Wednesday, May 6, 2015

BLUEBERRY MUFFIN BREAD



One day left in Florida and I knew I would be busy packing. Carol has graciously shared another fabulous recipe with us.
Many, Many thanks Carol. 


                                                    Blueberry Muffin Bread

I  grew up in a family of bread makers. I would stand on a stool and watch my Nana knead dough on her big wooden board that would magically turn into the most wonderful cloverleaf rolls. My Mom used that same board to make delicious loaves of Italian bread, French bread and rolls. Watching was learning for me and it developed into a love of making homemade bread and sweet rolls every chance I get.

Back in the late 90s when bread machines were the rage, I thought why not invest in one?  I distinctly remember the day I did....my daughter Robin and I were out shopping and I found one at a super price. How great would it be to put all the ingredients in the machine and let it do all the work, plus end up with a nice loaf of homemade bread ready to slice and eat?  I bought it...along with some books and a slicing guide for that wonderful bread. 

I DID however keep all the bread machine cookbooks I invested in because I knew I could take those recipes and convert them to conventional bread making with no trouble at all.  Such is the case with this recipe.

We haven't had bread in the house for months. Bob has gotten away from eating sandwiches at lunch, so there was no need to buy it.  A "recipe challenge" post on the Taste of Home recipes forum got me back into bread baking mode last week when I made a Honey Mustard bread.  MAN was it ever good..so good that I made 2 loaves, sliced and froze it in packages of 4 slices so that I could take small portions out and use them right away. I had so much fun making that bread that it made me realize how much I missed the whole process. I wanted to make another new-to-me recipe-and soon. 

Taking inventory in the baking cupboard, I found that I somehow I ended up with an abundance of dried blueberries/blueberry flavored dried cranberries, so the search was on to find a bread recipe that would use some of those up. I stumbled over this one and it sounded like the perfect fit. A little refiguring and off to the kitchen I went.


I made the dough using the steps I would when making a regular bread dough recipe.  I stayed true to the ingredients in the original recipe, only adding a little vanilla and some butter extract just to give the dough a little richer flavor. I also increased the amount of dried blueberries to 1/2 cup from the 1/3 cup the original recipe called for.

What a gorgeous and easy-to-work dough this is. Once it had risen to double the size in the bowl, I punched it down, kneaded in the dried blueberries, formed the loaf, set it aside to double, and in what seemed no time at all, it was ready to bake. When I turned on the oven light to check the bread's progress, I was blown away at how beautiful it was baking up. Once it came out of the oven, I gave the top crust a light brush of melted butter to keep it soft, then out of the pan and onto a wire rack to cool. I'll tell you what, it was torture waiting for it to cool enough to slice.  And yes indeed, I put that bread slicing guide I bought to use with my bread machine to good use slicing this loaf up.....what an easy way to get even slices. I LOVE that thing!

Now the test.....does it taste as good as it looks? YES!  Bob and I each had a slice toasted this morning for breakfast...oh my, it's heavenly.  The bread is slightly sweet-not overly so. Toasted, it's crispy on the outside and soft in the middle with a smattering of blueberries here and there. When I make it again-and  I WILL-I'm going to chop the dried blueberries into smaller pieces so they'll disperse into the dough better. I've found a few slices had all of no berries where others had plenty...hard to tell where they end up when you've kneaded them into the dough and formed the loaf.

It's official....no more buying bread from the supermarket for me.  I'll be making any bread we need from here on out.  It's not hard to do at all once you get the hang of it and I think it really does save money. I can get quite a few loaves of bread out of a bag of bread flour...and it tastes SO much better. Don't let working with yeast "scare" you....give bread baking a try. It's relaxing, it's fun, that delectable aroma while it's baking and taking that beautiful loaf out of the oven makes it all worth it.


I'm so glad I kept these bread machine cookbooks. Now...which loaf of bread will I be trying next?  It's going to be hard to choose!

Oh and by the way-I now have that large wooden board that I watched my Nana and my Mom knead bread on It sure brings back some nice memories. If  that board holds out, I'll be passing it to Robin someday-she's fallen in love with bread baking too.

Safe travels to you, Linda, Gabe and Max. Thanks for having me guest post.  We'll see you when you get back to Long Island! :)

Carol





BLUEBERRY MUFFIN BREAD

(Source: adapted from Better Homes and Gardens The Complete Guide to Bread Machine Baking-original recipe found HERE )

3/4 c. milk
3 Tbsp. water
2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
2 1/2-3 c. bread flour, divided
1/4 c. granulated sugar
1 (1/4 oz.) pkg. (2 1/4 tsp.) rapid rise or instant yeast
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 large egg
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tsp. butter extract
1/2 c. dried blueberries or blueberry flavored dried cranberries, chopped
A little melted butter to brush over the top of the bread-about 1/2 Tbsp.

Place the milk, water and butter in a small saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat to 120-130 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups bread flour, the sugar, yeast, salt and nutmeg.  Add the warmed milk mixture and beat on medium speed of an electric mixer for 2 minutes. Add the egg, vanilla, butter extract and 1/2 cup more flour.  Beat on medium speed for 1-2 minutes.  Add enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough. 

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5-8 minutes.  Place the dough in a greased bowl, turning the dough to grease the top. Cover the bowl lightly with plastic wrap or a clean linen towel, place in a warm spot and let the dough rise until doubled, about 40-60 minutes, depending on how warm it is in your kitchen. A test to see if the dough is doubled is to stick 2 fingers into the side of the dough about 1/2" in...if the indentations remain, the dough has doubled.  If they fill in, recover the bowl and let the dough to rise a little more.

Punch down the dough, knead in the dried berries and form the dough into a loaf.  Place the loaf into a greased 8x4-inch loaf pan. Cover lightly with plastic wrap or a clean linen towel and let rise until the bread doubles and the top is slightly above the edge of the pan, about 25-35 minutes depending on how warm it is in your kitchen. 

When the dough has almost doubled in size, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Uncover the loaf and bake @ 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until the bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when lightly tapped. 

Lightly brush the top of the loaf with a little melted butter, remove the loaf from the pan to a wire rack and let the bread cool completely before slicing. Makes 1 loaf (about 14-16 slices).




56 comments:

  1. O My Goodness Carol, this is one beautiful loaf of bread !! I am just looking at it and wondering how can it stay there looking like something out of a magazine. What a great post you wrote, I love the way you make me feel like I am sitting with you having a cuppa something and enjoying the smell of the baking bread. The bread slicer is awesome. I often wondered how people got their slices so even. Me, I would have all different sizes and shapes. Is the board the bread is on, the one from your Nana? It looks like it is brand new. How wonderful that it will be passed down. It is nice that you are filling in for Linda as she heads North. She was a lucky one to have escaped the harsh winter we had. Going to share this post, it is a great one. Have a super day to all who visit today.

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    1. Hi Myra-I wish we could sit and yak it up about cooking and baking! Oh my gosh my bread slicer is a Godsend. I'm SO BAD at cutting anything straight or even. This contraption and my electric knife make it pretty easy to get even slices....but I can screw it up even using this thing. :)

      The board I have that was my Nana's is about 30 inches wide and 24 inches high-it's a big one! Bob thinks it was a cabinet door originally-he noticed a seam in it like a door would have. I don't know who made it for her but I know it's been around as long as I can remember and still going strong. My Dad used to sand it down when it would get too many marks from knives and such in it (Mom used it to roll out cookie dough, pie crust, you name it....) and Mom would freak that he'd sand it down too much so she couldn't use it. I'm tellin' ya, that thing is sacred to us! :)

      Thanks SO MUCH for your lovely comment on my review......you have no idea how much I needed to hear that today.

      Yes indeed Linda was lucky to not have to deal with the nonsense we had this winter but I know she can't WAIT to get home to her little house in the woods. She loves it so much.

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  2. This looks incredible, Linda and Carol! I love the idea of a blueberry bread that's not overly sweet like a cake! I bet it's incredible for breakfast toasted with butter!

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    1. Hi Blair-this bread has just enough sweetness to make it a treat for breakfast without it being too sweet. And oh yeah, toasted with butter? Ohhhhhhhhhh man is it good.....crispy and soft at the same time. Good stuff!

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  4. Safe travel sweet lady. I know you can't wait to get home. Godspeed.

    Oh boy does this bread look good. This would make some great French toast. If I had one wish (besides winning the lottery :) ) I'd wish that we all lived in the same neighborhood. At least we'd have taste testers!

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    1. I bet it would make great French toast Cyndy.....wish I could get Bob to eat it.

      Oh boy-if we all lived in the same neighborhood, wouldn't THAT be somethin? No lack of cooking and baking that's for sure. I could bake more cause I could share........that would be nice. :)

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  6. Looks wonderful! Two of my favorites: bread and blueberry muffins! Pinned. Stopping by from Great Idea Thursday.

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    1. Thank you so much....I hope you enjoy it if you give it a try. :)

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  7. It really turned out beautifully! I love making bread in my bread maker. I always make it when my parents come over for dinner. Thanks for the recipe. I'm stopping by from the Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop.

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    1. Thanks Brenda....I don't have a bread machine any more but the link to the original recipe will give you the instructions for using a bread machine. I bet your parents love walking in and smelling the aroma of bread baking huh? I sure would!

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  8. Stopping by from Thursday Favorite Things Hop!
    Funny, NY and FL are the 2 states I'm from! Was born in NYC and spent my last 17 yrs in Central FL (Tampa)!
    I just recently got into bread making out of necessity. I started with no-knead bread recipe and didn't know it could be so easy! I've now tried a regular (kneading required) recipe and used my stand mixer to do the kneading! :) Fresh loaves of bread are so good - and without all the unnecessary ingredients found in commercial breads!

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    1. Hi Saph-bread making sure is fun, isn't it? I totally agree with you about homemade bread vs.store bought. No they don't last as long but they don't have all those preservatives in them either...kind of makes you wonder what they add to keep them fresh for WEEKS on the counter huh?

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  9. I loved it when I used to make homemade bread the way my Mother did. The old fashioned way. The house smelled so good. The Kids couldn't wait to get into those Stickie Buns . That's what they called them. When I made the bread there was always a pan of those buns and also a couple of loafs of Cinnamon bread. It didn't last long at our home. I did buy one of those machines when they came out . I didn't like them. It took the joy out of making the bread the way I loved to do it. I could feel my Mom and Grandma with me when I did the old way of making it. Now I can't have the bread anymore and I would love to find a recipe that was safe for me to eat. I hope all enjoy your wonderful recipe and has a slice for me. Happy Bread Making Ladies. Hugsssss

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    1. Hi Dottiemaye-sounds like you have some nice memories of your Mom's bread....and yours too. Bet your kiddos still talk about those Sticky Buns. My Mom was the one that made cinnamon rolls,...Nana went with regular rolls and bread. I love making them all but don't as much as I'd like to. When I get a chance to make and take them someplace, I jump right on it. Bread making is one of my favorite things to do.

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  10. This looks so yummy! Visiting from Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop.

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    1. Thanks Rebekah-I have to confess.....I do look forward to breakfast knowing I'm going to have a slice of this bread toasted...it sure is delicious. :)

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  11. Carol, I just can't stop admiring your beautiful loaf! I baked bread way back in the dark ages before RA came to visit and I know for a fact that I never made a loaf that looked as picture perfect as yours! Yours is absolutely divine! đź’•

    Safe travels Linda, Gabe & Mighty Max. Will look forward to hearing from you when you are safely back in LI.

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    1. Thanks Angela. Do you have a bread machine? That's what this recipe was originally intended for. I'm sure you made some fantastic AND beautiful bread back in the day......and it stinks that RA has taken that joy away from you.

      Wish I could email you a loaf. :)

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    2. Carol, I will dig out the bread machine and give it a whirl with baking it in the loaf pan rather than the machine. Picked up supplies today and will give it a try soon. Ray loves home made bread and after a coulple days of hospital food he's apt to like a nice fresh loaf of bread! LOL

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    3. Oh gosh Angela-I'm sorry to hear Ray has been in the hospital. I hope he's home and OK....and enjoys this bread! :)

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  12. This Blueberry Bread looks fabulous, I can almost taste it. Hope you have a very special Mothers Day weekend and thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday this week.
    Miz Helen

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    1. Thank you Miz Helen-and a very Happy and blessed Mother's Day weekend to you too! :)

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  13. Sounds delish! Thanks for partying with us at Idea Box! See ya back next week!

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    1. Thank you Cyndee-it's a really great bread. Hope you enjoy it if you decide to give it a try.:)

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  14. Yum, Yum! Your loaf looks gorgeous as well as I bet it is tasty! Thanks for sharing with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

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    1. Thank you Jann-it was definitely yummy....I need to make another one! :)

      Carol

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  15. I can almost smell your bread from here! Looks delicious! Pinned all and thanks for sharing it at the Say G'day party where people can link up to three!
    Hope to see you next week at the party!

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    1. Thank you Joanne-wish I could share a slice or 4! :)

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  16. This looks and sounds wonderful! Great idea. :)

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    1. Thank you! I hope you enjoy it if you decide to give the recipe a try. :)

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  17. How delicious! I have had blueberry muffins before, but not blueberry bread :) I have been craving blueberries so maybe this would be the perfect recipe to satisfy that craving :)

    So happy to have found you from The Art of Home-making Monday's linkup party. Enjoy your week! Hugs!

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    1. Thank you Stephanie-we love blueberries too. This was nice change from blueberry muffins-and I do love love love making yeast breads...adding the berries was an added bonus.

      Happy baking! :)

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  18. This is a great looking recipe! YUMMY!

    Thanks for joining the Link Up this week!

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    1. Thank you Jess...it's definitely delicious. I was sorry to see the last slice go! :)

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  19. YUM! I want a piece! Thanks for sharing at Thursday Favorite Things!

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    1. Thank you Jas-I wish I could send you some through email! :)

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  20. This looks wonderful! I love blueberry recipes!

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    1. Thank you Jennifer-it's so good...especially toasted. A nice change from blueberry muffins......

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  21. This loaf of bread is amazing! Thanks for sharing and linking up with us at Funtastic Friday. You're featured this week. Hope you will join us again soon.

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    1. Thanks so much for the feature Sherry! :)

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  22. What a wonderful loaf! Looks so yummy, and perfect for this time of year with all the fresh berries. :) Thanks for stopping by and sharing this on Five Friday Finds! I'm looking forward to what you share this week. :)

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    1. Thank you CJ-we love blueberries too. Can't wait to go picking some in a couple months. :)

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  23. My husband is from Maine and my son is obsessed with blueberries, so this bread would be a HUGE hit in our house! Thank you so very much for sharing this with us over at Merry Monday! We hope you'll join us again this week! :)

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    1. Thanks Christine-I was born in NH and now live in MA. I do love going blueberry picking every summer with my daughter in NH...nothin' better! :) The dried blueberries are great for breads like this one-still gives you the great fruit flavor and perfect for loaves of bread. :)

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  24. This looks delicious, thank you for sharing the recipe with us at Good Morning Mondays. Blessings

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  25. Thank you Terri-have a great rest of the weekend. :)

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  26. This looks so good! Thanks for linking up to Good Tips Tuesday. You will be featured this week. http://abirdandabean.com/2015/05/good-tips-tuesday-link-up-72.html

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    1. Thanks so much for the feature, Erin!

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  27. This looks incredible! Pinned and tweeted. We appreciate you taking the time to party with us. I hope to see you tonight at 7 pm.. Happy Monday! Lou Lou Girls

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    1. Thanks Kimberly-it's a delicious bread that's for sure.

      See you at the party! :)

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  28. What a beautiful loaf! I've pinned this to my Bread Recipes board on Pinterest and hope to make it soon. I adore blueberries so I can't wait to try it! Thank you for sharing with us at the Hearth and Soul hop.

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    1. Thank you April......we love blueberries too. This was a nice change from muffins. I hope you enjoy it if you give it a try. :)

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  29. this looks amazing and I could have a slice right now thank you! I have only used a bread machine many years ago and often think about trying to make some bread from scratch. Thanks for sharing at #AnythingGoes

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  30. I bet this makes really good toast, too. This looks really yummy! I look forward to seeing what you post next week at the #AnythingGoes Link Party.

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