Tuesday, April 24, 2007

A couple quick breads for Spring...

I spoke too soon... while I'm back to normal, Jeff seems to have caught the same bug I had. So, needless to say, tonight's dinner was leftovers for me and nothing much at all for Jeff. We doubt that he will be going into work tomorrow, but I have already gotten the Wednesday Treat Day baking done... so we are going to try and see if one of his co-workers would be able to stop by and bring it in for us tomorrow.

While menu planning this past weekend, we talked about what would be good to share with them and Jeff asked if I had some sort of bread that would be a good morning snack in mind. I found a few recipes that looked good and ended up narrowing down the list to two. The first recipe, Oatmeal Breakfast Bread, has a spicy background from the addition of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.

There is a good amount of applesauce added that makes the bread extremely moist with rolled oats keeping the loaf sturdy and lending a hearty texture to each slice. To pair with the spices, we added diced dried black mission figs for another layer - before you add the fruit to the batter, toss them with a bit of the flour mixture. The figs tend to clump together, so if you toss them with a small amount of the flour, it will help to keep them evenly dispersed in the baked loaf. To give the bread a special touch, brown sugar, crunchy walnuts and cinnamon are sprinkled on the batter to add a sweet and nutty topping.

This second loaf, Walnut-Strawberry Quick Bread, will also be inducted into the extremely moist category and had quite a different flavor to it. Instead of applesauce like in the previous bread, the majority of the liquid comes from a good amount of smashed juicy red strawberries. For a bright background, a full tablespoon of lemon zest is added to the batter along with some toasted walnuts for crunch. With just a dash of nutmeg for spice, the main flavor here comes from the delicate strawberries which also gave the baked loaf a light pink hue. As with most quick breads and muffins, a light hand is best when mixing the wet ingredients into the dry - you want to stir by hand just until combined. You don't want large amounts of the flour to remain, but some lumpy bits are better than over mixing. Since both of these loafs are so moist, it is best to wait until they completely cool before you try and slice them into thick pieces. I will have to make this again and work some rhubarb into this bread... I would imagine that would be a killer combo!


  1. OH NO! Poor Jeff. You know he must be REALLY sick if he is not eating considering all of the tasty treats you keep around.

    The second quick bread sounds great as the strawberry lemon combo is one of my faves, plus you can't go wrong with walnuts!

  2. Those quickbreads sound awfully healthy and delish, can't wait to try them out. Ive been looking for some recipes and I think I'm sticking to yours.=)

  3. courtney - He's feeling back to normal now... hopefully this bug is gone for good!

    Victoria - we really liked them... apparently they went quite fast at the office too!