fresh fruit bread.

♥ strawberries ♥

aka the fruit 'love of my life

juicy rubies of nature's sweetness

i decided it would be a nice treat with our coffee for the morning, and something durable i could send mom on her road trip with to munch on... i really love this recipe because you can change it to your liking and it works up really fast. did i mention it's perfect with your morning coffee (or tea!)?!

without further ado... i give you one of my favorite recipes:

preheat the oven to 350 degrees
grab out a bread pan 8X4 is perfect (be flexible though, if you don't have a bread pan, you can also use a round pie pan~ you'll just have to keep an eye on it so it doesn't overcook)
spray your pan with cooking spray, or butter lightly

5 tablespoons butter; softened (room temp is perfect)
1 pint fresh strawberries (if you only have frozen, follow the same directions)
1 3/4 cups of flour (i use white whole wheat to make it a little healthier)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup applesauce
2 large eggs
put sugar, and butter in a mixing bowl and cream together. make sure there are no lumps before you add 2 eggs and the applesauce.

in a separate mixing bowl, mix all dry ingredients together.

cut the tops off the strawberries and quarter them (if you are using frozen, just thaw them) and place into a small saucepan. use a fork, or a potato masher, to squish the strawberries. *be warned; if they are fresh, they are likely to squirt all over your kitchen!* you are squishing them so there will be more streaks of strawberry throughout your bread, so that will help you decide how much squishing to do.

i think i like to type the word squish... hehe.

anywho, bring the strawberries to a boil in the saucepan. they will cook down only slightly and look like the picture below:

as soon as the strawberries come to a boil, you can take them off the heat and allow to cool a bit. 

in the meantime, you can begin adding the flour a little at a time alternating with 1/3 of a cup of flour. i can't explain the science to you, but there is a reason that you add some of the flour mix, then a little water, then flour, then water (you get the point) but you should both start AND finish with flour mixture.  it works. that's all i know. 

when the flour and water are completely mixed in, you can then fold in the strawberries. there is no need to mix them in, the strawberries will incorporate nicely with the folding action... then grab your pan that you buttered or sprayed and dump in your bread mixture. 

if you'd like, you can throw in some nuts before you dump it in the bread pan, or, throw some on top for a nice crunch. because i'm addicted to flax seeds right now, i threw a handful on top of my bread~ yummy!

you will bake this for about an hour- i usually check out how its looking at about 40 minutes into baking just to make sure it isn't getting too dark on top- if it is, take some aluminum foil and make it look like a tent and throw it on top of your bread... this will allow the heat to evenly cook it without getting too dark. when you stick a tester (read: toothpick, knife, fork, skewer aka whatever you can find in your kitchen) into the center it should come out clean... just remember that you have strawberries that will stay somewhat juicy, so be sure to really look at what is on the tester...

good luck with your bread! can't wait to see pics!

happy baking!!