Light Nut Bread
I've been loving this nut bread recipe since I was just tiny. I believe it was a holiday staple in my mom's family, long before she married my dad. I was pretty sure the recipe had come from the original Betty Crocker Cookbook, but I've been trying to find an identical recipe online, and it doesn't seem to exist. So...just throw this easy mix together, bake, enjoy, and think about how many generations have done the same, since at least the 1930s.
- 4 eggs
- 4 cups sour milk (or buttermilk)
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 4 cups brown sugar
- 8 cups flour
- 2 cups broken nutmeats (your preference)
Beat eggs and sugar. Add milk and beat thoroughly. Add sifted dry ingredients and nuts, stirring only until all is moistened. This is a quick bread (like muffins), so you should NOT beat or stir thoroughly. Bake in three waxed-paper-lined, bread pans or any type of pans you like--fill each pan about halfway, at 350 degrees F. for 1 hour. Turn loaves out onto cooling racks, and wrap after they are cool. Store in refrigerator, or freeze. Texture and flavor improve after 18 hours.
If you'd rather not use nuts, try pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds, or maybe something like Grape Nuts Cereal. You can also easily transform this into just about any type of fruit or fruit-nut bread, by changing half of the milk to something like smashed bananas, pumpkin pulp or applesauce. Because the recipe uses both baking powder and baking soda, you don't have to change anything about that.
If you noticed that there is no shortening in this recipe, don't worry. It's not supposed to be there. You can experiment by adding a tablespoon or two of melted butter or changing out some of the sour milk/buttermilk for either sour cream or Greek yogurt. Keep in mind that the reason no oil or butter is added, is because the recipe originally called for old-fashioned whole milk with the cream still in it, or rich buttermilk that resulted from the churning of butter. Experimenting with other things will change the texture of the bread, which can be really interesting and lovely, or...disastrous.
This quick bread (made without changing the recipe) is excellent for making fun nut bread sandwiches, using butter, honey butter, lemon butter, cream cheese (plain or flavored), jelly, or even peanut butter. Serving some sliced fruit on the side is also delicious. Experiment, and have fun--yum!