Strawberry Christmas Bread with crisped pecan topping

A purée of fresh strawberries are mixed into this Christmas Bread, for a lightly sweetened flavor, that is wildly delicious.  A Christmas Bread recipe that is everything a Christmas Bread should be.  Each piece is decadently moist, with a fluffy, and somewhat airy texture.  The top is perfectly crisped, and filled with a pleasingly nutty pecan crunch.  It is a true holiday treat, worthy of sharing at any Christmas table.  And you’ll never believe it, but there is NOT a single drop of butter in this recipe!  For real.


I’ve been toying with muffin recipes for about 5 years now, always changing and tweaking a little something.  Sometimes it’s better, sometimes it’s worse, and occasionally I change it completely, and turn the recipe into a bread!  But after this time around, I don’t think I’ll be tweaking the recipe any longer.  The recipe is done.  This is the first time I’ve tried puréeing fruit, and the result was a perfect light and airy muffin ( or bread) .

The secret to the light and airy texture in this Christmas Bread, is actually NOT in the puréed fruit.

There are two things that will highly assist a muffin, or bread recipe, in achieving that perfect light and airy texture.

1. Do NOT over mix the batter.  In fact, under mix.  Even allowing a few bits of flour to show through the batter is completely ok.

2. Allow for a brief “rest and bloom” period.  Let the batter sit for about 5 minuets or so before baking, and you will notice it will start to fluff up and bloom.

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Spoon out 1 cup of batter and mix with a little extra sugar, flour and pecans to create the crisped pecan topping.


Strawberry Christmas Bread with crisped pecan topping

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups sliced strawberries
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup raw sugar
  • 1/2 c coconut oil (melted)
  • 1 tablespoon Vanilla
    For a crispy top
  • 1 cup of the batter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans

Instructions

  1. Grease, or line a bread pan with parchment paper
  2. Sift flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and set aside
  3. Purée the strawberries
  4. In a medium bowl, lightly whisk the eggs
  5. Mix in the strawberries, sugars, coconut oil, and vanilla
  6. Mix in the flour mixture until just barely incorporated
  7. Scoop out 1 cup of the batter into a separate bowl and mix in the ingredients for the crispy top
  8. Pour the rest of the batter into the prepared bread pan
  9. Preheat the oven to 375 F and allow batters to rest for 5 min
  10. Spread remaining batter on top
  11. Bake 40 minutes, or until tooth pick test comes out clean

I bet this recipe would work with other puréed fruits.  Maybe peaches, or plumbs, raspberries, apple, or banana?  If you try another fruit let me know!

Update: With a few slight tweets, Pineapple and zucchini work great in this recipe.

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