SPICED BROWN SUGAR CARROT BREAD
As much as I would love to start out each day with a couple of cheesy scrambled eggs, salty bacon and a nice big piece of toast, the reality is that I wait until the absolute last minute to get out of bed and shower each morning, thus leaving me with no time to ever really cook anything of substance. Sadly, my late-to-rise routine usually results in me dashing out the door each morning with a hastily toasted bagel in one hand and my computer in the other. Of course, I love a good cream cheese slathered bagel, but sometimes I’m looking for something a bit sweeter to start my day with that still fits within the hand-held morning model. While donuts and pancakes can be far too sweet for a quick breakfast and since cereal isn’t meant to be taken on the go, I’ve found that a nice thick slice of moist quick bread is the best compromise.
The mix of spices and ginger make this quick bread exceptionally delicious and the perfect way to use leftover carrots you probably have wilting away in your crisper. With a small, even crumb and dark, caramelized exterior, this bread is best with a pad of butter and your morning coffee. It may not satisfy the urge for a savory, cheese and egg-laden breakfast, but I doubt anyone will be complaining.
SPICED BROWN SUGAR CARROT BREAD
Don’t be afraid to play around with the spices and the ginger; I’ve included what I like best, but if you’d rather use dry ginger or more cinnamon don’t hesitate to give it try. If I’m looking for extra fiber, I sometimes swap out a bit of the flour with ground flax seed — it adds texture and a slight nutty flavor. As the method states, make sure to take your time when pouring in the oil. Also, the bread will get moister and more flavorful as it sits. I like to make it a day in advance. Of course, feel free to freeze the second loaf; it should thaw beautifully.
- 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon crushed ground cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup canola oil
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- Grated zest of 1 orange
- 2 1/2 cups shredded carrots (about 14 ounces)
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Coat two 8-by-4-inch loaf pans with cooking spray or grease and lightly flour the pans.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, cardamom and salt.
- In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the light brown sugar and granulated sugar until smooth. Add the oil in a thin stream, beating at high speed until the batter has doubled in volume, about 2 minutes. Beat in the vanilla, orange zest and ginger. Fold in the shredded carrots. Beat in the dry ingredients at low speed in 3 batches, mixing well between additions.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pans, filling them two-thirds full. Bake in the middle of the oven for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the loaves comes out clean. Let the loaves cool in the pans for 10 minutes before turning them out onto a rack to cool completely.
Makes 2 8-by-4-inch loaves