I Found My Thrill on Blueberry Hill…or in Blueberry Bread

#365daysofbakingOf late, things just have run amuck in my kitchen, and I’m two weeks behind in my #365daysofbaking. Why? Sick with the flu for a week and bullying issues with our son for another week – no, he wasn’t the bully. This is a whole other rant of a post for another time.

Suffice it to say, I never went the administrative route with education because I’d have heads literally rolling down the hill from where the school sets. With shithead, teenaged, lacking in their own self-confidence so they must rip down others, asswipe bullies, I’d be the school marm who lives in the medieval ages with a real guillotine setting on my desk. Perhaps a bloody good thing I never became a school administrator.

Yeah, can you tell I’m pissed?

Anyways, in light of all this, small things have made my day – like my blueberry bread came out lovely! Yeah me for having a success amongst so much kitchen failure. I’m so fucking Martha.

I’ve been pulling out relic recipes and reviving their glory (mostly). This is an old King Arthur Flour recipe for Blueberry Bread. It’s online, but they never posted a picture (so look at my pretty picture), which I find quite curious for KA. I found it fairly humorous that this is their description of the bread, “This bread is perfect for a lazy spring morning breakfast. It has a distinct blueberry flavor and cake-like texture. Substitute dried apricots or cranberries for the blueberries, if desired.”

  1. Yes, this is a fantastic bread for a lazy morning, but please don’t regulate this to just spring – when in Hell is spring coming??? Dried blueberries could likely survive a nuclear holocaust if stored properly. Make this bread and be lazy any time of the frickin’ year. I used Trader Joe’s Dried Blueberries (also available from good ole’ Amazon), but use whatever variety you have available. Just do not use freeze-dried. Them suckers are like sorry sad-sack BB gun pellets, and shouldn’t actually exist. Find a brand that is moist, and sweetened – just don’t if you’re that “I don’t eat sugar person.” Go away from my blog if you are. Or maybe you’re reading it vicariously. Go ahead and be my guest if that’s the case.
  2. Why do people have such an issue with the moist??
  3. The blueberry flavor is more like a punch when you bite into a chewy blueberry nugget. The bread itself does not have a blueberry flavor, this being one of the lovely features of the bread. It’s like a hybrid of so many things. See #5.
  4. I call bullshit on the cake-like texture idea. Huh??? No. Look at the picture below. If I ever saw a cake with a texture like this bread, I’d throw it back at the baker and yell, “Figure your shit out!” Cakes should have a fine crumb in my humble opinion, but to each their craggy cake own, if they sadly wish their cake to look like the texture of this BREAD.IMG_6893
  5. If cars and fruits can be hybrids, then so can bread. This has notes of a hearty bread because of the oatmeal flecks in it. It has moments of bright sweetness from the dried blueberries, leaving you with the feeling like you’re noshing on a quick bread, and I suppose there might be moments where you might feel like your eating a cake, but not so much for me. I’d serve this bread with a summer cookout any day. But I also have been slicing up slabs of this in the dead of New England winter, toasting it up, and thickly caressing it with my homemade grapefruit marmalade. Just YAAASSSSS!!! Me thinks I’ll go make meself a slab of this now it looks so good! You want some, too, don’t you?IMG_6927
  6. Please do note my cute little plate, and the fact that my food pictures are getting better.
  7. I very much like the notion of substituting other dried fruit in this bread, but if I did that, it would be using fat dried cherries. Swoon.

As I told you in my war with the Ghirardelli Chocolate Chip cookie recipe – which I won, of course – read the comments from readers. They sometimes make the mistakes 1st, and if you heed their warnings, you’ll save yourself lots of time and headache. At this point, I’m beginning to think I just like the fucking headaches. Or I’m a masochist.

Part of one of the comments from Suible from Sun city West AZ was, “In don’t recommend this bread for beginners, not that easy and takes experience to know when the rises are enough.” I’ll give her kudos for the comment that it takes experience to know when the rises are enough, and completely deny her notion that this bread is hard to make, given step 1 of the directions is exactly this:

  1. Mix together all of the ingredients except the blueberries and topping — by hand, mixer, or in a bread machine — until you’ve created a smooth, elastic dough.

If you can’t do that, just leave the kitchen now. And never return.

I’ll look past the grammatical mistake at the beginning of the sentence, as well.

Look, this is a painfully simple recipe to make. Knowing about rises is something that comes with experience in bread making. Don’t let this comment deter you, but rather, take note of paying attention to any rise of any bread if you make bread from scratch.

The initial rise is simple – it’s in a bowl; you’ll know the dough has risen, well, because the dough will be big and puffy if your yeast is good. Here is what the bread looked like after the 2nd rise in the pan – barely crowning the rim of the pan. IMG_6887

As the commenter notes, pay attention. It ended up taking a bit more than an hour, and I ended up setting the pan close to the preheating oven: The rise wasn’t close to being ready after the hour long 2nd rise noted in the recipe. At the hour mark, I put it close to the warm over for another 30 minutes and that was the trick that worked for me. This will all depend on so many factors – humidity, temperature in your house, weather (yes, weather)… I think I read somewhere that the ideal temperature for rising bread is 70 degrees. God love you if your house is 70 degrees right now. I value not having a $1000 oil bill every month. As it is, we blew through an entire tank of oil early from mid-December to mid-January because it was so cold here.

Look at how pretty that bread looks ready to come out of the oven, and my oven is actually pretty clean!IMG_6888

And how friggin’ cute is my ceramic loaf pan from Salmon Fall Pottery? I know, RIGHT!? Mooooooo cow.

Fats Domino can go find his thrill on Blueberry Hill all he wants. I’m staying right here with my blueberry bread, thank you very much.

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