The Daring Bakers’ February 2012 host was – Lis! Lisa stepped in last minute and challenged us to create a quick bread we could call our own. She supplied us with a base recipe and shared some recipes she loves from various websites and encouraged us to build upon them and create new flavor profiles.
Now, I must say that I’m proud of this recipe, a recipe with a flavor profile derived from a beverage I’ve never actually consumed-sangria. My explanation for the choice of sangria is the simple, “it sounds like it would taste good,” because, minus the alcohol, the flavors sound like they would work very well in a bread. Sangria can be made many different ways, with white wine or red wine or a combination of both. The definition provided by wikipedia says that the ingredients are normally chopped fruit, wine, a sweetener and brandy. But because there are so many variations of the drink, I came up with my own variation for this bread, with the same basic components of course. I ran across a recipe that called for oranges and lemons, as well as cranberry juice. So, cranberry juice went in, along with lemon extract (because I didn’t have any lemons, but would have preferred to use lemon zest), red wine, and for fruit: blueberries.
Now you must be thinking, “Well, then you just made a lemon blueberry loaf, with some wine added…” But no. No, that is not the case, because this recipe has so very many adaptations that could be made to it, like substituting orange juice for the cranberry juice, adding in a little brandy, putting in orange zest, ect. If you have a favorite sangria recipe (which though you probably don’t you could just find a recipe with some interesting flavors), I have a feeling you could make some very easy substitutions here to fit your taste.
The absolutely best part about this recipe though is, you guessed it…it’s gluten-free! Surprisingly, this recipe worked very well gluten-free, and really stayed nice and moist and had a great texture. It didn’t collapse or burn or have a dull taste. This was a success, and because I used the ratios normally used for a gluten loaf, I’m pretty confident this would work just as well with gluten, though the taste would be a little different, and it might not be as dense.
Though lemon works well, trying orange zest and juice might also be something to try, and instead of using blueberries, using raspberries or blackberries. You could even add the brandy that is mentioned above, though you might want to adjust some of the other flavors accordingly. Also, this bread is best served a few hours after it has come out of the oven. The flavors seem to be better balanced then.
1 3/4 cups gluten-free flour blend (I used King Arthur)
1 tsp. xantham gum
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup cranberry juice
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 tsp. lemon extract or perhaps about 1-1 1/2 Tbsp. lemon zest (or less)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup blueberries or other berries (frozen or fresh) tossed with a tablespoon of flour
1/4 cup soft salted butter
1/4 cup canola oil (You could try this with all of one type of fat-butter or oil)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9″ by 5″ loaf pan with canola oil. You may or may not want to line it with parchment paper, or flour it. For me, just greasing worked quite well. Whisk together flour, xantham gum, baking powder, salt, and sugar (with 1 tablespoon reserved) in a medium sized bowl. Then whisk together milk, wine, vanilla, and lemon zest or extract, and milk. Let sit for a few minutes. Beat butter in a stand mixer until creamy and then add sugar and beat until fluffy. Add canola oil and beat a bit longer. Then add eggs, beating well after each addition. Add in about a third of the dry mixture and beat on low for a moment. Then add about half of the liquid and beat. Add the next third of the dry mixture, finish with the liquid, and then turn off the mixer. Gently fold in the last of the flour with a rubber spatula, letting some flour remain unmixed in. Then, gently fold in berries, and turn into bread pan. Sprinkle top with remaining tablespoon of sugar. Place on the middle rack of the oven and cook between 60 and 70 minutes, depending on how moist you like your bread. Remove the bread from the oven and let sit for half an hour or so before removing from the pan.