When it’s chilly in the morning, I like to bake. Spicy aromas wafting from the kitchen and the promise of cozy heat from a hot oven encourages even the sleepiest folks in my household to rise and face the day.
The recipe for Carrot – Applesauce Bread uses two of my favorite Maine ingredients: carrots and apples, and is a snap to prepare. This is a quick bread, leavened both by baking powder, and the chemical reaction of the baking soda with the acidity of the applesauce. When you whisk the dry ingredients together, be sure there are no small lumps of baking powder or baking soda, as the bread could have little dark places that are quite bitter.
Another key to the success of Carrot – Applesauce Bread is to have all your ingredients ready at room temperature. Take the butter and eggs out of the refrigerator at least an hour before mixing, or better still, the night before. A cold quick bread batter heats unevenly: the crust gets too dark before the loaf cooks in the center.
When done, this bread will shrink away from the edge of the pan slightly. Insert a toothpick or clean sharp knife in the center; it should come out clean. My first impulse is always to slice off the end piece and sample. Try to resist the temptation. Allowing the bread to cool completely tenderizes the crust and allows the flavors to really shine.
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup whole-wheat flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- ½ cup cane sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 cup grated carrots
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9 X 5 inch loaf pan.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder and baking soda and spices.
- In the bowl of your electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugars. Beat in the eggs and vanilla, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed. Beat in the applesauce.
- Add the dry ingredients, and mix on low until just combined. Stir in the grated carrots.
- Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan.
- Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 55 – 60 minutes. Let cool in pan on a rack for 10 minutes, then remove from pan to the rack. Allow the bread to cool completely before slicing.