I didn’t want to make strawberry rhubarb pie.
I have nothing against strawberry rhubarb pie, but I didn’t want to make it because that’s what everybody makes when they get stuck with rhubarb, right? Also: there’s no such thing as getting “stuck” with rhubarb anymore. Now that I actually get it, it’s awesome. The taste reminds me of starfruit, and it’s the perfect tartness to counter a mild spice bread. Which I made.
I did a little research and decided I could make a quick bread with diced rhubarb pretty easily. I added my standard arsenal of spices and elixirs, threw in some lovely CSA eggs because they make everything better and hoped for the best. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Here’s an actual recipe, as has become the norm with anything bakerly I post.
3 cups of diced fresh rhubarb
3 cups of bread flour
4 large eggs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup light agave nectar
1 tablespoon almond extract
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of Kosher salt
Fresh grated nutmeg, ginger, allspice, cinnamon, etc. to taste.
Preheat the oven to 325. Dice your rhubarb and set it aside. Mix the wets (eggs, oil, agave nectar, extracts, sugar) together. I actually pulled out my little hand mixer to make sure the sugar was beaten into submission. Next time I do this I’ll probably go with 1 1/2 cups agave nectar and no brown sugar at all, and do all the mixing by hand. Mix the dry ingredients, then add dry to wet and stir til lightly combined. For AB aficionados, that’s totally the biscuit method.
I wasn’t sure exactly what kind of bread I would end up with, since I played around with ingredients from several different quick bread recipes, so I poured the batter into two types of Pyrex dishes: loaf and pie.
Then I tried to ignore the fact that it looks exactly like throw up. You’re welcome.
Into the oven with the timer set to 45 minutes. About half way into it I realized the pie dish was definitely going to be finished sooner. I pulled it out at 30 minutes.
Nice. Perfect texture to eat right away, with the tartness of the rhubarb blending pleasantly with the subtle spice in the bread.
At the 45 minute mark, I covered the loaf pan with foil and put it back in for ten minutes. Comparing both, I preferred the taste/texture of the pie pan, but the loaf was easier to divide into appropriate serving sizes. And speaking of, I am extremely careful about portions when I cook and eat, and by my count this recipe was worth 30 servings. That may be smaller than you’d like – the pieces from the loaf were certainly on the thin side – but I find it to be a reasonable sacrifice to keep overall calories down without sacrificing yummy experimentation.
Nutritional content for one slice of rhubarb bread (1/30th of recipe, divided as shown): 119 calories, 1.7 grams fat, .2 grams saturated fat, 28.6 grams cholesterol, 62.6mg sodium, 23.8 grams carbohydrates, .5 grams fiber, 13.7 grams sugar, 2.5 grams protein.