Maple Pecan Streusel Bread

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John’s parents brought back this huge jug of maple syrup from a trip to Vermont, and it was the inspiration for this quick bread.

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It’s starting to feel like fall here in New England, and the cool weather lends itself to baking and maple-flavored goodies. I also associate pecans with autumn, probably because my mom always makes a killer pecan pie for Thanksgiving. I’m hosting my first Thanksgiving this November, and we will be carrying on my family’s tradition with her pecan pie (and pumpkin, and apple!).

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The original Cooking Light recipe that this one is adapted from calls for sugar, butter, and all-purpose flour; I lightened it further by swapping in a few generous glugs of that delicious Vermont maple syrup, Greek yogurt, and whole wheat pastry flour.

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The bread isn’t super sweet, (as many quick breads are), but that just makes it more suitable for breakfast. Most quick breads, muffins, and pastries are basically dessert masquerading as breakfast what with their ridiculous amounts of sugar, butter, and refined white flour. They have their place for certain special occasions, but I’d much rather make my own healthier versions to enjoy on a regular basis.

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The pecan streusel swirled into the batter and strewn over the top of the bread is the obvious highlight; but the bread itself is moist and flavorful thanks to the robust maple syrup and maple extract.

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Served with a steaming cup of freshly brewed coffee, a couple slices of this bread is a cozy & tasty way to wake up on a chilly morning!

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Maple Pecan Streusel Bread

by Lauren Zembron (adapted from Cooking Light’s Walnut Streusel Bread)

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients (1 loaf)

    Ingredients for the Pecan Streusel:

    • 1/3 cup lightly packed brown sugar
    • 1/3 cup old fashioned rolled oats
    • 1 Tbsp whole wheat pastry flour
    • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
    • pinch of salt
    • 2 Tbsp butter, melted
    • 1/3 cup chopped pecans

    Ingredients for the Bread:

    • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • 1/2 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/4 cup 2% plain Greek yogurt
    • 1 Tbsp butter, at room temperature
    • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup, preferably grade B
    • 3 large eggs, preferably organic
    • 2 tsp maple extract
    • 1 cup low fat buttermilk, well-shaken

    Instructions

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan.

    For the streusel: combine first 5 ingredients (brown sugar through salt) in a medium bowl. Stir in the melted butter until well-combined. Stir in chopped toasted pecans.

    For the bread: whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl using an electric hand mixer), beat the yogurt, softened butter, & maple syrup until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time until combined. Beat in maple extract. With the mixer on low speed, add in one third of the flour mixture. Beat in one half of the buttermilk. Beat in another one third of the flour. Beat in remaining buttermilk. Beat in remaining flour just until combined.

    Spoon half of the bread batter into the prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle with half of the streusel mixture. Spread remaining batter over streusel; swirl with a butter knife. Sprinkle remaining streusel evenly over the batter.

    Bake for 50 minutes, or until a wooden tester inserted into the center of the bread comes out mostly clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on a wire rack.

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