Last week’s chilly weather and rainy days called for some hot, soul-comforting food. Thankfully, Joanna Szurmak’s pear almond loaf recipe rises to the occasion perfectly.
There’s nothing more comforting than a hot loaf of bread fresh from the oven (especially when it’s served alongside a bowl of soup). On the not-so-bright side, bread-making is no easy feat. The cooking experts may give us all the dos and don’ts and break it down like a Dummies guide but somehow, it’s never enough. (At least, it isn’t for me.)
While Szurmak, the digital initiatives and science liaison librarian, may not have provided us with a dummies’ guide to making bread, she did provide the secret ingredient to her pear almond loaf: almond flour. “It’s not the same without it,” she says.
A fair warning to all: this recipe may be best left to individuals with some prior experience in bread-making. Now, let’s take a look at the recipe.
Pear Almond Loaf
(Adapted from an All-Bran recipe found on all-bran.ca in 2013)
- 1¼ cup of all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup of whole wheat flour
- ½ cup of sugar (white or golden)
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup of chopped, slivered almonds
- 1½ cup of bran cereal (e.g. All-Bran)
- 1¼ cup of milk
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup of grape seed or vegetable oil
- 2/3 cup of chopped peeled pear
- ½ tsp almond extract
- ¼ cup ground almonds or almond flour
- In a large bowl, mix the bran cereal and milk. Ensure that all the cereal is in contact with liquid. Let the mixture stand for 5 minutes.
- Spray a loaf pan (9” by 5”) with olive oil.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- In a medium bowl, mix the flours, sugar, baking powder, salt, and almonds.
- Get a hand blender (or a manual mixing utensil) and break up the cereal in the large bowl, then beat in the egg and oil.
- Add the flour mixture and the pear pieces to the cereal-liquid mixture.
- Stir everything until combined; do not over-mix.
- Pour and spread the batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake for approximately 60 minutes or until a wooden twig (or pick) comes out clean from the centre.
- Cool completely before cutting.
- Serve immediately.