Baking loaves of Strawberry Bread reminded me of how much I love strawberries. Before moving to America, my first taste of strawberries came from Baguio City, Philippines, a city located in the mountains, north of Manila. I loved to spend summer vacations as a child in Baguio, to cool off from the scorching summer heat. Even more I loved going to the Baguio market where my Mom would buy strawberries by the baskets. I was fascinated with the market’s cornucopia of smells, sights, colors, textures and flavors. The air was crisp and cool. I close my eyes now in reverie and think back then to when I inhaled deeply and smelled the aroma of fresh cut flowers, fresh pine on the trees, fresh vegetable produce, woodsy scents of handmade wood products, all blended into one bundle of lovely vacation memories.
I have strawberry memories of when we brought home the fruits . I marvelled at how the luscious red berries tumbled into a full, rich bowl of Nestle’s cream, something Mom always prepared for dessert. I used to dig deep into that bowl of heaven with my spoon, then hold it up and watch how the cream and berries clung to the spoon, until I let them go into my mouth .
Now that I live in America, the strawberry is the star of my spring and summer season. At first, I was floored at how enormous strawberries are here in America. It took me a while to get used to these red berries measuring 2-3 times larger than those we had in another country years ago. I was pleasantly amazed to re-discover the health benefits these berries could provide.
This is why I was delighted to receive a copy of the cookbook “Fruit” by Nancie McDermott. This is one of Nancie’s numerous cookbooks which I am enjoying. Fruit is a collection of the South’s bountiful locally sourced fruits made into fifty-four luscious dishes, both savory and sweet. The indigenous fruits featured in this book include blackberries, mayhaws, muscadine, scuppernong grapes, pawpaws, persimmons, and strawberries. There are also non-native fruits featured because these were adopted long ago by southern cooks. This list includes plums, fig, peaches, cantaloupes, quince, and watermelons. Nancie’s recipes for some of these uncommon fruits are interesting and definitely tasty. And she gives each recipe a luscious twist and her personal touch. One of her recipes include a favorite piecrust, plus how to cook and preserve all these bounty.
This strawberry bread recipe was from Debbie Gooch, the author’s friend. Nancie mentioned in the cookbook that she freezes the strawberries during their season in North Carolina and freezes them in 2-cup portions, sprinkled with a little sugar. That way, Nancie can make her strawberry bread all year long.
I wish I had known this wonderful strawberry bread a long time ago plus how to freeze them for nearly a year. By knowing this, I would have enjoyed the strawberry bounty from Baguio not just during the summer but all year long.
I baked this easy recipe for Strawberry Bread for the first time and the immediate results were incredible. This was an irresistible quick bread, as the author said in the cookbook. The loaves turned out light and moist. It was crusty and slightly firm on the outside, but inside the loaf was soft and sweet. The coarsely-chopped fresh strawberries gave these loaves a distinct appeal and the reddish hue looked like pretty flowers with a walnut in the center. If you only want to bake one thing today you'll enjoy the ease of this Strawberry Bread. This was inspired by the Debbi Gooch Fresh Strawberry Bread recipe from "Fruits" a Savor The South Cookbook by Nancie McDermott (The University of North Carolina Press). Recipe makes two loaves.
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare two loaf pans, each measuring 9 x 11 inches. Pre-grease the pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, coarsely chop the strawberries. Sprinkle the fruit with one tablespoon of sugar. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, remaining sugar, the cinnamon, salt and baking soda. Toss in the walnuts and combine well.
- Mix the strawberries well and slowly add the vegetable oil and eggs. Using a wooden spoon, stir and combine the ingredients.
- Add the dry ingredients of flour to the mixture and blend well till there are no more traces of flour.
- Divide the batter into two. Pour each into the loaf pans.
- Bake at 350 F for 45 to 50 minutes. Check to see if loaf bread is done by piercing the center with the edge of a sharp knife and if it comes clean, the Strawberry Bread is done.
- Turn the loaf bread over and place on the cooking rack. Slice the bread and serve warm or chilled.
- Cook's Comments: The author mentioned that using frozen strawberries for this recipe is just as wonderful.
- About the Author: Nancie McDermott is a North Carolina native, cooking teacher, and author of thirteen cookbooks, including Southern Cakes: Sweet and Irresistible Recipes for Everyday Celebrations. For more of Nancie's recipes, stories and cookbooks check out her site NancieMcDermott.com.
- Disclosure: I received an Advance Readers' Copy from the author. I was not compensated to review this cookbook. My views are my own.
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