Monday, September 28, 2009

Raspberry Walnut Bread

This recipe is based off the quickbread recipe (infinite variations) from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian: Simple Meatless Recipes for Great Food. I love this cookbook, and I love Mark Bittman. However, I found this particular recipe to be off – every time I made quickbread his way, I ended up with the dreaded sunken middle. My version, arrived on after much trial and error, uses less baking powder and baking soda but adds an extra egg. I’d say the difference has to do with altitude, but Mark and I aren’t cooking so very far apart, geographically, so I’m going to call it a rare lapse and let it be.

I began with the intent of making Cranberry Walnut Bread. A few months ago, my mother-in-law gave us a warehouse club-sized bag of Craisins. So as not to waste this bounty, I’ve been making Cranberry Nut bread on a semi-regular basis ever since. Today, however, I lowered my measuring cup into the bag to discover a mere scant half-cup of cranberries remaining. Raspberries seemed the reasonable substitution in a pinch.

You might notice the repetition of certain themes in this bread. I throw a bit of malted milk powder in most things because I think it’s a pretty universal flavor booster. I also use copious quantities of citrus zest, which I will attribute to my Florida heritage. And finally, I use vanilla yoghurt in place of milk or fruit juice. I think yoghurt gives breads a much nicer crumb, so I have largely abandoned the other two in my baking.

This is a nice “variation on a quickbread.” I think I have a slight preference for the sharper flavor of cranberries, but the raspberries go very well with the toasted nuts and subtle malt-and-maple notes.

Raspberry Walnut Bread (with variations in parentheses)

2 ¼ cups flour (2 cups if using dried fruit)
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons of butter, room temp
¾ cup white sugar (7/8 cup if using plain yoghurt)
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon malted milk powder (such as this)
zest of one orange, about 1 tablespoon
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs
1 6-oz container vanilla or plain yoghurt, lowfat is fine, room temperature
1 cup raspberries, rinsed and patted dry (or ¾ cup dried cranberries)
½ cup walnuts, pecans, or hazelnuts, lightly toasted for best flavor and in pieces

Preheat oven to 350 and grease loaf pan. In small bowl, mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together and set aside. In larger bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add maple syrup, malted milk powder, orange zest, and vanilla. Add eggs. Add yoghurt and mix in thoroughly.

Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir just until blended. Fold in raspberries and nuts.Pour into prepared loaf pan. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Printable recipe here.


  1. Following the link to malted milk. Have you ever tried using the chocolate malted milk instead for baking?

  2. No, I haven't tried it -- other than cookies, I don't do much baking with chocolate, but it's an interesting idea!