Dale Carson 6/13/16

Browsing large magazine sections in stores can be fun, especially the covers of food magazines. The photographs are always spectacular, which makes me gravitate toward certain ones and realize why the price of the publication is so high.

I’ve often been so infatuated by the food image on the cover, I’ve bought the same magazine twice, forgetting I already had it. I’m a sucker for red, my favorite color, so a picture with tomatoes gets me every time. Another teaser is a picture of fresh baked bread or rolls—I can imagine how it smells baking.

Every cultural area in Indian country, if not every tribal nation, has breads that are unique to them.  Then, there are other breads that are made by all, like corn bread or fry bread, but that may have variations. Many breads are used as a vehicle to put foods on or in, a tortilla for example. Many breads take the name of their major flavor ingredient, pumpkin, apple, molasses, wild rice, walnut, cranberry, lemon, blueberry, and on and on. Here are a couple to get us ready for summer, which is just around the corner.

Strawberry Bread

½ cup real butter, softened

¾ cup maple sugar

2 cups flour

1 egg

½ cup cornmeal, white or yellow

½ cup chopped walnuts

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

Milk - enough to form a stiff batter

1 heaping cup of strawberries, wild or commercial

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread ingredients in a greased 8- or 9-inch baking pan and bake for 20-25 minutes. Let cool then serve warm.

To vary, mix together 2 tablespoons of light brown sugar with ½ teaspoon of cinnamon and sprinkle on top before baking.


Cranberry-Apricot Bread

1 cup dried cranberries (crasins)

1 cup dried apricots

1 tablespoon lemon zest

1 cup boiling water

4 tablespoons butter, room temperature

1-1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs

3 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Cover the apricots with boiling water and let stand for 10 minutes. Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl, add eggs and apricots and blend. Now add flour, baking powder and salt. Mix well and fold in nuts. Pour into a greased 9 x 5-inch loaf pan or two 8 x 4-inch loaf pans. Bake 50 to 60 minutes, until done.

To vary this bread, use chopped dates or fresh peach pieces and some pine nuts.

This fruit bread has apricots and cranberries similar to the recipe presented here. (iStock)

Dale Carson, Abenaki, is the author of three books: “New Native American Cooking,” “Native New England Cooking” and “A Dreamcatcher Book.” She has written about and demonstrated Native cooking techniques for more than 30 years. Dale has four grown children and lives with her husband in Madison, Connecticut.


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Apple Bread


3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup canola oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups chopped peeled apples (about 2 medium)
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts


Preheat oven to 350° Line 2 greased 8x4-in. loaf pans with parchment; grease parchment.
Whisk together first 6 ingredients. In another bowl, whisk together eggs, oil and vanilla; add to flour mixture, stirring just until moistened (batter will be thick). Fold in apples and walnuts.
Transfer to prepared pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 50-55 minutes. Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool.

Blackberry Bread


3 cups flour
1½ cups sugar, divided
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
4 eggs
¾ cup vegetable oil
2½ cups blackberries


Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray a 9x5 loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray.
Put the blackberries and ½ cup of sugar in a bowl and mash with a fork.
In another large bowl, whisk the eggs with remaining 1 cup of sugar, then add the oil and mashed blackberries.
Add flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon and mix until combined.
Pour the mixture into a loaf pan. Put in the oven and bake the blackberry bread for 1 hour.

Chocolate Quick Bread
Yields one loaf.

1½ cups flour
⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ cup (one stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 eggs at room temperature
½ cup plain Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup bittersweet or dark chocolate chips
½ cup chopped pecans (optional)

Step 1:

Preheat your oven to 350 F. Grease a 9-by-5 inch loaf pan.

In a bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients: flour, cocoa powder, brown sugar, salt and baking soda. Make sure to break down those brown sugar lumps!
Step 2:

In another bowl, whisk together all wet ingredients: butter, eggs, Greek yogurt and vanilla.

Step 3:

Add dry ingredients and chocolate chips into the wet bowl. Use a spatula to fold and combine everything together. Make sure not to over mix!
Step 4:

Once there is no trace of flour, give it another good stir and pour the batter into the greased loaf pan. Bake for 50 minutes or until tester comes out clean.

Banana Pineapple Bread


2 large bananas or 1 cup mashed bananas
¾ cup crushed pineapple drained
1/4 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon nutmeg
¼ cup milk
2 cups all purpose flour
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
½ cup unsalted butter replace with oil
1 -2 Tablespoon rum


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a loaf pan with baking spray; set aside
In a small bowl, mix together mashed bananas, crushed pineapple, and sour cream, with a potato masher.
Then whisk in eggs, milk, rum and vanilla extract until smooth Add granulated sugar and brown sugar.

In another bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg and salt
Using a handheld mixer, add butter to the dry mixture until fully incorporated, and then gradually add wet ingredients
Continue mixing for about 2 minutes until dry ingredients are fully incorporated. Scrape down sides.

Pour mixture into prepared loaf pan – bake for about 60-75 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted comes out clean.
Let it cool before slicing.

Flourless Peanut Butter Bread
This gluten-free flourless bread is easy to make with just five ingredients. It's a quick and easy bread option for those looking for something flourless, gluten free or low carb. It bakes, looks, feels and taste similar to wheat flour breads.


1 cup smooth peanut butter
3 large eggs
1 tbsp vinegar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp granular sweetener


Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease two 3 inch x 5-inch mini loaf pans. In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients. Hand whisk or use mixer to mix until everything is smooth.

Divide batter equally between the two loaf pans. Bake for about 25 minutes until breads are fully cooked or toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let breads cool before slicing and serving.

Honey Wheat Bread


2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup vegetable oil
5 cups all-purpose flour


Dissolve yeast in warm water. Add honey, and stir well. Mix in whole wheat flour, salt, and vegetable oil. Work all-purpose flour in gradually. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead for at least 10 to 15 minutes. When dough is smooth and elastic, place it in a well oiled bowl. Turn it several times in the bowl to coat the surface of the dough, and cover with a damp cloth. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.
Punch down the dough. Shape into two loaves, and place into two well greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pans. Allow to rise until dough is 1 to 1 1/2 inches above pans.
Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 25 to 30 minutes.


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