Thursday, July 21, 2011

Mulberry Yogurt Loaf

Though the breakfast-lovers may damn me for it, I'm just not much of a breakfast person. Don't get me wrong, I love fruit and baked goods and fresh salads. I'm just not so into eggs or greasy pancakes or the various cuts of pig that greet so many Americans each morning.

But when I was invited to a birthday brunch last weekend, I knew that the culinary masterminds who were hosting and who would be present would make me eat more than my fair share of breakfast foods, simply because of their prowess and creativity in the kitchen.

My own contribution to this brunch potluck was inspired by the container of yogurt in the fridge left over from some recently-departed houseguests, and the mulberry tree still heavy with fruit near my home. Mulberry Yogurt Bread-y Cake was born!



But because it was a sweltering day when this Mulberry inspiration struck, I didn't really want to turn on our big oven and heat up our whole house with it. So, I decided to try my hand at the toaster oven instead, setting the oven to the same 350 degrees that I would've used in a regular oven (though the little knob on our hand-me-down toaster oven is broken, so I had to guess at the temperature setting).

I used a rectangular glass Pyrex dish, and cooked the loaf for quite a bit less time than I would've in a larger oven, or in a metal pan.  Only after baking this loaf (and using the Pyrex dish in the toaster oven numerous times!) did I discover this afternoon that Pyrex dishes aren't technically supposed to go in the toaster oven. I guess there's some fear of glass breakage due to uneven heating.  It would probably be fine, but this is perhaps one of those "better safe than sorry "situations. So, I guess that means I'm in the market for a metal baking dish that will fit in my toaster oven.


In the meantime, we (and the our fellow brunch-goers) have been enjoying this loaf. I hope some of you will, too!

Mulberry Yogurt Loaf
based on a Blueberry Yogurt Loaf from Barefoot Contessa at Home

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour*
1/2 cup unbleached white flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup plain yogurt**
1/2 cup organic sugar
3 large farm-fresh eggs
3 tsp orange zest
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup safflower oil
1 cup mulberries***

* You could use all (1.5 cups) whole wheat pastry flour (or white flour!), but mine was smelling a little stale and so I decided to mix in some white flour to balance it out.
** The original recipe called for whole-milk yogurt, but I used 1% because that's all I had on hand. And, I actually only had about 2/3 cup of it, so I made up the balance with about 1 tablespoon of butter and then some almond milk up to 1 cup. Flexibility is key! 
***If you're not so lucky as to have a mulberry tree outside your front door, feel free to substitute other berries--blueberries, blackberries, even chopped strawberries would likely work!
  1. Preheat the [toaster] oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease (with oil or butter) a pan and set aside.
  2. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in one bowl. 
  3. In a second bowl, mix together the yogurt, sugar, eggs, orange zest and almond extract. 
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, stirring to combine.
  5. With a rubber spatula, add the oil to the batter, mixing well. 
  6. Toss the mulberries with a few pinches of flour (this keeps them from dying the rest of the batter purple), and then fold the berries into the batter with as few strokes as possible. 
  7. Pour the batter into the greased pan and bake for ~50 minutes in a regular oven if using a metal pan, ~35 minutes in a glass dish in the toaster oven.
  8. Allow to cool at least 10 minutes before serving. Yum! 

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