Berry Nice!

Before having my daughter, my husband and I were really good about preparing meals for the week. I would bake a nice breakfast bread for us and we would plan out what to take for lunch. It was a great money-saving tactic and it was also very healthy. Ever since going back to work full time, I have felt so inundated with things to do that we dropped off this track. However, we’ve decided to make a concerted effort to do this again.

Following this train of thought, I’ve been busy trying to think of what breads I can make with what we currently have in our kitchen. I take partial inspiration from a bakery that we live near, Blue Sky Bakery. There are many things I love about this place: neighborhood feel and warm muffins fresh out of the oven to start.

This place used to be a little bit of an enigma for my husband and me before we had our daughter. We would often walk by this place on week-ends and it would never be open!  We would wonder how a place that was never open would be able to stay in business for so long.  Well, once we had our daughter, we caught on quick!  They have very limited hours, opening at 8am and closing whenever they run out of muffins, which is generally around 11am-1pm on a week-end.  Crazy, right?  Not if you have tasted these muffins!

They have the most wonderful and sometimes odd combinations that you could think of!  Pumpkin Apple Walnut, Strawberry pineapple cream cheese, blueberry blackberry bran, combinations that I would just never have thought of.  Eating at this bakery every week for the past couple of months has definitely broadened my horizons on what can taste good when combined.  That inspired my next breakfast bread recipe, Cranberry Blackberry Pecan Bread!

I was skeptical about this recipe at first.  I thought there would be too many berries, or that the blackberries and cranberries would not work well together, or that there were too many berries (do you see a pattern?)  Not so!  Once I bit into this delicious bread, my fears were quelled.  I used re-constituted cranberries, and these had just the right amount of sweetness and tartness to complement the blackberries, which had a much more subdued and subtle flavor.  The pecans added a nice textural difference to the berries.  This recipe is really easy and fast if you’re in a rush!

Cranberry Blackberry Pecan Bread:

1 1/4 C All-purpose Flour
1/4 C sugar
1 T baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 C orange juice
1/3 C unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 C blackberries (I used frozen only because that’s what I had, but I would recommend fresh)
1/2 dried cranberries soaked in 1/2 C warm water
1/2 pecans (you can chop these, but I left them whole)

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.  Grease a 9x5x3 loaf pan and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients and mix well.  Make a well in the center.

3. In a small, heat-proof bowl, melt the butter and set aside to cool.

4. Pour all the liquid ingredients into the well in the center of the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.

5. Discard the liquid from the cranberries and add these, along with the blackberries and pecans into the batter and fold in gently until just combined.

6. Pour batter into the loaf pan and bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

7. Remove from oven and cool in loaf pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.  Remove from loaf pan and cool completely.

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2 thoughts on “Berry Nice!

  1. Pingback: The First Decision of the Week-end | fromstephwithlove

  2. Pingback: Berry Berry Bread | fromstephwithlove

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