Fresh Strawberry Quick Bread
Well it has been a little over two months since my shoulder surgery and I am finally getting back in the kitchen a bit. Not ready to tackle anything too challenging yet, but not being able to stir or chop for the past eight weeks has been driving me up the wall! I thought I better ease back into things with something easy so I decided upon trying a strawberry bread recipe that I had come across during early recovery.
The idea of using fresh strawberries in a quick bread intrigued me and we just so happened to have a couple pounds sitting in the fridge. I have used fresh strawberries in cake before and knew that the moisture content presents a bit of a baking challenge. I was a little surprised at how thick the batter was before adding the berries, but knew that it would loosen up quite a bit with the addition of the fruit; (I did use a couple tablespoon more flour than the recipe called for since my berries were very ripe and seemed especially full of liquid). Baking time was about ten minutes longer than the recipe suggested, I thought it might require more time because of the fresh berries, so I just kept checking the center with a chopstick.
I held to the measure for the berries in this recipe. Often I like to “amp up” the fruit but glad I did not, the results would have been a very wet bread that would have formed a tough crust on the outside before the center was completely baked. The recipe called for an oven temp of 375°F. I am going to bake this one again dropping the heat 25° to 350°F to see if the loaf will bake a little more evenly. The outside did get a bit dark as you can see because of the extended oven time, but the moisture in the berries prevented it from getting hard.
The icing adds a very nice extra layer of strawberry goodness for sure. I would advise mixing in the berries and letting it stand for a few minutes before adding extra cream, the berries do bring quite a bit of moisture and the sugar draws it out. I recommend holding the unused portion of this in the fridge, and be aware that because of the fresh berries it will get soggy after a couple days, but the odds are there will not be any around anyway.
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup oil
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 cups diced strawberries + 2 Tablespoons flour
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 1/3 cup finely diced strawberries
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1-2 tablespoons heavy cream or milk as needed
- Position shelf in center of oven and heat to 350°Prepare a 9”x5” loaf pan by greasing and lining with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl mix together the sugar, milk, oil, egg and vanilla. In a separate bowl sift together the dry ingredients and cinnamon. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until just combined.
- In a small bowl toss the strawberries with 2 tablespoons of flour to coat. Fold the strawberries gently into the batter.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 60 - 65 minutes. Test bread with a knife or chopstick. Allow the bread to cool for 10 minutes before removing the bread to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Combine the powdered sugar, melted butter, diced strawberries and extract in a small bowl, adding cream a little at a time to make a thick yet pour-able icing. Spread over cooled bread. Allow to set up before slicing.
- Strawberries are a very wet ingredient, if you use more than two cups you might need to adjust the flour as well.
- Frozen strawberries can also be use just thaw completely before dicing.
- Add the cream or milk to the frosting very little at a time. The strawberries bring a lot of moisture to the icing and depending on your berries may require very little or no milk.
- The original recipe called for oven temperature of 375°F, after baking a second loaf at 350°F I found that worked better, the outside did not get too dark before the inside was done. I also increase the baking time. I realize oven temps do vary.
- Cake is best the first couple days after baking, and will become soggy if held longer.