Strawberry Bread
Yield: one 9x5-inch loaf
This generously sized quick bread is lightly sweet with a delicate crumb and may just become a seasonal favorite!


Ingredients

  • 1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and chopped
  • 2 cups (256g) all-purpose flour (see notes for GF adaptation)
  • ¾ cup (144g) granulated sugar, divided use
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup (120g) melted coconut oil* (may substitute vegetable oil or melted butter)
  • ⅓ cup (80 ml) milk (2%, almond, even buttermilk)
  • 2 teaspoons (10ml) vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice**
  • Optional: ½ cup chopped pecans or walnuts; ½ cup chocolate chips (white, semi-sweet, or dark); ½ cup shredded coconut; 1 tablespoon coarse or granulated sugar for topping

Instructions

  1. Place the chopped strawberries in a bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons of the measured sugar; set aside for about 10 minutes. Mash lightly with a fork before proceeding. (This will help draw out some of the juices for better texture and bread flavor later.)
  2. Preheat the oven to 350℉. Grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan. (I sometimes line it with a parchment paper “sling” for extra easy removal.)
  3. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, remaining sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Add nuts, chips, or coconut, if using.
  4. In a large bowl whisk the eggs, then whisk in the oil. Mix in the milk, vanilla, and lemon juice, and then stir in the strawberries with all their juices. Add the flour mixture to the strawberry mixture half at a time, stirring until just combined after each addition. (Tip: the batter will be thick, but if your strawberries weren’t especially juicy and the batter seems too stiff to easily incorporate the flour, stir in an extra drizzle of milk, a tablespoon or two at time, taking care not to over-mix or thin the batter too much.)
  5. Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan. For a hint of sweet crunch, sprinkle the surface of the bread with the optional sugar topping. Bake for 60 minutes, give or take 5-10 minutes depending on oven, or until a toothpick inserted in the top comes out clean. (Tip: you can more accurately check doneness by inserting a quick-read thermometer into the center of the loaf, where it should register 205℉.) Allow to cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes and then remove to a rack and cool completely.

Notes

*The lemon juice provides the acidity needed for the baking soda to leaven and create the desired rise. In a pinch, you could substitute ¾ teaspoon white vinegar. It has a slightly higher pH, so the higher amount should yield similar results.

**The mild flavor of coconut oil complements the strawberries nicely, but another oil of choice may be used. When using coconut oil, bring the cold ingredients to room temperature before mixing so the melted oil doesn’t harden upon contact.

Storage: Store the bread on the counter for up to three days. If you prefer to refrigerate the bread, I recommend toasting, especially if using butter or coconut oil. (These fats re-solidify when chilled, which can make the bread seem dry.) The bread freezes well, too.

For gluten-free loaf: an equivalent amount of cup-for-cup all-purpose blend may be used. For slightly better flavor and texture, however, I prefer a combination of 1½ cups (192g) GF flour and ½ cup (60g) blanched almond flour. (In side-by-side taste tests, some people though this variation was the “regular” loaf.)

For an airier crumb that is less dense than the typical quick bread (like banana or zucchini), you may use 1 teaspoon baking powder and ½ teaspoon baking soda for the leavening. I prefer the denser, moister bread (which still has a good rise), but the option may be preferable to those who enjoy spreading butter or a soft cheese, like mascarpone or cream cheese, on the bread.

More options:
I have added both blueberries and a diced banana to this loaf when running low on strawberries. I love the addition of the diced banana and this may even be done when using the full amount of berries. Blueberries create more moisture in the loaf, so if you would like to make an all-blueberry loaf, I recommend reducing the amount to 1½ cups.
You could inject a hint of complementary flavor by adding the zest of one lime or lemon.
Similarly, you could use almond, hazelnut, or coconut extract. When using an extract other than vanilla, I start low as the flavor tends to be quite concentrated. For this loaf, I’d start with an amount between ½ and 1 teaspoon.


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