June 8, 2011 § Leave a comment
J: Okay, guys, we owe you all an apology for being on hiatus for so long without any warning. Truth be told, the last couple of weeks have been difficult in terms of cooking; I’ve been traveling a lot and going out to eat a fair bit since my parents were in town last weekend, so I’ve been eating pretty simply when I do get a chance to eat at home. And Erik has been busy with the end of the school year, graduating from college (!) and moving all his stuff back from his dorm room, and getting ready to move down South with me (!!!). But things are calm for the next week or so, for me at least, so we do have a couple things lined up for you, and hopefully once he’s settled in here we’ll be able to return to our regular schedule of posting once every three days.
Those of you who’ve been reading for a little while might remember this post, in which I referenced some “drop-dead-delicious” pecan bread that I made with the leftover streusel I had sitting around once the muffins were done. I didn’t photograph that because I had no idea how it would turn out, but as it happens, it was kind of amazing! So now I’ve recreated it, with a few changes and additions, and it was, if possible, even tastier this time around. Also, it is an absurdly easy recipe. Give it a shot!
1 c all-purpose flour
3/4 c dark brown sugar
1/3 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3 tbsp chilled butter
1/4 c water (or as much as you need to get the batter to be batter-y)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 c chopped pecans
cinnamon & sugar for sprinkling (optional)
Preheat your oven to 350.
Start off by mixing together all the dry ingredients, except the pecans. Smoosh the clumps of brown sugar with a spoon to break them up, so you don’t have any chunks of it floating around. Add the butter, using a pastry cutter, fork, or some other similar implement to cut it into the batter. When the pieces of butter get small enough, feel free to jump in there with your hands and work it more thoroughly into the dry ingredients so there are very few chunks of it. You’ll have a sandy texture, as you can see below.
Add the eggs, and beat them in. It won’t be quite enough to bring the dough into a batter-like consistency, so add some water, a little at a time, until it gets there. I used about 1/4 c.
Stir in the vanilla, and then the pecans.
Lightly butter/grease and flour a bread pan, tapping out the excess in the sink. Pour in the batter, and if you like (and I do!), sprinkle it with cinnamon and raw sugar crystals.
Note: as you can see, this batter did not fill the cake pan. The loaf did rise a bit in the oven, but it was still a little flat. So, if you prefer a bigger loaf, go ahead and double all the ingredients, and you should get a nice poufy loaf of pecan bread!
Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes. If you doubled the recipe, it’ll take longer; adjust the cooking time accordingly. You can test by inserting a knife or toothpick into the center of the loaf, and if it comes out clean, it’s done.
Enjoy for breakfast, as an afternoon snack, or as a late-night treat — this bread is deliciously versatile!