I look forward to Spring when the rhubarb is in season. One of my favorite ways to use rhubarb is in rhubarb bread. This recipe is one of my favorites. The rhubarb and pecan pieces sprinkled on top of the bread adds a nice tasty treat.
2 cups (about 3 stalks) rhubarb, coarsely diced (pick the thinner stalks as they are more tender and less fibrous than thicker stalks)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
A little flour for dusting (a tablespoon, or so...enough to lightly dust the rhubarb)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg room temperature
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature ** (see note below)
3/4 cup chopped pecans, reserving some to sprinkle over the top of the bread before baking
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Adjust oven rack to middle position. Grease or spray a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan (or you may use 2 smaller loaf pans)
In a bowl combine the diced rhubarb, sugar, a tablespoon or so of flour, cinnamon and lemon zest; set aside. Set aside 1/4 cup of the rhubarb mixture and some of the chopped pecans.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
In the bowl of your mixer, add the egg and lightly beat. Add the brown sugar, vegetable oil and vanilla extract. Mix until well combined.
Add 1/2 of the flour mixture and 1/2 of the buttermilk and beat until smooth. Add the remaining flour and buttermilk and continue beating until smooth.
Stir in the rhubarb mixture and the chopped pecans.
Pour the batter into the greased loaf pan and then sprinkle remaining reserved rhubarb mixture and some chopped pecans over the top.
Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
When done, remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes; remove from pan. Cool completely before slicing.
This bread freezes well.
**To make buttermilk, add 1/2 TBS of lemon juice to the 1/2 cup of milk. Stir and let sit for few minutes.
Makes one large 9x5 loaf or 2 small loaves