After the holidays, the last thing I wanted to eat was sweets. So, I took an easy-peasy vow to follow my instinct. Not a bad idea too, since all I got for Christmas this year was fat!
But then I got a hankering for this spice bread that mom used to make when we were kids. With all the sweet nostalgia of childhood swirling around the memory of its delicate deliciousness, it became quickly and firmly implanted in my brain. This was definitely an instinct worth following.
The bread bakes up into a moist and tender loaf, but it’s still sturdy enough to slice thin for toasting–which is a pretty good option. I slice it thin and slather it with soft butter. There’s nothing better. It’s the perfect little food hug.
The last step is to curl up by the fire with a good book (a cookbook!), a cup of tea, a slice of Heirloom Spice Bread, and some time to relax from all the holiday hubbub.
Heirloom Spice Bread
- 4c. all purpose flour
- 2t baking powder
- 1 1/2 t baking soda
- 2t kosher or sea salt
- 2 t cinnamon, ground
- 1/2 t nutmeg, ground
- 1/2 t cloves, ground
- 2 c granulated sugar
- 1 c butter
- 4 eggs
- 1 t lemon extract or lemon juice
- 1 t vanilla
- 2 c applesauce (I used a homemade apple-pear sauce)
- 2/3 c chopped pecans or walnuts
- 1/2 c raisins or currants
Sift together dry ingredients.
Cream butter and sugar. Add vanilla and lemon juice.
Add eggs one at a time, mixing until incorporated. Scrape bowl midway.
After eggs are incorporated, add applesauce.
Add dry ingredients, then nuts and raisins, combining until incorporated.
Butter two loaf pans, and divide the batter between the two.
Bake at 350F for 50-60 minutes. Cool before slicing.