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LANSING, MI -- Fresh-baked breads cozy right up to Christmas holiday traditions and make wonderful holiday treats for family members and guests.

Michigan’s wheat growers are offering two special “quick” bread recipes that are superb for holiday baking.

Both the Harvest Wheat Bread and the Banana Berry Spice Bread recipes were among the top five entries in this fall’s Great Michigan Wheat Recipe Contest, sponsored by the Michigan Wheat Program in cooperation with the Michigan Restaurant Association.  They were developed by professional chefs and bakers.

The Harvest Wheat Bread is loaded with lightly-tart dried cranberries, sweet golden raisins, pecan chips (optional), pumpkin pie spice, cooked (or canned) pumpkin and, of course, Michigan whole wheat flour.

The Banana Berry Spice Bread is a new twist on banana bread and includes antioxidant-rich blueberries (fresh or frozen), applesauce, nutmeg and other holiday spices, bananas and whole wheat flour.

Both make good snacks or side dishes, and are likely to become family favorites.

These recipes and others, along with information about the health aspects of wheat – and kids’ wheat activity sheets – are brought to you by Michigan’s wheat farmers and the Michigan Wheat Program.

Additional recipes and information are found at miwheat.org/consumer-info.

The featured quick bread recipes are included below:

Michigan Harvest 

Wheat Bread

submitted by Malasia Cole, Terrace Cafe

Bread Ingredients

3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp whole wheat flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 baking soda

1-1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

2 large eggs

1 cup sugar 

1-1/2 cup cooked (or canned) pumpkin, mashed

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup golden raisins

1/4 cup sweetened dried cranberries

Topping Ingredient

1/2 cup pecan chips (optional)

In medium size bowl, combine whole wheat flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and pumpkin pie spice by whisking.

In a large bowl, combine pumpkin, eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, and vegetable oil and beat at medium speed until just incorporated.

Pour flour mixture into pumpkin mixture and fold in with rubber spatula until just incorporated.

Fold in cranberries and raisins.

Pour mixture into greased 9 x 5” loaf pan.

Sprinkle pecan chips on top.

Bake for 60 minutes at 350° F or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Let the bread cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes before flipping it out of the pan to cool for an additional 15 minutes.

Wrap the bread in plastic wrap and when ready to enjoy, unwrap and cut.  Rewrap to preserve freshness.

Banana Berry 

Spice Bread

submitted by Michael Pace, Liala’s Place

2 cups Michigan white wheat all-purpose flour

1-1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

1/8 tsp ground cloves

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp almond extract

2 eggs, beaten

1 cup mashed ripe banana

1/2 cup applesauce

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup cooking oil or melted butter

1-1/2 cups blueberries 

1/4 cup walnuts (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease bottom and sides of two 7 ½ x 3 ½ x 2” loaf pans; set aside.

In large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. Make a well in center of flour and set aside.

In a medium bowl combine eggs, banana, applesauce, sugar and oil. Toss berries in a small portion of the flour and add egg mixture and berries to flour all at once.  Stir until moistened (batter should be slightly lumpy). Fold in walnuts, if desired.

Spoon batter into prepared pans in equal portions.

Bake for 55-60 minutes, or until wooden toothpick comes out clean.

Cool on wire rack or in pan for 10 minutes.  Remove from pan and cool on wire rack completely before serving.  Plate with candied orange peel or pair with fresh whipped cream and berries.

The Michigan Wheat Program is funded by nearly 8,000 farmers who grow wheat in 50 of Michigan’s 83 counties. The Michigan Wheat Program board seeks to promote the state’s wheat industry by funding and supporting the strategic priorities of wheat farmers working with input suppliers, seed producers, millers, end users and consumers.  Research on wheat production practices and grower education has been an early priority for the organization.

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