I love bread. Quick bread, that comes together in an hour or less, and yeast bread that can take hours to let rise and develop. My family always had bread with meals, but usually the white stuff from the store. I try to make healthier versions, so I don’t feel like I am eating junk. It’s one of my favorite breakfast foods, as well as a good snack.
This bread starts out as Prune Walnut Bread, but today I turned it into Fig Walnut Bread. I had an open package of figs that were starting to dry out. And because I also wanted to put some mini loaves in the freezer as gifts, I went on to make Dried Cherry Almond bread. It made 3 mini loaf pans instead of one large loaf pan.
Just substitute any fruit and nut combination that you like. Feel free to put in some citrus peel (I use grated orange peel in the fig walnut bread I made today) and / or spices (I put freshly grated nutmeg into the cherry almond breads today). Swap out the vanilla extract for something different, or use two.
I usually use white whole wheat flour or spelt flour, but you can also use plain white flour or a combination. So like most things I make, there is not one way only to make this.
Prune Walnut Bread
1 cup boiling water
1 cup coarsely chopped prunes
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups sifted flour – white, white whole wheat, spelt, etc
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
2/3 c sugar ( I use cane sugar)
2 tbsp melted butter or olive oil
½ tsp vanilla
1 tsp grated orange peel
2/3 c chopped walnuts
Put the prunes into the boiling water and sprinkle over the baking soda. Let stand.
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl, set aside.
In a mixing bowl, cream together the sugar and eggs. Then add in the oil/butter, vanilla & orange peel. Mix well to combine.
Strain the prunes from the water, and reserve the liquids to mix in. Stir the prunes into the egg -sugar mix. Add in the flour and reserved liquid alternately, beginning and ending with the flour. Add in the walnuts.
Pour into a well greased loaf pan. I pull out the butter wrappers I save in the fridge and use them to grease the pans. You do save the butter wrappers, right?
Bake 300 degrees for 60 minutes. Start checking at about 45 minutes to prevent a dry loaf. If making smaller loaves, they bake in about 30-35 minutes.
Let stand in the pan for about 20 minutes before you turn out. Then cool before storing.
This bread will taste better and cuts more easily if you wrap up airtight and let it sit overnight.
I dare you to manage to do that. It smells so good coming from the oven!
- use figs instead of prunes, making sure to remove any hard stem end
- Use dried apricots and pecans rather than the prunes and walnuts
- Use Dried cherries and almonds – substitute almond extract for the vanilla and add ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- Use dates and pecans
- Use dried apples and cinnamon and walnuts (um-mm, I haven’t tried that yet, sounds really good!)
Tell what variation you tried! Makes a nice hostess gift, or give mini loaves ‘just because”.