By: Terry Harris | Email: Click Here
Posted: January 19, 2019 | 8:05 a.m
If you already love to cook, congratulations! You’ll love this recipe, as it’s quick, easy, and requires only a few basic ingredients that you probably already have on hand. And you actually might want to just skip down to the recipe today, because I’m going to share a few basic baking rules you probably already know. But if you’re a novice – and perhaps a little bit intimidated at the thought of baking – this one’s for you!
Let me just say first that I love fruit breads. Pumpkin bread with its lovely spiciness just screams FALL to me. Banana nut bread takes me back to ASU when I used to salvage “over the hill” bananas making it all the time. Zucchini Bread – which I thought I’d hate but actually love – is a big favorite. And they all just fill the house with such a wonderful aroma. But this week, I found myself scrounging around (again!) looking for SOMETHING a little different that I could bake up in a hurry for a last minute get-together – and the only thing of interest in the cabinet was a can of crushed pineapple. I didn’t want to bake cookies and I didn’t have time for a cake or a pie, so I started thinking… “I wonder how pineapple bread would taste…’ Well, the answer is… it’s delicious! And the bonus is that it takes a grand total of ten minutes to get it into the oven. And you know what else? I really believe if you follow a few simple rules, this recipe is fool-proof.
Going from start to oven only takes about 10 minutes, tops!
SO… here’s all you need to know. First, as with pretty much all fruit breads, you’ll want to mix together the dry and wet ingredients separately and combine them just before baking. But the way you mix them is key.
When you’re preparing the “dry” part, be sure to really stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt very well to insure that a smooth consistency when your bread is done. And do not just reach into the cannister or bag and scoop up your flour in a cup. If you do, it will compact it, making for extra flour in the final result – producing a dry, tasteless finished product. Instead, dip up spoonfuls of the flour and fill your measuring cups that way. It’s easier than dealing with a sifter, and has nearly the same result.
Also on the “dry” part, don’t hesitate to increase – or decrease – the sugar a bit. As anyone who’s been following my columns for awhile knows that while you can’t do that with delicate cake batters, but fruit breads? Go for it! It won’t appreciably affect the texture, just adjust the sweetness.
Pineapple Walnut Bread is a perfect pick-me-up for a cold, winter day.
And finally, do drop the walnuts into the flour mixture before adding the dry ingredients to the wet ones. I nearly forgot this part until I remembered watching Mama make fruit cakes when we were little. I always wondered about shaking the nuts in a little flour before adding them to the batter – until I discovered that that’s what keeps them from all sinking to the bottom! Don’t ask me why; I don’t know. But it works!
Preparing the wet portion of the recipe is really basic. Lightly beat the eggs – and I did use my stand mixer on low for this – easy-peasy. Likewise adding the sugar and butter and vanilla. Nothing to it. Stirring in the dry part? Just do it. Here’s what you DON’T want to do with the whole thing once you put it in the oven. Do not remove the baking fruit bread from the oven to do the toothpick test for doneness. Because if it’s not done – and mine wasn’t when I tested it – removing it from the oven long enough to stick that toothpick in and see if it comes out clean provides just enough time for the center of the loaf to fall – leaving a nice little valley going down the length of your loaf. It will still taste great, but look pretty? Not so much.
For an extra taste treat, smear on a little cream cheese – plain, or with a little sugar beaten in for a sweeter treat
As for the finished product, besides smelling really heavenly, it really is pretty tasty! I found that I particularly liked it with some softened cream cheese spread on top, and for a sweeter taste I may even beat a little sugar into the cream cheese next time – or add a bit more to the batter/dough. Overall, this is a flavorful, fruity loaf, and the walnuts give it just the right amount of added texture and flavor. And as a bonus, it came out of the oven kind of crusty on the outside, so I recommend cutting it with a serrated knife if you want pretty slices.
And that’s pretty much it! Just measure, beat a bit, stir, bake, eat. Even a child can do it. Literally. And the flavor – and aroma – will delight the child in anyone. Plus it will make a perfect hostess gift as it travels well – if you can manage not to devour it the minute it comes out of the oven! Enjoy!
Pineapple Walnut Bread
Prep: 10 mins Cook: 1 hr Servings: 12
- 2 eggs
- 1 ¼ Cup white sugar
- ½ Cup melted butter
- 1 Cup crushed pineapple with juice
- ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 ½ Cups all purpose flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¾ Cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease one regular loaf pan
Slightly beat eggs, then add butter and sugar and beat until smooth. Stir in pineapple and vanilla extract.
Measure flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and walnuts into a separate bowl. Stir together thoroughly, then pour and stir into pineapple mixture.
Beat eggs slightly. Add butter and sugar. Beat smooth. Stir in pineapple and vanilla. Transfer to prepared loaf pan.
Bake at 350 for 1 hour. Test with toothpick. When done, let stand in pan for 10 minutes, then remove to cooling rack until completely cool.
Look for Queenie Cooks every week online and in the Sussex Surry Dispatch and other local papers for food-related recipes, stories, information, and fun. You never know what Queenie may be cooking up, but you can always count on at least one great recipe to try at home, generally for something you can prepare quickly, easily, and with just a few, common ingredients. Hey! We all have to eat. Let’s have some FUN with it!