Thursday, March 19, 2009

Vanilla Strawberry Bread

We're still smack in the middle of strawberry season here in Florida and berries are fresh, ripe, and in abundance. On the drive I make to Tampa every week I can still see the strawberry picking harvest going on strong.

What do you do with a pallet of fresh strawberries? Share 'em, freeze 'em, jam 'em, chop 'em, eat 'em, blend 'em, or bake 'em. Today, I baked 'em.

I experimented a little by combining about 3 different bread recipes I collected and made a vanilla strawberry loaf. It turned out just perfect. Not too sweet ... more bread-like than cake-like and very melt-in-your-mouth with a dab of real butter spread on a warm slice accompanied by a cup of tea. So, if you want to make this yummy treat for breakfast or an afternoon snack ... here's the recipe!

First ... the ingredients.

2 Cups of Strawberries
2 Packages of Vanilla Pudding
3/4 Cup of Sugar
1 Cup Canola Oil
6 Eggs
3/4 Cup of Milk (I added this later, so it's not pictured above)
4 1/2 Cups Flour
1/2 Tablespoons Baking Soda
1 1/2 Tablespoons Baking Powder

Wash your berries and then chop them into small bits ... try not to eat them all as you go!

Combine your oil, sugar, and vanilla pudding and then blend in eggs until "pudding-like." Should be a little creamy and just a bit lumpy. The pudding adds moisture and gives it the vanilla flavor.

Combine your other dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, and baking powder)
in a separate bowl and then slowly blend into wet pudding mixture. Mix thoroughly.

Since I was experimenting with combining a couple of recipes to create this one, I needed some extra "umph" at this point. Despite the pudding, the batter was a little dry, so I added 3/4 cup of milk and then all the berries.

Bake at 350 degrees for one hour. I used a baking stone, so it took about 10 minutes more.

Let it cool for 15 minutes and then serve! Goes great with some cream cheese or butter. Mmm.


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