Saturday, August 30, 2014

Blueberry Bread

Posts have been somewhat sporadic the last month or so mostly due to the Indiana State Fair and the Beech Grove Farmer's Market that I've been involved with all summer.  I'd always loved going to markets, I had no idea we'd have so much fun being vendors at the market. The market, in and of itself, has become a little community.  We all know if my son isn't in my booth, he's in Dan's playing with his son John.  We all know that Steve, "The Popcorn Guy", will let the vendor's kids help him out in his booth.  I know that when my husband disappears that you'll find him helping Elmer, the old farmer with the produce in the back.  They often talk about crops and hints for better ones.  We notice and question when someone isn't at the market that week.  We also love to see all the customers, new and returning ones, coming to get the week's goodies whether that is produce, jam, baked goods or even just to socialize with everyone.  It's so much fun!

Along with jams, I make some breads as well.  One of those, the Alabama Blueberry Bread, is quite popular.  I had entered it in the State Fair and got some really nice comments about it being so moist with a unique flavor because of the use of cloves in it.  I told a friend I'd share the recipe here and then forgot (Sorry Chari!) so here it is!

I stumbled on this recipe somewhere online in a search for something different than just blueberry muffins.  I'll make muffins or breakfast breads and freeze them individually for my hubby and the kids to grab for breakfast or a snack.  This recipe uses the "muffin" method in making it to keep the finished tender, so don't overwork it.  I'll share the recipe at the end that is for one batch that makes two regular sized loaves but the pictures I'll share are for a triple batch that I make when I am making mini-loaves for the market.  

Here we go:

Here's what you'll need.  My smart-aleck husband pointed out that my Clorox wipes are not listed in the recipe...I didn't notice that they were in the frame when I sat all these ingredients next to the sink.

Before anything else, mix some of the cinnamon and sugar (see recipe) together and set aside, you'll need this later.

Here is a hint that I use when baking in larger quantities, as I put the (in this case) flour in the bowl, I put each cup in little piles around the bowl.  If I lose count, I can count the piles.  It happens.  Often.

Once all of the dry ingredients are added to the bowl, I use a wire whisk to mix it all together.  

Push most of it to the sides to make a well in the center.

In another bowl, beat the eggs well.

Once the eggs are beaten, the oil is mixed in.  Set it aside with the dry ingredients, it's time to prep the pans.  After spraying the pans with Pam, sprinkle some of the cinnamon sugar mixture in the bottom of the pan, don't use it all as some goes on top of the bread before baking too.

Also, take a minute to mash some of the blueberries, not all of them, just some.  This will give the bread that "blueberry" color.  I just use a potato masher.

It's really hard to not grab a few of these as they sit there looking all yummy, but try to resist, you want the whole berries in the bread!  

((Just a side note here, frozen blueberries are a wonderful snack, in my humble opinion, even better than frozen grapes and they're a super food!))

Ok, back to it!  At this point, add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients.

Using a spatula or a big spoon, mix this just until it comes together.  Do NOT over mix it.  

It will be lumpy and bumpy and that's ok.  Next carefully fold in both the mashed blueberries and the whole ones.

Stop picking the blueberries out of the mix.  Wait, that's me.  LOL

Next, put it in the pans.  The recipe calls for using two full size bread pans but I use the mini loaf pans  You can get them at Walmart pretty inexpensively.  They fit in small Ziploc bags well and are perfect size to grab one at a time as needed.  If you want a full loaf, go for it.

Now is when you sprinkle the rest of the cinnamon-sugar mix on top.

Bake per the recipe, if you're using mini loaf pans, I generally start checking them about 10 minutes before the recipe says for a large loaf.  

It's important that when it comes out of the oven that you let the bread rest in the pan for at least 15 minutes before trying to take it out of the pan or it WILL fall apart.  It's worth the wait people!  

It's dark and crispy on the outside and moist and yummy on the inside.  These mini loaves freeze well and re-warm well in the microwave.  

Here's the actual recipe:

3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 Tbls cinnamon
2 cups sugar
½ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp nutmeg
3 eggs, well beaten
1 ¼ cups canola oil
2 pints blueberries (mash about 1 cup of these)
2 tsp lemon extract


Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease and flour 2 - 9x5x3 inch loaf pans.
Mix ¼ cup of the sugar and ½ the cinnamon, sprinkle bottom of pans with this.
Place flour, salt, baking soda, sugar, cloves, nutmeg and the rest of the cinnamon in a large bowl. 
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients.
Add eggs, oil and lemon extract to well.
Stir until dry ingredients are moistened.
Stir in all blueberries.  (Mashing some gives the bread a nice blueberry color).
Divide batter between the two prepared pans
Bake 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool 15 minutes in the pan.
Remove from pan.

Cool completely on wire rack.  

I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.  And if you're ever in Beech Grove, Indiana, stop by the Farmer's Market and say Hello!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


As everyone knows, I love, love, love the State Fair.  This year, I decided to finally take the plunge and enter some things in the contests.  I didn't do so bad, if I do say so myself!  LOL

In order, I got participation for entering my Strawberry-Vanilla jam in the President's contest.  I got second place for my Gram's biscuits.  I call them 1-2-3-4 helps me remember the ingredients.  I won third place for my Cherry jam and fourth place for my Strawberry-jalapeno jam.  The honorable mention ribbon is for my Strawberry bread.  

I entered a bunch of things, just for fun and I enjoyed reading the comment cards from the judges.  From the comment cards, my Alabama Blueberry Bread wasn't quite done in the very center (I generally make mini loaves but for the fair they had to be large loaves so I wasn't as accurate on that one) but had it been it was a unique enough recipe that I'm sure it would have won.  It WILL be back next year.

Gram's biscuits are amazingly easy, here's the recipe:


2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
3 tsp. baking powder
¼ cup cold butter
¾ cup milk.


Heat oven to 425 degrees.
Sift together flour, salt and baking powder.
Cut in cold butter with a pastry blender or two knives until mix resembles cornmeal.
Using a fork, stir in milk just until mixture pulls from side of bowl.
Turn out on lightly floured board.
Knead gently and minimally, touch as little as possible, just until it comes together.
Cut with biscuit cutter and place on ungreased sheet pan.
Bake for 9-11 minutes or until golden brown.

Notice 1=salt, 2 =flour, 3=baking powder and 4= 1/4+3/4 is 4/'s just how I remember the recipe.  LOL

An even better part of the fair was sharing it with these littles:

They had to get a pic with my jams

One of my favorite pics from the fair, my son and grandkids.  

In my next post, I'll share the recipe for the blueberry bread!