Monday, May 24, 2010

Strawberry Quick Bread and Strawberry Shrikhand

For someone who is not too fond of strawberries, I have surprised myself by making and posting three desserts involving strawberries in the short span of a week. That's because seasonal strawberries are beautiful little things, aromatic and sweet-tangy, nothing like the hard tasteless strawberry-shaped pellets that grace supermarket shelves all year round.

When I have extra fruit on hand, my first instinct is to make quick bread, which is more cake than bread. I found this strawberry bread recipe on Vintage Victuals. It is always charming to see unique recipes on food blogs that have a story behind them, that come from family and friends of the blogger.

I modified the recipe, halving it to make a single loaf, substituting some whole wheat flour and cutting back the oil and adding some sour cream  because I needed to use it up. With all these changes, the recipe goes to Blog Bites: Adaptation being hosted right here on this blog (tomorrow is the last day to send in your entries).

This quick bread is a simple, tasty treat, perfect for packing into lunch boxes or picnic baskets, worth enjoying over a cup of tea or a tall glass of iced coffee or lemonade.

Strawberry Quick Bread
(adapted from this recipe on Vintage Victuals; makes one loaf)

1. Mix 2 cups of chopped fresh strawberries with 2 tablespoons of sugar and let the strawberries sit for 30-45 minutes, until the mixture becomes syrupy.

2. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a loaf pan.

3. Dry ingredients. Whisk together in a large bowl-
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 34 cup all-purpose flour
  • 12 cup sugar
  • 12 tsp. baking soda
  • 12 tsp. cinnamon powder
  • 12 tsp. salt
4. Wet ingredients. Whisk together in a medium bowl-
  • 2 large eggs
  • 13 cup oil
  • 13 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
5. Combine wet and dry ingredients gently. Stir in strawberries with all the juices. Scrape batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes or until a tester comes clean.


* * *
We hosted a farewell dinner last night for friends who are moving to another city in pursuit of new adventures. This dessert involves no cooking and showcases fresh local strawberries. It is a variation of the traditional shrikhand that I have posted before. If you can stir, then you can make this dessert. That's the extent of cooking skills needed for this recipe.

V's comment when I offered him a taste: "This is the Indian version of strawberries and cream". We all loved this summery avatar of shrikhand and at the end, the guest of honor pulled the  bowl and serving spoon into her lap and scraped it clean. This is exactly why I love cooking for my friends.

Strawberry Shrikhand
(makes about 6 servings)

1. Line a colander/strainer with cheesecloth, clean cotton fabric or paper towels. Add 4 cups (32 oz. tub) of plain low-fat yogurt to the lined colander, cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or so.

2. Take the strained yogurt into a bowl.

3. Add
  • 23 cup sugar (or less or more to taste)
  • 1 tsp. cardamom powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 to 3 cups strawberries, cut in small dice
4. Stir everything together, decorate the shrikhand with strawberry fans if you wish, chill and serve. 

Notes:
  1. It helps to add the sugar a few tablespoons at a time and let it dissolve into the thick, cold yogurt rather than adding it all at one time. 
  2. If you make this shrikhand too far ahead of time, the fruit will start releasing liquid. Make it only 2-3 hours before serving if possible.
  3. To cut prep time even further, use Greek yogurt which is already strained. 
* * *
Fresh off the Needles
A small bag that I made to give as a gift; this adorable pattern is called the Christine Bag.


Check back in 2 days for the round up of the Blog Bites: Adaptation event, and have a lovely week.

26 comments:

  1. I love the Shrikhand and the cake too, I can never make bread either, they are all cakes for me.

    Same here Nupur.
    For the longest time I have only read about strawberries and when I actually tasted they were a disappointement till I found a berry picking place. Yes freshness does matter. Isn't that a revelation :)

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  2. Add some sour cream 8oz for a tub of yogurt and it thickens up the shrikhand just like it is made in India. Also then you will not have to think about the fruit releasing the water.

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  3. Both desserts look awesome. I agree that it can be incredibly satisfying to watch people savor your dish! This shrikhand is something I can try. Pastry flour.. what's that? Where else does one use it?

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  4. Wow.. all pniky pinky with strawberry ... I have just fallen in love with that cute bag ... It is awesome ...

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  5. Loved the bread and shrikhand Nupur. If I can go strawberry picking this week, I might do one of them.
    If I don't want to buy pastry flour, are there any subs ?

    That clutch/purse is so cute

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  6. You are just making all for me, arent' you? :D

    Love the quick bread. I'm a huge quick bread person, so this works great for me!

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  7. bag looks too good,..and both bread and shrikhand look delicious,..

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  8. I love the shrikand!...yummm! fresh off the hooks looks so pizzaz!

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  9. The strawberry shrikhand reminds me of the add "its different". Nupur shrikhand taste better when the sugar permeates well into the yogurt. So it is a good idea to prepare it ahead of time, chill it. Just before serving mix in the fruit that will avoid fruit from sweating out.

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  10. Love the strawberry Shrikand. A nice twist to the traditional recipe. A cute bag....

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  11. I am going to try making this today. I have some strawberries in my garden that i need to harvest. Where do you typically get pastry flour and is there a substitute ?

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  12. Nupur, those are some amazing looking recipes. I love the Shrikhand pic. Very mouth watering. and, OMG on the bag, it has come out wonderfully !!!

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  13. I'm not big fan of strawberry in my bread but love to eat itself. Love the strawberry version shrikhand. The bag is so so cute!

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  14. strawberry shrikhand sounds like an amazing idea! i would have to try that soon. the bag is so pretty!

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  15. indosungod- I know, why am I so surprised when delicate produce tastes better when it comes from a local farm than from California or Mexico?

    SS blogs here- Pastry flour is simply flour with a low gluten content, resulting in tender melt-in-the-mouth cakes. In the US, you can find it in most supermarkets and certainly stores like Whole Foods. I don't know about the availability in other countries.

    AA_Mom- Thanks for the tip. I don't like adding sour cream to shrikhand though, just a personal preference.

    Pavithra Srihari- Thanks!

    Bong Mom- The substitutes for pastry flour are simply all purpose flour, or plain whole wheat flour (but the bread might be a little dense). This is a flexible recipe, you could sneak in whatever flours you have on hand to add some whole grains if you desire.

    A_and_N- I like quick breads too, they are so versatile.

    notyet100- Thanks!

    Preeti Kashyap- Thank you!

    Anjali- That's a great tip. I'll do that next time!

    Rajee- Thanks

    Brindavan in the bay area- Simply substitute more all-purpose flour for the pastry flour. Or you could buy it in most big supermarkets in the baking section and in stores like Whole Foods and natural food markets.

    Priya (Yallapantula) Mitharwal- Thank you!

    Sonia- Thanks!

    PJ- It tastes very refreshing, do give it a try.

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  16. love this strawberry bread - looks so moist and luscious - and love the event have left a comment about my attempt at an adaptation (oh let's be honest, most of my recipes are adaptations because I am not good at following instructions)

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  17. Dear Nupur,

    The strawberry bread sounds so delicious. I will definitely try this recipe. And I love the bag...it is so cute.

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  18. I love this bag pattern. Your version has a nice look than the original pattern in my opinion!
    x

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  19. I loved the bread . I have been looking for a recipe for strawberry bread for long... i hv to try this one ! and the bag looks awesome !

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  20. I love strawberry shrikhand, it looks so refreshing :)
    The Bag is really cute :)

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  21. How adorable is that bag?
    I make fruit breads of all kinds, but never thought of making a strawberry bread. I too am not a huge strawberry fan because I hate the sensation of biting into sour fruit and with a strawberry you never know what you're going to get! :)
    Baking it up into a bread sounds like a neat idea.

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  22. First time visiting your blog and am so happy that Ifound such a grt blog. Pics are awesome in your blog. Love this shirkand recipe and the christine bag is sooo cute. Love it.

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  23. Wow! Loved the strawberry shrikhand. I will definitely try it soon :) Regarding the original shrikhand recipe, have you tried it with plain yogurt (not low-fat) and one jar of cream-on-top yogurt? I know that doesn't sound healthy, but anyway shrikhand contains lot of sugar :). When we started adding cream-on-top, it reminded me of shrikhand my mom used to make in India.
    -Deepa.

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  24. The strawberry bread recipe seems too good to be true. :) I am planning on trying it this week. One question: Noticed that you mention 2 cups chopped berries while the original calls for 2 1/2 cups. Considering that you halved the rest of the recipe, did the extra berries make your bread soggy? I'd love to put as many berries as possible. :)

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  25. Johanna GG- Love your entry for the adaptation event- thanks so much for participating!

    Shivani- Thank you! I hope you enjoy the recipe :)

    A Time for Stitching- You think so? I loved the original better :) but this one can hold more stuff which is a good thing!

    Suparna- I hope you get a chance to try this recipe and that you enjoy it!

    Rachana Kothari- Thank you :)

    Vaishali- I know exactly what you mean! Strawberries are notorious for being too sour for my taste, but yes, the sweet bread makes up for it.

    shriya- Welcome to my blog and I hope you enjoy your visit here!

    Deepa- I have tried it with higher fat yogurts and I don't like the taste. The truth is that I personally love this low-fat version of shrikhand far more than I liked the shrikhand in India. This is one recipe for which I actually prefer the lower fat option- miracles will never cease.

    mi.p- I personally did not think the bread was soggy, but you'll have to see for yourself :)
    I did add extra strawberries to get in as much of the flavor as possible.

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  26. I just made a bread very similar to this, but without the whole wheat. I really like that substitution - next time! Thanks for posting!

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