I credit our dear family friend Phyllis with getting me hooked on tea breads at an early age.
She got me hooked on German Chocolate Cake too, and butterscotch squares, but my love of tea breads has been most enduring.
For five summers straight I ate lunch with Phyllis and her husband Mac at their home near the hospital where I worked as a summer student during university.
Every day I’d race through neighbourhood shortcuts to their house and sit down to a lunch of cheese and biscuits with sliced tomatoes, cucumbers and Phyllis’ homemade mayonnaise. Then for dessert we’d have a cup of tea and nibble on slices of one of Phyllis’ wonderful tea breads.
Long after I was married they’d arrive at my home for visits, loaf of tea bread in hand.
Phyllis doesn’t bake anymore, but to this day any mention of a tea bread makes me think of her and all the happy times we shared.
I love that about food…how it can bring back fond memories.
Do certain recipes help you recall happy times?
This walnut loaf recipe is a not-too-sweet quick bread that is loaded with walnuts (a full cup!) and gets lots of flavour from the molasses and the whole grain flour. Try it toasted too.
Molasses walnut loaf recipe
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 ½ cups flour
- ¾ cups stone ground flour* (whole wheat or spelt)
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. salt
- 2/3 cup buttermilk (or soured milk)
- ½ cup butter, melted
- ½ cup Grandma Fancy Molasses
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- Topping: 2 Tbsp. chopped walnuts.
Glaze (optional): 3 Tbsp Grandma Fancy Molasses Tbsp. water
*Can use conventional flour
- Toast walnuts on a baking sheet in a 325 F oven for 7-8 minutes.
- Grease a large (8”x4”) loaf pan or line it with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl stir together the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- In a medium bowl combine buttermilk, melted butter, molasses, sugar and eggs.
- Pour over dry mixture, sprinkle in the cup of chopped walnuts and stir just until combined.
- Scrape into the prepared pan, sprinkle with the extra 2 Tbsp. chopped walnuts and bake for about an hour (until a tester comes out clean).
For the glaze:
- Combine ingredients in the microwave or heat on the stovetop until bubbly.
- Poke the top of the hot loaf with a skewer and brush with glaze.
- Cool before cutting
If you’re a fan of quick breads too, try our zucchini bread recipe.