I love zucchini bread. I love banana bread.
I love bread.
But, considering we’ve all had zucchini and banana, I put my mind to finding five different breads that make the most of the season’s wonderful fruits, vegetables or spices.
#1) Broccoli Bread
That’s right broccoli + bread. That vegetable you probably pushed off your plate when you were just a wee little one actually makes a mean starring ingredient in this classic Southern recipe for cornbread with heaps of broccoli. My grandmother made this a few times and served hers with a glass of buttermilk. Never been a fan of buttermilk except in my pancakes but broccoli bread is surprisingly good in a very savory, down-home kind of way. Making it now that I’m a cook myself, I’d probably serve it with roast beef or some kind of nice stew. Another idea, the next time you go to a picnic where everyone’s brining those trendy cupcakes, make a batch of these in muffin tins and top them off with a little shaved cheddar before they cool. See which ones run out first, the savory or the sweet?
#2) Blackberry Bread
A cousin of mine lives in upper Michigan and ever since we were children, she’s told me about the berries in Michigan. According to her, keeping a pail in your trunk for impromptu berry picking is common practice. Up there, people really do have breakfasts consisting of berries with cream and kitchen drawers are full of recipes for blackberry pies, pastries, turnovers, preserves and yes—blackberry bread.
Always a bit skeptical about my cousin’s “berry stories” I withheld comment when she brought back loaf of her homemade Walnut Blackberry Bread. One taste of it, reheated on my stovetop grill and accompanied by a nice dab of organic grass fed butter and I was converted.
My suggestions: do one test run when you make this bread yourself. My cousin uses the fresh picked, flash-frozen blackberries she buys from a small local farmer in her hometown. I think frozen, high-quality will probably yield better flavor but you be the judge.
Once you’ve got the recipe nailed, make as many loaves as you can and freeze them. They’ll come in handy for those weekend visits and as holiday presents. Don’t forget Thanksgiving either. Talk about a nice way to start your Thanksgiving day!
Alas the recipe I’m sharing is not my cousin’s. She’s keeping hers under wraps.
#3) Basil Bread
Like basil? Like bread? Why not make a basil bread? Yup, that’s right—basil bread. Think earthy, hearty and great with sharp cheddar and some tomato soup. Or, you can make that turkey meatloaf and with the leftovers make some seriously rocking meatloaf and basil bread sandwiches (sprouts and mayo on mine please). I don’t see how you can go wrong with this one. Since I’ve got a yard full of Thai Basil I’ll be making mine with that. There’s a healthy dose of whole grains in this recipe too. Some of you should appreciate that. Check it out here.
#4) Apricot Bread
Feeling like something just a tad exotic? Don’t ask me why but this delicious seems very Russian to me. It’s got great, intense flavor but is also very refined and unassuming in its deliciousness. Break out the Chekhov and serve it along with black tea and some fresh butter or even a little plum jam. When I back mine, I often add about half a lemon’s zest and even a little bit of rosemary to the mix (recipe). You can definitely play around with this one, just be sure to soak the apricots! And for more tang, soak them in lemon water or orange juice.
#5) Fennel Bread
Lastly, a quick nod to my favorite fall ingredient-fennel. Though I’ve yet to try this recipe, I will shortly. It’s a soda bread and takes just a few minutes to prepare, takes zero rising time and gets rave reviews all around. What’s not to love? Dare I say, something says “apples” when I think about fennel bread but I’m sure I’ll have to adjust the recipe for moisture.
Link to our pastry school