When my husband Dave was a kid, he tells me there were nearly always bananas in the house. With three growing and active boys, there was likely to be a big bunch, I’m guessing. Boys do eat. But no matter who hankered for a banana or how badly, if there were 3 bananas left, no one touched them. Because from an early age, they all knew it took 3 bananas to make their mom’s banana bread. And they wanted banana bread. And who doesn’t? It’s a great family story and most likely a common one. (Do you have a banana bread story?)Jump to Recipe Continue reading
It doesn’t matter what sort of baker you are, you’ve probably made zucchini bread. It’s that quintessential August oven project that comes up every year when there’s more zucchini than you know what to do with. Not that it uses all that much zucchini; it doesn’t. But it’s the thought that counts for this late summer pastime: I have lots of zucchini, ergo I make zucchini bread.Continue reading
Scones bring to mind something akin to a slow-paced and leisurely ambling sunny afternoon with time for a visit to the local tea shop or maybe a hour or two on the porch with a friend who happens to like to bake. Perhaps there’s a can’t-put-it-down novel to read while you nibble and sip or a string quartet playing in the next room… (Sigh, sigh.)
|“Get Mother to help.”|
edited with some new photos added November, 2020
As my family well knows, there comes a day in November (December is just too late) when I do nothing but bake cranberry bread. We have it for Thanksgiving morning breakfast, take a loaf or two to friends, and then have one squirreled away in the freezer for Christmas morning as well. I make a fun production out of the day (no other activities, favorite music on, microwaved lunch) and have nearly an assembly line in the kitchen so that loaf after loaf is mixed individually and baked on the center rack. It does require a number of pans, but I’m good at finding extras at Good Will or splurging on a great pan with a Williams-Sonoma gift card. I also bake this bread in coffee cups for large size muffins or in tiny pans as little gifts for special folks.
|A bread for Jacque Franklin, who broke bread for me so many times. Thank you and be well, my friend.|
Back to the bread. I made this bread when I was working on an article called, “Quick Bread 101,” in which I attempted to work out a basic quick bread recipe that let you add whatever you had on hand …say bananas, apples, blueberries, etc. I think I got it right, but this variation is my absolute favorite. It would be a sweet Mother’s Day gift, a great addition to brunch.
Prune Nut Bread
- 1 cup prunes chopped
- 1 1/2 cups orange juice
- Simmer chopped prunes in orange juice for about five minutes. Let cool slightly.
- 4 tablespoons melted butter cooled or sub canola oil
- 1 egg you might want to use 2 at altitude
- Mix cooled butter/oil and egg and add to orange juice and prunes.
- Set aside.
- 21/2 cups unbleached flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup chopped nuts
- In a large bowl, mix well all dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients and stir just until well-mixed.
- Spoon into greased and floured 9x5x3 loaf pan. Bake about 50 minutes until bread is firm to the touch, is pulling away from the sides of the pan, and a toothpick inserted in the middle of the bread comes out with just a few moist crumbs.
- Let cool in pan 5 minutes. Bang pan on counter or board and turn out onto rack to cool completely before slicing. Keep well-wrapped on counter for 1-2 days or freeze for up to 2 months.
copyright Alyce Morgan, 2010. All rights reserved.