Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Applesauce Pecan Bread

Our spring weather has hit a bit of a snag - with temperatures dropping to freezing last night, I had to bring the more delicate plants inside. It's going to be a bit chilly today, but it should warm back up pretty quickly. In anticipation, I'm getting things together for a few more outdoor plantings. Even though I know harvest is a long ways off, each day I grow more eager for harvest time. For now, I have to console myself with baking bread. And that's how this hearty loaf was born. 

This is a quick bread, meaning it's not yeast-raised so there is no rising time. It's sweet, but not overly so, and heavily studded with nuts and raisins. And between whole wheat flour, honey for sweetness, and only a bit of butter, it's not so bad in the health department either.

I like a slice of this bread, warmed for a few seconds in the microwave, with my coffee.  It's dense and not overly moist (like some banana breads can be), so it's fairly sturdy.You can see how many nuts and raisins there are from these pictures - trust me, this bread does not skimp on flavor!

Keep this loaf in the fridge, and it will easily keep a week or more. The aroma of the spices as this bakes are truly heavenly - it's worth making just to fill the house with that smell.

Applesauce Pecan Bread
Yield: 1 loaf

1 large egg
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 cup honey
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9"x5" loaf pan with nonstick spray.
2. Combine egg, applesauce, butter, and honey in a medium bowl and stir to combine. In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg and stir to combine.
3. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in raisins and pecans.
4. Bake for one hour, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove bread from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

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