip to Cinci for a wedding on Memorial Day weekend. I can't remember which weekend you said you are going but wanted to let you know they are having a giant food festival called Taste of Cincinnati that weekend - we are planning on going with an empty stomach:)

    ReplyDelete
  6. I say online that you were at the Bake Sale. I was there as well but not until the 11:30 shift. I'm so sorry I missed you, I would have loved to meet you.

    However, your breads sound wonderful. I'll definitely have to try them.

    Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks for the bread recipe..you were my inspiration for this month's secret recipe club!

    ReplyDelete

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails