Saturday, March 7, 2015

Five Great Nut Bread Recipes

Everyone that comes to my home is immediately offered something to drink and eat. Although my grandparents came from Eastern Europe, every culture has the same tradition of hospitality. My mom called it "coffee and.....". Nut breads are great at coffee break, tea time, or any time. Fruits and nuts in the bread add wonderful texture and bursts of flavor. Give any or all of them a try!

Banana Bread
Banana Bread


Banana bread is probably the most popular of the nut breads. This recipe is adapted from the 1963 edition of the McCall's Cook Book. I checked the book out of my high school library and fell in love with it. I told them I lost it and paid for it. This was in the Dark Ages before the Internet and online book stores. 

Bananas that have some browning on the peel are softer and easier to mash. I cut them into one inch slices, put them in bowl, and mash them with a fork.

Ingredients
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup mashed fresh bananas
  • 2 teaspoons dried orange peel
  • OR 1 tablespoon dried lemon peel
  • 1/2 cup milk whole, skim or 2%
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Stats
  • Total time: 1 hour 15 minutes
    • Prep time: 15 minutes
    • Cook time: 1 hour 
  • Serves: 8 (one inch slices)
Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease standard size loaf pan with butter, margarine or a cooking oil such as canola.
  3. Beat together sugar, butter and egg either by hand or mixer. I just use a wooden spoon and large bowl.
  4. Mix in banana, dried orange or lemon peel, and milk. Mix thoroughly.
  5. Add flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix until smooth. 
  6. Add nuts and mix until evenly distributed.
  7. Spread batter evenly in pan. I use a spatula to get all the batter out of the bowl.
  8. Bake one hour at 350 degrees. The bread is done if a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean.
  9. Remove loaf pan from oven and let rest for half an hour.
  10. Remove bread from pan by inverting pan.
  11. Cool on cooling rack.
  12. Store refrigerated.
  13. Slice into one inch slices with a bread knife for serving.
Lemon Poppy Seed Bread
Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

This recipe is a compilation of several recipes from all over the Internet. Many of the recipes I saw have 3 eggs which would give more pound cake like texture. I just want a quick bread texture with lots of lemon flavor.




Ingredients
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Dash of nutmeg (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons  poppy seeds
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup cooking oil such as canola
  • 1 1/4 cup milk whole, skim or 2%
  • Zest from one lemon
  • Juice from one lemon, about 2 tablespoons
  • 1 teaspoon  lemon extract
Stats
  • Total time: 1 hour 15 minutes
    • Prep time: 15 minutes
    • Cook time: 1 hour 
  • Serves: 8 (one inch slices)
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease standard size loaf pan with butter, margarine or a cooking oil such as canola.
  3. Beat together sugar, cooking oil, milk, egg, lemon juice and lemon extract either by hand or mixer. A sturdy wooden spoon and large mixing bowl work just fine.
  4. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and poppy seeds. Nutmeg can be added at this point. Mix until smooth. 
  5. Spread batter evenly in pan. I use a spatula to get all the batter out of the bowl.
  6. Bake 55 minutes to one hour at 350 degrees. The bread is done if a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean.
  7. Remove loaf pan from oven and let rest for half an hour.
  8. Remove bread from pan by inverting pan.
  9. Cool on cooling rack.
  10. Store refrigerated.
  11. Slice into one inch slices with a bread knife for serving.

Pineapple Coconut Bread 
Pineapple Coconut Bread


Here's another recipe adapted from the 1963 McCall's Cook Book. The original recipe calls for walnuts. I've substituted flaked coconut which pairs better with the pineapple. This is a very moist and flavorful nut bread.

Ingredients
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup chopped dates
  • 1/2 cup flaked coconut
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup butter, soft
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 15 ounce can crushed pineapple
Stats

  • Total time: 1 hour 15 minutes
    • Prep time: 15 minutes
    • Cook time: 1 hour 
  • Serves: 8 (one inch slices)

Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease standard size loaf pan with butter, margarine or a cooking oil such as canola.
  3. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Mix well.
  4. Add dates and coconut. Stir until evenly distributed.
  5. Mix in egg, pineapple, butter and vanilla. Mix until well moistened.
  6. Spread batter evenly in pan. I use a spatula to get all the batter out of the bowl.
  7. Bake 60 to 65 minutes at 350 degrees. The bread is done if a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean.
  8. Remove loaf pan from oven and let rest for half an hour.
  9. Remove bread from pan by inverting pan.
  10. Cool on cooling rack.
  11. Store refrigerated.
  12. Slice into one inch slices with a bread knife for serving.


Apple Walnut Bread
Apple Walnut Bread


This is a actually my own recipe. I just changed the previous recipe's pineapple to chunky applesauce, dates to raisins and coconut to walnuts. Voila!







Ingredients
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup butter, soft
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 24 ounce can chunky applesauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
Stats
  • Total time: 1 hour 15 minutes
    • Prep time: 15 minutes
    • Cook time: 1 hour 
  • Serves: 8 (one inch slices)
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease standard size loaf pan with butter, margarine or a cooking oil such as canola.
  3. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix.
  4. Add raisins and walnuts. Stir until evenly distributed.
  5. Mix in egg, applesauce, butter and vanilla. Add cinnamon if desired. Mix until well moistened.
  6. Spread batter evenly in pan. I use a spatula to get all the batter out of the bowl.
  7. Bake 60 to 65 minutes at 350 degrees. The bread is done if a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean.
  8. Remove loaf pan from oven and let rest for half an hour.
  9. Remove bread from pan by inverting pan.
  10. Cool on cooling rack.
  11. Store refrigerated.
  12. Slice into one inch slices with a bread knife for serving.
Craisin Bread with Poppy Seeds

Craisins are sweetened dried cranberries introduced to the market in 1993 by Ocean Spray. I have never liked cranberry sauce, canned or homemade. I love Craisins and the unique flavor they add to nut breads! I don't remember where I got the recipe but I believe it was from the package. I don't see it on the Ocean Spray Web site. Enjoy!

Ingredients
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4 cup  milk whole, skim or 2%
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons dried lemon peel
  • 1 five ounce package of Craisins
Stats
  • Total time: 1 hour 
    • Prep time: 15 minutes
    • Cook time: 45 minutes
  • Serves: 8 (one inch slices)
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease standard size loaf pan with butter, margarine or a cooking oil such as canola.
  3. In a large bowl, blend flour, sugar, poppy seeds, baking powder and baking soda. I just use a wooden spoon and large bowl.
  4. Blend in milk, butter, egg, vanilla extract and lemon peel. Mix until ingredients are moistened,
  5. Add Craisins and mix until evenly distributed.
  6. Spread batter evenly in pan. I use a spatula to get all the batter out of the bowl.
  7. Bake 45 minutes at 350 degrees. The bread is done if a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean.
  8. Remove loaf pan from oven and let rest for half an hour.
  9. Remove bread from pan by inverting pan.
  10. Cool on cooling rack.
  11. Store refrigerated.
  12. Slice into one inch slices with a bread knife for serving.
Food Facts: Nut/Quick Breads versus Yeast Breads

I started making nut/quick breads because I failed totally at making yeast breads. My attempts would make great door stops, until I got a bread machine. Nut/quick breads do not use yeast nor do they require kneading/raising. Yeast breads rise due to the gas released by the yeast as they digest the sugar in the dough. Quick breads rise due to the chemical reaction between baking soda and/or baking powder that releases gas bubbles. This is called chemical leavening. Baking powder was widely used by the mid 1800's and quick bread recipes started to appear.

Yeast breads require the protein gluten to provide the "scaffolding" for the bread structure. Bread flour has a higher gluten content than all purpose flours. All purpose flours contain sufficient gluten to support the quick bread, but the loaves do not rise as high as yeast breads and have a much denser consistency.

Other types of quick breads are:
  • Muffins
  • Scones
  • Pancakes
  • Popovers
  • Cornbread
Image credit: Allposters.com