When I think of fun, quick breads, I typically think of fall, but recently, I’ve been working on recipes for breads that have a distinctively spring and summer taste. More and more, I have occasions to share foods with others – potlucks, birthdays, and other special events – and it’s always wonderful to have more than a pumpkin loaf or banana bread recipe on hand (although I do have and love those – here and here) for those moments when neither seems to fit.
Enter my Blueberry Vanilla Bread. It combines that warm, full taste of a great quick bread with the sweet, fruity taste we associate with the warmer months.
I take recipe inspiration from everywhere I go. A couple of weekends ago, my fella and I took the dogs to the lake, a last visit to a beloved spot for our older dog, Doggie, who has now passed away from cancer. During that trip, as the dogs rested from a big day romping in the lake, we stopped by an old country store. When I entered, my nostrils were immediately filled with the scent of baked goods fresh from the oven. I beheld pies aplenty, fried hand pies, and breads. I began looking around, asking the in-house baker about her bounty and admiring her breads. Chocolate, cherry, blueberry – she had it all. And I thought, “I want to make a berry bread!”
The idea was remained freshly in my mind for days afterword as I began testing recipe ideas. Fortunately, quick breads are one of my favorites and something I’ve always found myself at ease with baking. After a couple of attempts, I nailed the recipe – a bread bursting with blueberries and rich vanilla flavor.
The following weekend, we took a loaf as part of a picnic by a stream. It was perfect – warm bread wrapped tightly in a cloth with just a hint of butter smeared over its berry bursting exterior. Perfection. I had to share this one with you so that you, too, could have a slab of perfection.
If blueberries aren’t your forte, I suggest using blackberries instead. Raspberries, however, tend to get just a bit too broken down by the baking of this bread. Also, I included one of my favorite and frequently used ingredients in this recipe: vanilla paste. It delivers a rich vanilla flavor that far exceeds that of vanilla extract. You can find it at your local speciality grocery (think Whole Foods or The Fresh Market) or order online. It will really amp up the flavor of breads, cookies, and cupcakes.
Blueberry Vanilla Bread
Makes one 9×5 inch loaf
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar, tightly packed and leveled
- 1/2 teaspoon finely ground sea salt
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 2 large eggs
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 1/2 tablespoon vanilla paste
- 2 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
- Baking spray
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Using a sifter, combine and sift flour, baking powder, sea salt, and sugar. Pour sifted dry mixture into the bowl of your standing mixer.
- Using your paddle attachment on a low setting, combine butter pieces into the dry mixture until well combined. You should see small pieces of butter in the mixture.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, and vanilla paste until well combined. Add blueberries.
- Add the mixture to the dry ingredients on a medium setting. Blend until just combined.
- Spray your 9×5 loaf pan thoroughly. Pour the mixture into the pan, ensuring that it evenly covers the cavity.
- Bake for approximately 70 minutes or until a toothpick can be inserted and removed clean.