Saturday, June 14, 2008

Mini Strawberry Loaves with Walnuts and Pecans

So I’m still working on getting through my strawberries. I have a pound or so still left in the fridge that I spared from the freezer. Today I made strawberry bread for breakfast. I’ve almost used up all the (unfrozen) berries now, and I plan on using the remainder to make strawberry lemonade tomorrow.

Making this recipe reminded me a lot of the lemon-blueberry loaves I made previously. Both recipes are from Joy of Baking, and both were made in my new mini loaf pans. There are some key differences though. The lemon-blueberry loaves seemed more cakey to me, and the strawberry bread was more like actual bread. The strawberry bread wasn’t as moist as the lemon-blueberry loaves—the former, after all, wasn’t doused with a sugar syrup at the end of baking—so it’s best served with a bit of butter, fresh and warm from the oven.

Besides adjusting the cooking time and temperature to accommodate four dark-metal mini loaf pans (decrease temperature by 25 degrees for dark metal and cooking time by 25% for mini pans), I mostly stuck to the recipe. The only additional modifications I made were using both walnuts and pecans, instead of one or the other, and adding a few gratings of fresh nutmeg. The original recipe calls for cinnamon, and for some reason when I see cinnamon in baked goods I always have to add some nutmeg. I just think they go so well together.

I’m submitting this recipe to Nutriferia’s Berrylicious roundup. Be sure to visit them soon for some great berry recipes!

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Mini Strawberry Loaves with Walnuts and Pecans
Adapted from Strawberry Bread

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup toasted walnuts or pecans, or a mix of both, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh strawberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (or, for dark-metal pans, 325 degrees) and place the oven rack in the middle position. Butter and flour (or spray with a non-stick vegetable/flour spray) the bottoms and sides of 4 mini loaf pans (5.75"x3.25"x2.25"). Set aside.

Place the walnuts and/or pecans on a baking sheet and bake for about 8 minutes or until brown and fragrant. Remove from oven and let cool completely. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter until softened (about 1 minute). Add the sugar and continue to beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ground cinnamon, and nutmeg. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture (in three additions) and sour cream (in two additions) alternately, starting and ending with the flour. Mix only until combined. Gently fold in the chopped strawberries and nuts.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pans and bake for about 45 minutes or until the bread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Place on a wire rack to cool and then remove the loaves from the pans. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes 4 mini loaves.


noble pig said...

It's beautiful, just beautiful. Any kind of strawberry loaf is something my kids and me just always love. With walnuts I bet it has a great depth of flavor.

Linda said...

Thanks for your entry! These loaves look delicious and I can only imagine how great it was starting your day with some of these slices.
See you at the roundup.

Grace said...

me oh my, that's some perfect bread. i love the nut twofer--who says you have to use just one kind in any given recipe? i also love the use of the mini loaf pans--i'm a firm believer that anything mini is just more fun.

Susan said...

those loaves look good. i've never even eaten strawberry bread. the closest i've come is the boxed strawberry cake mix! definitely have to look into making some. :-)

giz said...

I would love some of that strawberry bread with a really hot cup of coffe like right this very minute.

Elle said...

I'm with giz! It's time for breakfast and I'm starving! So why am I torturing myself??? lol.

Kevin said...

Those strawberry loaves look really good!

Jeena said...

I love using fresh strawberries in baking. This looks really delicious. :-)

Parker said...

Very nice looking, never made a stawberry loaf. That would make a nice dessert.

Deborah said...

This sounds like such a great recipe! This would be perfect for breakfast.