I’ve been on a real quick bread kick of late, starting with what might have been the very best banana bread I’ve ever made three weeks ago. Since then, though, it’s been all about cherries. I am mad about cherry bread. Last week I made a gorgeous, if cakey, Cherry-Orange Quick Bread. This week, I thought I’d share the more substantial, cherry-chocked Cherry Pecan Coffee Loaf.
This bread is oaten and moist. The cherries give every piece a bit of zing, while the pecans and brown sugar topping add a wonderful earthiness. I used hazelnut milk, which really rounds out the flavours and also gives you a bit of added superfood. I’m not sure how easy it is to find, however, and let’s face it any milk (dairy or non) would be suitable.
3 cups plain flour
3/4 cup granulated golden sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
1 1/2 cups ready oats
2 cups milk (I used non-dairy hazelnut milk — delicious!)
1/3 cup sunflower oil
1 cup frozen cherries
1/4 cup brown sugar, for dusting
pecans for decorating
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees/Gas 5 and have a loaf pan greased at the ready (9 inches x 5 inches).
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger. In a separate bowl, whisk the milk, oil and vanilla. Stir the milk mixture into the flour mixture until almost incorporated, then add the frozen cherries.
Pour the mixture into the loaf pan and use a spatula to smooth evenly into the corners. Sprinkle the brown sugar over top, liberally. Then lightly set pecans into the surface at intervals. Bake for about 1 hour, or until golden. A tester (bamboo skewer or toothpick) should come out clean. Leave to cool for about 5-10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
Any berry/nut ever! Actually, I reckon any frozen fruit would be delish: mango would be great with coconut or brazil nuts to top and raspberry with walnut would be lovely. Next on the menu might be peach and almond.
As with all quick breads, try to wait until the next day before cutting into it. I’ve been baking mine at night lately, which admittedly helps me resist the urge to cut straight in. I leave the loaf to cool for an hour, then wrap it in my floppy silicone baking sheet and again in the opposite direction with a clean dish towel, and leave it in the bread bin till morning.