Friday, September 17, 2010

Good Morning Sunshine...

Mornings are not popular in the Pierce household.  The art of getting four people up and out the door can be a chore; making these four non-morning people happy can be insurmountable.  In my attempt to give everyone a bit of morning love without actually having to speak to them, I decided to add homemade breakfasts to our routine.  I needed something portable that could be prepped in advance and relatively healthy.   I first offered muffins; after throwing away a third of the batch each week my morale was low.  We moved on to smoothies; cups left in the car on a 93 degree day do not offer a great aroma in the afternoon.  Like a gift from above I received an email from Martha with a presentation on quick breads.  We have a winner!  These are easy to bake and even easier to transport.  They are also a great way to sneak seasonal fruits and veggies into the morning meals.  This week we enjoyed Strawberry Bread.  Slather a slice of this with cream cheese, pour yourself a go-cup of coffee and morning seems a little less hellish.  

Strawberry Bread
Prep: 10 minutes        Total: 1 Hour 10 minutes
Serves: 8

5 Tablespoons unsalted butter softened
1 pint strawberries, rinsed, hulled, quartered and mashed with a fork
1 3/4 cups AP flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter an 8-by-4 inch loaf pan.  In a small saucepan, bring strawberries to a boil over medium heat.  Cook stirring 1 minute.  Set aside (Note: I failed to cook while stirring on my first attempt of this bread and had a runny mess on my hand.  This step is critical)
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, baking powder and salt; set aside.  With an electric mixer, cream the butter, sugar, and eggs in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy.  Add flour mixture alternately with 1/3 cup water, beginning and ending with flour.  Fold in reserved strawberries.
  3. Scrape batter into prepared pan, smoothing top.  Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 1 hour (tent with foil after 45 minutes if top is getting too dark). Cool in pan 10 minutes.  Run a knife around the edges; invert onto a rack.  Reinvert; cool completely. 
I always bake a quick bread on Sunday evening.  Not only does it end the weekend with the beautiful smell of freshly baked goods, but I go to bed knowing that breakfast is already served! 

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