I recently had a visitor staying with me, which is an entire story unto itself, but the long and short is I met a very nice southern gentleman who needed a place to stay, and since I had an extra bedroom I offered him keys and a garage door opener. The time flew by, and I actually found it really nice to have a roommate again, and someone to come home to at the end of the day.
Anyways, as with all wonderful things, his trip had to end and he went back home to Tulsa. I wanted to make him a treat for the plane, especially since he cooked for me a few times while he was my guest, and he wanted a quick bread. I didn’t have any overripe bananas, but I thought carrot bread would be yummy. I originally wanted to make this zucchini bread recipe from Brown Eyed Baker as a zucchini bread, but I thought subbing in carrots would make a great treat as well. I started with that recipe as a base, and added in some extras I had used while making carrot bread in my baking class. I still fully intend to make a zucchini bread, and soon since there is now a pound of zucchini in my fridge, but this hybrid recipe worked really well!
- 2 cups AP flour
- 4 regular sized (not mondo, not tiny) carrots – a bit less than 1lb – washed and peeled
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup walnuts (or pecans) chopped coarsely
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 2 large eggs
- juice from 1/4 wedge of medium sized orange (around 2 Tbsp) – kind of seems like “hair of fledgling purple newt” but I couldn’t find a better way to phrase it
- 1 Tbsp orange zest
- 3.5 oz (almost 1/2 cup) vegetable oil
Preheat your oven to 375ºF. Grease and flour (I use spray) a 9×5 loaf pan and set aside.
I started off by trying to grate the carrots before I realized I own a food processor so I no longer have to do ridiculous manual labor. This was especially nice considering, as I always do, I started baking around 9pm. (Come on, the UM Season Opener was earlier that night, and you know how I feel about football!)
Anyways, process the carrots with 2 Tbsp of your sugar (that’s right, take it from the 3/4 cup), the orange juice and zest.
Combine all your dry ingredients – flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon – in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine your wet ingredients – eggs, sour cream, vanilla, and oil. Once those are combined, add them to the carrots.
Put the chopped walnuts (or pecans) on a baking sheet in the oven. Let them toast for 5-7 minutes, or until fragrant.
Combine your wet and dry ingredients, stirring gently until they’re mostly incorporated. You don’t want to over mix because you’ll be stirring more once you add the nuts. Speaking of…
Once those are distributed, spread the batter evenly in your prepared pan. Bake for about 55 minutes. I set my first timer for around 44 just in case. Between 44 and 55 the change was drastic. Be careful not to overbake, the top should be browned, but you don’t want it to dry out!
Let it cool, at least an hour, before slicing and serving. Enjoy! (I know he did!)