Monday, December 06, 2004

Sour Cream Tea Bread

I have decided that loaves are very difficult to take photos of and still have the bread look attractive. This was the best that I could do, but I am not doing justice to the beauty of this quick bread.

I made this as a thank you/holiday gift for a professor friend of mine. Like I need a reason. It would probably take a force of nature to stop me once I have my mind set on baking something.
This bread is more of a cake, really. It has a nice, even crumb and a melt-in-your-mouth moistness without being heavy or greasy. Fabulous light flavor - just the right amount of sweetness! The best thing about it is that it is incredibly versatile, so you could add just about anything and have it turn out. I actually really like the fact that it is plain. As much as I like things like banana bread, it's nice not to feel to reliant on fruit occasionally. As it is meant as a gift (to be delivered tomorrow morning), I feel pretty lucky - not to mention full - that there was some overflow batter and I was able to make a couple of muffins in addition to the loaf.
The recipe is originally from Better Homes and Gardens, I believe. Easy ingredients, easy directions. I love it!

Sour Cream Tea Bread
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
8 ounces sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla
Grease a loaf pan and preheat the oven to 350F.
Sift together flour and other dry ingredients.
Beat butter in a bowl until smooth. Add sugar and beat again.
Add eggs one at a time, then add vanilla. Beat until fluffy.
Alternately add sour cream and flour, starting with sour cream, in two or three additions.
Pour into pan, smooth top and bake for 1 hour 5 minutes, or until tester comes out clean.
Notes: I added about 1 teaspoon of almond extract with the vanilla and added 1 cup of dried cranberries to the batter just before I put it into the pan. The original recipe suggests other variations, which basically involve adding a cup of fruit or nuts and a teaspoon or two of spices, if you wish. I would try it again with nonfat sour cream or yogurt, just to feel a tiny bit less guilty about loving it so much.