Thursday, February 14, 2013

Strawberry Bread

Happy Valentine's Day! I always looked forward to Valentine's Day in grammar school because we'd always make little "mailboxes" (usually out of brown paper bags, doilies, foam hearts, and glitter) and then everyone in the class would bring in little cards and treats. It was fun and sweet and innocent - definitely miss those days. Valentine's Day isn't quite as cute anymore but it's still fun and an amazing excuse to load up on sweets (like those brownie batter donuts at Dunkin Donuts).

Like I said yesterday, I'm sharing a recipe with strawberries again today! This time, it's a strawberry bread. I love fruity breads (remember my blueberry bread?) and this one is particularly yummy because it's not overly sweet.

Ingredients [one 9" loaf or two 4" mini loaves]:
1 pint strawberries
3/4 stick butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon sour cream
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt*
1/3 cup water
*I know the photo shows 1/4 teaspoon of salt but my chocolate dipped strawberry measuring spoons actually hold way more than what's written on them!
Start by trimming the tops off of the strawberries and cutting them into quarters.

Next, use a fork or a masher to squish up the berries.
Place the squished strawberries into a saucepan and heat up until they start to get soft (3 to 5 minutes).
In a bowl, measure out the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and stir together gently.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, and eggs until smooth. Add in sour cream and whip that in.
Add in a bit of the flour and mix in. Then add in a bit of water and whisk in. Continue alternating the ingredients until they're used up (ending with the flour).
The last step to making the batter is to add in the strawberries. Fold them in with a rubber spatula, until just barely incorporated, leaving behind a few swirls of red.
Grease a loaf pan (or two mini ones) and pour in the batter. Use the spatula to spread the batter around OR give the pan a little shake and a tap to level it off. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
The finished loaf should have risen just a bit in the center and look brown and lovely (with bits of pink strawberry peaking through). Allow to cool for about 10 minutes.
After the pan has cooled off a bit, run a knife around the edges of the bread and then flip over to release the loaf.
Flip over the right way and allow to cool for another 10 to 20 minutes. You want to flip the loaf out while it's still warm so that it has a chance to get air circulating around it. Otherwise, condensation will build in between the loaf and the pan and the bread can get soggy.
Slice and serve, warm or cooled. If you're eating this the next day, you can toast it the toaster or in a skillet with some butter. Yum.
I ended up eating two slices: one with a bit of butter and another with my fresh jam.
Here's the recipe page, if you need it:

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