I’m trying to think of an excuse to publish these go-together recipes for Strawberry Bread and Strawberry Butter. It is not a vintage recipe. It is not something I’ve cooked for years as a family favorite, (although this strawberry bread became an instant favorite as soon as we tasted it.) Strawberry bread is not an ethnic recipe brought to America by my ancestors. I have no excuse. Except that it is delicious. And I think you need a break from German sausage every once in a while.
I must warn you that in baking you cannot substitute Willy-nilly. The first time I baked strawberry bread (from a different recipe) it was a disaster. I had made a substitution that did not work.
I don’t usually feel confident messing around with recipes for baking. As I pondered all the little complexities of the chemical reactions and effects of heat, etc., I couldn’t help but think about those great-great grandmothers who were cooking on a wood-fire either in a fireplace or in a stove. Here I have a thermostat and an oven that tells me when it has reached the exact temperature I want and a recipe that specifies baking times, and I STILL get things over or under cooked sometimes. How in the world did they do it?
However, in this case, that first strawberry bread was such a disaster, that I decided I could do it better myself. I read a few other recipes, thought about what was making things happen, and came up with this recipe. I’m happy to say it was a smashing success.
My husband had begged me not to use any more of those beautiful strawberries on that awful stuff, and after I ignored him and made the second version, he promptly ate 3 slices. Two days later he was offering to buy more strawberries so I could make more strawberry bread.
The strawberry butter was an afterthought, but as I bit into it, I’m thinking how delicious it would be on biscuits, scones, muffins and anything at all in the bread category. Along with the strawberry bread, strawberry butter is a definite winner. Have you ever tried molasses butter?
Strawberry Bread and Butter
- 2 Cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 Tsp baking soda
- 1/2 Tsp salt
- 1/2 Cup white sugar
- 1/2 Cup buttermilk
- 1 egg
- 1/3 Cup vegetable oil
- 1-1/2 Tsp vanilla extract
- 1 Heaping Cup strawberries diced
- 2 Tblsp flour for strawberries
- 1/2 Cup butter softened
- 1/4 Cup Finely chopped strawberries drained
- 2 Tsp honey
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Lightly grease 9 x 5 pan, cut parchment paper to fit length of pan, but extend above sides. This will make removing the bread easy.
- Dice strawberries with knife; put in strainer over bowl to catch juices. After draining, mix the strawberries with 2 Tablespoons flour. (Use juice to flavor milk or iced tea, or add to a liter of water for spa water.)
- In large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In medium bowl, beat eggs until light, add sugar and beat until light. Add oil, buttermilk, and vanilla and beat until blended.
- Slowly pour liquid ingredients into dry ingredients and mix until completely blended, but do not over mix.
- Gently blend strawberries into batter.
- Pour batter into prepared pan. (You can sprinkle Turbinado sugar on top for sparkle. I did not want the extra sweetness.)
- Bake for 30 minutes. Cover top with tented foil and bake another 25-35 minutes. It is done when a toothpick inserted in top comes out clean. Better to overbake slightly than to underbake. If the strawberries are very ripe, this bread will not dry out easily.
- Let cool in pan 15 minutes. Turn out on rack to cool completely before slicing, or wrapping tightly for storage. Serve plain, with plain butter or cream cheese, or with strawberry butter (See recipe.)
- Bring butter to room temperature.
- Chop strawberries very fine and drain.
- Mix strawberries, butter, and honey. spread while soft. Keep any leftovers in refrigerator, and soften and mix before spreading after chilling.6