When Life Gives You Strawberries … Make Strawberry Bread!

B and I have started our second year of our Fresh Fork CSA and we’ve been having a blast each week with our new bags – we already roasted our first chicken (ok, well B roasted it), cooked up our turtle beans, and enjoyed our chorizo with an amazing fajita salad. In fact, the one thing we still hadn’t really touched this week were the strawberries we got as a bonus. I noticed they were starting to go bad, and while I would’ve loved to eat a pint of fresh stories in a day by myself, I didn’t know if my stomach would appreciate it. So, I scoured the web and my cookbooks for some strawberry dessert recipes.

I didn’t want to make a cobbler or a pie. I do like cobblers and pies – but not as much as I like breads and cookies. So I was pleased when I came upon this recipe from one of my favorite blogs, Sally’s Baking Addiction. I made only the most minor tweaks and am so pleased with how the recipe came out. The next time you have extra strawberries laying around – or just want a new bread/muffin to make, try this out! It’s a perfect summer recipe.

strawberry bread - i crashed the web

Strawberry Bread

Here’s what you need:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light or dark brown sugar
  • 2 cups buttermilk (I have dry buttermilk on hand – this was 8 TBS + 2 c water)
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, hopped, and tossed in 2 Tablespoon of flour and 1 Tablespoon sugar

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Spray 2  8 1/2 x 4 1/2 loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together until combined and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix the eggs and sugars together until combined. Add in buttermilk, oil, and vanilla.
  4. Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently combine until there are no more lumps. Do NOT overmix, this results in a tough bread. Fold in the strawberries.
  5. Pour batter into bread pans. Bake the bread for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until a toothpick poked into the center of the bread comes out clean.  Allow bread to cool completely.
  6. Batter can also be made into 24 muffins; bake muffins for 15-18 minutes at 350 also.

 

strawberry muffins - i crashed the web

 

 

Some questions for you:

  • Do you participate in a CSA? Or buy your produce, etc. locally?
  • What’s your favorite strawberry-themed food? Is it a pie or cobbler or ice cream?
  • Favorite muffin or bread? Zucchini bread – love my mom’s recipe.
  • Muffins or bread? Usually bread-  like banana bread or zucchini bread. But muffins help with portion control  – and sharing!

Food Friday- Pretzel Rolls for Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving! Hope you all got to enjoy some stuffing, turkey and tons of pies and other greatness. This year, B and I got tasked with bringing rolls to Thanksgiving. Again! As you’ll remember, the last time we spent Thanksgiving with his family we were told to bring bread …. We made beer rolls, from bisquick, cheese and beer. My, how far we’ve come.

This year, we made pretzel and herb rolls – from scratch! (Yes, that means no bisquick) They came out AWESOME, especially the pretzel rolls – which is why I’m going to share the recipe with you! I used a combination of Alton Brown’s recipe, this recipe and this one to create a very easy pretzel roll recipe. There are just five things you need to do: make the dough, shape the rolls, poach the dough, glaze them and bake ‘em!

To make the dough:

  • 1 ½ cups warm water (not too hot, but warm to the touch)
  • 1 Tablespoon active dry yeast (1 package) – not quick rise
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 4 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the poaching & glazing:

  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • large saucepan of water
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten with a drop of water
  • pretzel salt  or kosher salt

First, make the dough!

Mix water and yeast in a bowl with a whisk. Let stand a few minutes until it foams up.

Add sugar, flour, melted butter and salt to water and yeast mixture. Combine until well-mixed. I used a whisk and mixing spoon to combine everything together – but if are lucky enough to have a standing mixer with a dough hook, it will take you half the time and a lot less man power!

Put the dough in a bowl that has about a tbs of olive oil spread out over the bottom – just enough to keep it from sticking. Cover the dough in a bowl with a clean towel for one hour while it rises. You’ll want to put it in a warm place (aka not the fridge) to help  it rise – I put mine in the oven (NOT turned on!)

After an hour or it’s risen to about double the size, punch it down to remove excess air.

Then, shape the dough into rolls.

Stretch the dough out into a large baguette-like shape. Cut the dough into 18-20 pieces, about 2 inches thick. Feel free to go larger if you want to use the rolls for sandwiches or anything more substantial – but remember you’ll have to poach them so make sure they’ll fit in your pan.

Shape the pieces of dough into small smooth balls. To do so, pinch the corners (from when you cut them) and pull them together in the center of the bread. Feel free to roll the bread between your hands to make a tight, smooth ball. I made them into smooth ovals.

Space evenly on the prepared sheet pans, pinched seam side down, leaving at least 1” between each roll.

Then poach the rolls.

In a large saucepan, bring 2 quarts of water to a low boil.

Add the baking soda and lower heat to a simmer.

Carefully slip the rolls into the boiling baking soda and water. Keep them in there for about a minute, making sure both sides are evenly poached. After a minute, remove rolls onto prepared sheet pans (I put parchment paper on mine but you can use a sheet with cooking spray or greased foil), pinched side down.  You’ll probably have to do this process a few times, depending on how many rolls you’re making and how big a saucepan you have.

Glaze and mark the rolls.

With a sharp straight edged knife, cut a slash on the top of each roll.

Lightly beat one egg and add a few drops of water. Use a brush to coat each roll with the lightly beaten egg.

Top each roll with a sprinkle of pretzel salt or kosher salt. I used kosher salt.

Bake the rolls.

Bake the rolls for 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees. When they’re dark brown and shiny- they’re done! Cool completely and enjoy : )

Did you try a new recipe this Thanksgiving? Was it an instant hit? Do share!