Friday, March 4, 2016

Vanilla Quick Bread


There is a strategic reason I'm posting this bread today. I'm posting it today because it is, officially, the perfect vehicle for my Blackberry-Nectarine Preserves. The two go hand-in-hand like chips and dip, or bacon and eggs. Although, I must confess, this bread is a great companion for pretty much any fruit spread. I slathered some Raspberry Jam on it, and my taste buds were equally pleased. Perfect for breakfast to serve alongside coffee, or a light dessert if you want to add some pudding and whip cream to the mix. Yummmmmm....


My house is filled to the brim with food magazines. I used to subscribe to Cooking Light, Southern Living, All You, and The Food Network Magazine. Then, a couple of years ago, I decided I needed to read more books. With the accomplishing of that goal, my magazine reading effectively fell by the wayside. 

Magazines began to grow in piles around my house. A pile of Cooking Light by the reading chair in the master bedroom. A stack of Southern Living next to my couch. One whole shelf of The Food Network on my bookshelf. Every time I think I've cleared some magazines, I find 10 more.

Lately, I've been going through the magazines. Dog-earing the recipes I want to try as I fly through the darn things. Once I've made it through the magazine, I add all the dog-eared recipes to a respective Pinterest board. Then I recycle said magazine. Needless to say, this can be quite time consuming but it must be done. My point is though, I was going through one of The Food Network magazines when I happened on an article for 50 Quick Breads. As I perused the article, I got tons of ideas for new quick breads. My favorite ideas were Mexican Chocolate Quick Bread, Black Forest Quick Bread, and Chocolate Stout Quick Bread. Seeing as how I'd just made preserves though, I opted to try arguably one of the most simple recipes in the article, Vanilla Quick Bread.


My fellow quick bread lovers out there know that quick bread is almost cake. If you bake it correctly and it's a little moist, I think it can be better than cake. At least, I feel less guilty eating it :-) This quick bread does taste a little like pound cake. I really enjoyed it. And it couldn't be more simple to put together.


I made this on one of those days where I hadn't planned it. The idea came spontaneously, so I hadn't had time to warm my ingredients. Remember when I was talking about my baking shortcuts? Here's one in live action- the quickly warming of eggs. I left them in warm water for 2 minutes and when I removed them- perfect room temperature. 


This recipe does have you creaming butter and sugar, so I used the stand mixer to make the bread.


One of the most important factors of the bread (and it's namesake!) pure vanilla extract.


When you bake as much as I do, you buy flour in bulk! And store it in bulk :-)


Batter transferred to the pan and popped in the oven-


= golden vanilla bread perfection. 




Here's where I think you could enter a light dessert option. A slice of the bread, plenty of the preserves, and then a topping of whipped cream. A dessert that would be right up my alley.


And a shot of the raspberry jam topping. So. Yummy. 

I was utterly shocked to wake up to snow this morning y'all. Yeah, the forecasters said we might get some, but it was 40º all of yesterday and it only got down to 34º last night. While it snowed some yesterday, no one expects anything to stick when temperatures are above freezing. Never the less, we've got a good 2 inches on the ground right now. The dogs are less than enthralled. 

I'm less than enthralled. I really want to clear out the side yard this weekend to make way for planting wildflowers and none of that will happen if it's snowing. 

Sigh.

Hopefully you are having better weather in your neck of the country :-) Have a great weekend everyone!


Recipe source: Food Network

Ingredients (makes 1 loaf):

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, room temp
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup whole milk

suggested toppings (optional): Blackberry-Nectarine Preserves, Raspberry Jam

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350º. Coat a loaf pan with cooking spray, set aside.
2. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to combine. Set aside.
3. In a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in eggs, one at a time. Mix in vanilla. 
4. Alternating additions, mix in flour and milk until completely mixed. Transfer batter to loaf pan. Bake in preheated oven for 50-60 minutes, or until a knife inserted comes out with moist crumbs. Place pan on a cooling rack and allow to cool for at least 60 minutes. Remove bread from pan, slice, and serve. Allow bread to cool completely before storage.



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10 comments:

  1. Made a orange pound cake with orange glaze this past week. I'm amazed at how much more work a pound cake demands compared to a nice simple quick bread. A good quick bread can almost pass as a pound cake in some circumstances. Have a nice weekend!

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    1. I agree, they do almost taste like pound cake. When baked right i.e. not overbooked :-)

      Hope you guys are having a nice weekend too!

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  2. Oh my...sounds like another must try for me! I just pulled 3 loaves of banana bread out of the oven and had 2 slices of it while it was still steaming. :)

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    1. YUM! I've got banana's ripening on the counter, I can't wait to bake them into something. Banana bread might be in my cards too :-)

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  3. Wait a minute... you put the eggs in warm water to get them to room temp?! How have I not thought of that??? Genius! The bread looks great too and perfect for spreading homemade preserves. I'll have to make a loaf next time I make fresh berry preserves!

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    1. I love the egg trick! I don't also plan on baking so that trick has saved my bacon a couple of times :)

      Have a great day Carlee! :-)

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  4. YUM!

    We've gotten cold here again too. Rain last night and maybe more coming. I hope it clears up for you and the babies soon :)

    xo,
    rue

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    1. We are headed for a stretch of weather in the 70's! I'm hoping this is Spring, so I can start planting :-)

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  5. I've never heard of a Vanilla Quick Bread! And looking at the ingredients and recipe, you could definitely consider this more healthy that some cakes! Next time when husband says he needs cake to go with his new ice cream making obsession, I am making this!

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    1. I'd never heard of it either, until I read that article. I'm glad I found it! I'd say this recipe easily has 50% less sugar than a pound cake. And if you don't over-bake the bread, it's so moist and delicious, no one will miss the sugar!

      I think your husband is on the right track, because now I'm thinking vanilla bread and ice cream! Ha ha :-)

      Have a great day Kris!

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