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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Strawberry Hazelnut Buttermilk Quick Bread

Strawberry Hazelnut Buttermilk Quick Bread |
Once upon a time, I was afraid of yeast. Though it feels like a long time ago to me now, it's really only been about 5 years. Now I bake yeast breads of all shapes, sizes, and skill levels. And I find myself shunning the quick breads that were so good to me for so many  years.

I don't mean to. And every time I realize what I'm doing, I reach for the brown bananas posthaste. My (now) 5th generation banana bread always makes the family feel warm and fuzzy. It takes me back to being 10 years old in my grandma's kitchen.

Occasionally I feel the need to venture out and put things like zucchini, carrots, lemon, sweet potato, or pumpkin into the batter. A batter that can be stirred together in, like, 5 minutes flat by the way.
Strawberry Hazelnut Buttermilk Quick Bread |
The other morning I was in the mood for a loaf of quick bread to eat alongside my coffee. So, out came the strawberries, some nuts, and my trusty jug of buttermilk. It wasn't banana bread, but it was familiar and comforting. Not to mention moist and utterly delicious.

Strawberry Hazelnut Buttermilk Quick Bread
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Strawberry Hazelnut Buttermilk Quick Bread |
by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 60-70 minutes
Keywords: bake bread snack vegetarian soy-free buttermilk nuts strawberries American spring summer

Ingredients (1 loaf)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3/4 cup diced fresh strawberries
  • 1/3 cup chopped hazelnuts
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup melted unsalted butter, vegetable oil, or coconut oil (melt & cool a bit)
to finish:
  • oil or melted butter
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons granulated or raw sugar, divided
  • 3-4 fresh strawberries
  • 1/3 cup crumble/streusel (your favorite), optional
Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Place all of the dry ingredients in a bowl and use a wooden spoon to combine. Toss in strawberries, hazelnuts, and lemon zest and stir until coated. Make a well in the center and add the wet ingredients. Use your wooden spoon to stir it all up in the center (to break up the egg and mix it all together), then stir everything together until just combined. Do not overmix.

Pour a drizzle of oil or melted butter into a "regular" sized loaf pan and use a paper towel to spread it around so that the bottom and sides have a light coating. Add 1 tablespoon of the sugar to the pan and move it all around to coat.

Scrape the batter from the bowl into the prepared pan. If using, scatter the crumble/streusel over the top, then use the back of a spoon to make a small channel lengthwise down the center.

Slice the strawberries into 4 slices each, then lay them in an overlapping line down the channel. Sprinkle with remaining sugar.
Strawberry Hazelnut Buttermilk Quick Bread |
Slide into preheated oven and bake for 60-70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Set on a metal rack and allow to cool for 15 minutes before turning it out. Cool a while longer on the rack before slicing.

Will keep tightly wrapped at room temperature for a couple of days, but the strawberries do make this a moist bread, so eat as soon as possible (or wrap tightly in plastic AND foil and freeze for up to 3 months).

I had some extra streusel/crumble stored in the freezer that I decided would make a good topping for this bread. I don't have the exact proportions of the one I used, but I believe that it was a vegan one that included white whole wheat flour, rolled oats, brown sugar, olive oil, chia seeds, and a pinch of salt (if I remember correctly). Free free to make whatever kind sounds good to you, or leave it off all together.

-inspired by and adapted from The Kitchn 
Strawberry Hazelnut Buttermilk Quick Bread |
#TwelveLoaves is a monthly bread baking party created by Lora from Savoring Italy.

Since we are (beyond) ready for Spring, the #TwelveLoaves theme for March is STRAWBERRIES! Choose a recipe (yeast bread, quick bread, crackers, muffins, braids, flatbread) that features strawberries (fresh, dried, preserves - you name it), have fun, and get baking!
If you missed last month's CHOCOLATE theme, you can browse the recipes here.