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.
My first attempt at strawberry bread was a disaster. I reluctantly dumped the bread into the wastebasket, thereby wasting two cups of strawberries. I tried to figure out why this quick break didn’t work. Then I realized that I had substituted almond milk for the dairy milk called for in the recipe I had found on the Internet.
I must warn you that in baking you cannot substitute willy- nilly. There are complexities involved. For instance, there are other recipes that call for regular milk rather than the buttermilk I used. But you can’t just change buttermilk for milk in THIS recipe.
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.
UPDATE: When I baked this again, I realized that I had left you with some strawberry juice and no suggestions on what to do with it. Fortunately, it does not go into the bread, the whole point being to remove some of the moisture from the strawberries. You might stir a spoonful into the butter to intensify the pink color, but I wouldn’t overdo it, because you don’t want your butter to be soupy.
I suggest stirring it into a glass of milk for strawberry milk (almond or other dairy substitute would be fine) or mix a little into a glass of iced tea for extra flavor. OR–and this is what I did–mix the juice from the strawberries into 1/2 gallon of water and store in the refrigerator. Spa water!!