I have a whole slew of quick breads in my repertoire but this one is probably my all-time favorite! It’s great year-around but it’s so much fun for Valentine’s Day. Years ago, I whipped up a whole batch in mini disposable loaf pans and distributed them to my auditing co-workers for Valentine’s Day. (Yes, I was THAT kind of accountant? Weird.) Anyway, my best friend Carrie, who is as thin as a rail, sat down in her cube, grabbed a fork and ate her whole mini loaf in one go. It’s just love in a pan! This recipe makes enough for two loaves – so bake one for yourself, and one for a friend.
3 cups (375 g) flour
2 cups (400 g) white sugar
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 – 10 ounce (2 – 300 gram) packages frozen sweetened strawberries See Pearl of Wisdom below
4 eggs – beaten
1 cup cooking oil
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (165 Celsius). Grease two large loaf pans (or four small ones).
In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, soda, and salt. Make a hole in the center. In a smaller bowl, mix strawberries, eggs, and oil. Pour all at once into dry ingredients and mix with an electric mixer.
Pour into pans and bake for 50-65 minutes, until golden brown and toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center. Cool in pan on wire rack for ten minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack. Wrap in plastic and store overnight.
Want to be totally indulgent? Top with creamy Strawberry Spread:
8 oz package cream cheese (softened)
1/2 cup strawberry juice (saved from the sweetened frozen strawberries package)
2 Tablespoons (quite a few shakes) powdered sugar
Cream package of cream cheese with strawberry juice and add powdered sugar. Spread on bread upon serving (or if gifting, you can spread and then wrap disposable loaves with the plastic wrap making a big poof on the top – tie with a ribbon to prevent too much of the wrap touching the spread – you know what I mean, Sugar?)
Pearl of Wisdom: In America, I found tubs of frozen, sliced sweetened strawberries full of yummy, messy juice, which works great for the spread. In Europe, I’ve found just frozen strawberries. I let them thaw a bit and slice before adding them. To make the spread, save a few and puree them to make the ‘juice’ you need for the spread.