Friday, April 15, 2011

Loyalist Bread

I am not the only one who cooks in our family.  My beautiful wife, Clare, is also a great cook and a great baker.  Every once in a while, I ask my Angel to provide a guest blog post so that I can share some of the amazing and delicious things that she makes for family, friends and, of course, me.  She has already provided guest blog posts about Tuscan Vegetable Soup and Cuban Bread.  So, without further ado,

A Guest Blog Post by Clare ...

For years, my mom has baked a blueberry bread called Loyalist Bread.  She usually made this bread for special occasions, like breakfast for guests during the Thanksgiving holiday or for Keith and myself when we visit.  And, whenever my mom makes this bread, it tends to be eaten very quickly, because it is delicious.  The recipe for making this bread is very fun and easy.  Recently, I made Loyalist bread with my godson, J.T.,  his sister, Ella, and one of my best friends, Michele.  This time, the special occasion was my birthday.

According to Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads, the recipe for Loyalist Bread dates back to the American Revolution.  During that time, the recipe for Loyalist Bread was commonly made by families who were loyal to King George III.  As the Revolutionary War progressed, these families fled the colonies to various parts of Canada, like Nova Scotia.  These families took their recipes with them.  When they arrived at their new homes, these families continued to use those recipes, like the Loyalist Bread recipe, using local ingredients.  This recipe and others were collected in a book called The Blueberry Connection, written by Beatrice Ross Buzek from Nova Scotia, where the provincial berry happens to be the wild blueberry..

All you need to make Loyalist Bread are two medium (8 inch by 4 inch) loan pans, greased or Teflon, lined with buttered wax paper.  It is best to use fresh blueberries for this bread and you need to use some care to ensure the blueberries are not broken up or smashed.  You will be rewarded in the end because, beneath the great crust of this bread, there will be little blueberry pockets that are perhaps the key to what makes this bread so delicious to eat.

Adapted from Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads at 452-53.
Makes 2 loaves

2 tablespoons of shortening, melted
2 cups of sugar
2 cups of buttermilk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
4 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
5 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups of cleaned blueberries
1 cup chopped walnuts 

1.  Mix the melted shortening together with the sugar, buttermilk and beaten eggs in a bowl.

2.  In a larger bowl, mix the dry ingredients.  Form a well at the bottom and pour in the buttermilk mixture.  Stir together with 15 to 20 strokes.  Drop in the blueberries and walnuts and push into the corners.

3.  Pour or spoon the batter into the prepared pans (see discussion above) while preheating the oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.  Allow the pans to stand for 20 minutes.

4. Place in the oven and bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.  The crust will become light brown.  Test with a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf.  If it comes out clean and dry, then the bread is done.

5.  Remove from the oven and allow the bread to cool for 10 minutes before turning the pans on their side.  Tug the bread loose with the ends of the wax pepper.  Allow to cool further on a wire rack.

And, as Keith always says,


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