Cinnamon Carrot Bread

In an effort to become involved in the local sustainable agriculture community, I connected with two women who work at the local chapter of the Buy Fresh Buy Local initiative. Sipping on hot cider at a coffee shop, we discussed their projects, what I was interested in doing, and made some plans for me to start helping. I am scheduled to go in tomorrow morning to help out and thought I should bring something delicious. My mom bought a bunch of carrots last weekend that were still in my fridge, so I decided to take a run at some carrot bread (think banana bread, just made with carrots).

I started where I usually do, consulting my cookbooks and my favorite online cooking sites (see “My Favorite Places” for some of them). I was initially frustrated because the recipes contained things I do not usually have in my kitchen, like flaked coconut, applesauce, raisins, orange zest, and pecans. That and I was not really interested in adding stuff like that to my bread. I finally found a recipe with a focus on warm spice; perfect for this time of year. With the recipe up on my computer, I went to the kitchen and started baking to the tunes of Sandi Thom.

I creamed the sugars and butter, sifted the flour with salt, baking soda, baking powder, and the spices, and then blended everything with shredded carrot, eggs, sour cream, and milk. I got a beautiful brown dough flecked with spices and carrot. It reminded me of the brown trees outside my house that had just a few orange leaves left on them as the season continues to progress towards winter.

I spooned the dough into my loaf pan and baked it for about one hour, appreciating the increasing scent of delicious fall flavors rising from my kitchen.

After an hour and a quick toothpick test, the bread came out of the oven beautifully browned and soft. I let it sit for about 10 minutes in the pan before taking it out of the pan and putting it on a cooling rack. I had a little issue with bread removal; even with a silicone pan some of the bread stuck to the bottom of it. Regardless, it remained aesthetically pleasing and also gave me an opportunity to taste some before tomorrow morning. The cinnamon was subtle but provided excellent flavor and the texture was soft and light; a huge hit with those I shared it with. Perfect for a fall morning with a little bit of melted butter and a hot cup of coffee.

Cinnamon Carrot Bread
(Makes 1 loaf)

3/4 c sugar
1/4 c packed brown sugar
1/4 c butter (1/2 stick), softened
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 pinch salt
2 eggs
1/4 c sour cream
3/4 c non-fat milk
1 cup grated carrots
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x5 loaf pan.

In a large bowl, beat together the sugars and butter. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt into the bowl while stirring occasionally. Beat the eggs together, and gradually stir into the batter until everything is combined. Add sour cream and milk, stirring until combined. Mix in carrots and vanilla. Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake on middle rack for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, and then turn out onto wire rack to cool completely.

Adapted from allrecipes.com

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