It was about time I took out Baking: From My Home to Yours again by Dorie Greenspan. (You can find all the other recipes I made from her book here.) It’s been some time and I have been in the baking mood, unfortunately not having enough energy on weeknights these days, but I pushed myself last night, and I’m glad I did. This bread turned out wonderful. Super moist and delicate with raisins scattered about and a nice sweet topping. Before making this recipe I wasn’t sure what I would need to spread on top of a piece of this bread, but to my surprise, nothing is needed, not even a slab of butter!
I really wouldn’t change a thing to this recipe, especially if I were serveing it to some friends. But if I was up for experimenting, I would replace some of the flour for whole wheat flour, to make it a bit more healthier. Try it for yourself, if you like your quick breads, I’m sure you’ll love this one. If you’re not all about the raisins or other dried fruits, leave them out, I bet you would still be happy with the outcome. Let me know what you decide!
For the topping:
1/4 c. (packed) light brown sugar
1/4 c. chopped walnuts or pecans
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
For the bread:
2 large eggs
1 1/4 c. unsweetened applesauce
1/3 c. flavorless oil, such as canola or safflower
1/4 c. buttermilk or whole milk
1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves
1/2 c. diced dried figs, apples, or apricots or moist, plump raisins (I added raisins soaked in hot water for about an hour)
1 c. old-fashioned oats
Center a rack in oven; preheat to 350 F. Butter 9-by-5-inch loaf pan (I used two medium size ones), dust with flour, and tap out excess. Put pan(s) on a baking sheet.
Make the topping: In a small bowl, use your fingers to toss together the sugar, nuts, and cinnamon until evenly mix. Set aside.
Make the bread: Whisk together the eggs, applesauce, oil, and buttermilk until well blended.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cloves. Remove 1/2 teaspoon of mix; toss it with the fruit to coat. Set aside. Stir the oats into the bowl. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry, and, using a large rubber spatula, stir just until everything is evenly moistened. Don’t overdo the mixing. Scatter the dried fruit over batter and stir it to blend. Scrape batter into pan; sprinkle over topping, taping it down lightly with fingers so it sticks.
Bake 55 to 65 minutes (my smaller loafs took about 40 minutes), or until the bread is browned and a thin knife inserted into center comes out clean. Transfer bread to a cooling rack for about 5 minutes. Run a knife around the sides of pan and unmold. Invert and cool to room temperature right side up.