Quickbreads

Make The Best Rustic Rhubarb Bread In One Bowl

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One Bowl Rustic Rhubarb Bread

close up rhubarb bread
loaf of rhubarb bread

This rustic rhubarb bread is one of the tastiest things you can make with rhubarb. I’m so happy I bumped into this old recipe, and I can’t even remember who gave it to me! The flavor and texture of this bread are amazing! But the best part is it’s insanely simple to make! All you need to make the bread is a bowl and a spoon; there is no need to get out the mixer!

Rhubarb Is One Of Spring’s Greatest Gifts

stalks of fresh rhubarb

As faithful as Old Faithful, rhubarb arises from its slumber every spring and starts pushing up stalks topped with leaves the size of an elephant’s ears. Please don’t eat those leaves, though; they are poisonous! Only the stalks are edible!

I saw the first red bumps breaking through the soil when I peered longingly at the rhubarb bed this morning. The rain will help it along, and I want it to hurry!

People have thought of rhubarb as sort of a spring tonic for centuries. The benefits touted include everything from aiding digestion to preventing Altzheimers! (Make mine a double, please!) 

We have two venerable old plants. One is from stock that’s over 100 years old. Both produce heavily. Our rhubarb is a green stem variety, not as red as others. It’s every bit as tasty, though! Soon, I’ll be making this yummy bread, jam, pies, crisps, and cobblers! I’ll freeze some for next winter, and you can be sure I’ll be giving a bunch away!

First Grab A Knife And Get Busy Chopping Up Some Fresh Rhubarb

chopping rhubarb

I love my old wooden cutting board. He’s been a friend for over 25 years. Now I have silicone ones that are very handy and even dishwasher-safe. I’m trying to develop some new habits and make them my go-to, but Piggy is the one I grab first when I’m not cutting up meat.

Slice the rhubarb fairly thin, and if the stalks are very thick, you can even split them. You can use frozen rhubarb, too. Defrost the rhubarb and place it in a strainer to drain off any excess liquid, then proceed as if you are using fresh rhubarb.

Toss The Crisp Rhubarb In A Bowl With Sweet Brown Sugar And Flour

rhubarb mixed with dry ingredients

Mix all the dry ingredients thoroughly before you toss them with the rhubarb. Mixing the rhubarb with the dry ingredients assures the diced rhubarb will stay suspended in the batter, evenly distributed throughout the loaf as it bakes.

Next, you will add one egg, some cooking oil, and a heaping teaspoon of fragrant vanilla. But the next step is when the magic happens!

Julia Child wisely taught that fat is what gives a thing flavor. This recipe calls for thick, tangy full-fat plain Greek yogurt. Yogurt is acidic, and the acid tenderizes the gluten in the flour, lending to the more delicate texture after baking. You may need to look a little harder to find it in the dairy case, but it delivers the best results.

The batter will be quite stiff, but don’t be alarmed! When the yogurt meets the soda and the acidic rhubarb, the mixture gets all excited, and the bread rises! Then, the rhubarb releases its moisture as the bread bakes, and the delicious result will blow your mind!

How Can Such Weird-Looking Batter Make Such Amazing Bread

weird-looking batter

What seems impossible happens in the magic of the oven when you spoon the lumpy, bumpy batter into well-greased loaf pans! The rhubarb releases its moisture into the batter and gets very sweet and tender.

The baking soda used in this recipe is an alkaline compound. It combines to form tiny carbon dioxide bubbles when it meets the acid in the rhubarb and yogurt. Those little bubbles get trapped in the batter, which makes it rise. There is your chemistry lesson for today! You’re welcome!

Now you know just how magical this bread is! But you won’t be thinking about chemistry when you smear butter on this bread and pop it in your mouth. All you will be thinking about is a second slice.

Yield: 16 slices of a 9" by 5" loaf

One Bowl Rustic Rhubarb Bread

rustic rhubarb bread

A recipe for a rhubarb quickbread that's not too sweet, slightly tangy. No mixer, one bowl. Tender and moist, lovely crumb.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups raw rhubarb, sliced thin or diced     
  • 2 3/4 cup flour, unbleached is best
  • 1 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup full-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil, Canola oil preferred
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg

Instructions

  1. Mix the rhubarb, brown sugar, flour, salt, and baking soda in a bowl until the rhubarb is well coated.
  2. Add egg, oil, and vanilla. Stir well until blended.
  3. Add yogurt to the batter and stir well. The batter will be thick!
  4. Spray or grease pans liberally.
  5. Spoon into a standard loaf pan or three mini loaf pans (approximately 3" x 5 1/2").
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45-60 minutes or until toothpick or skewer comes out clean.
  7. Smaller pans will take 25% less time to bake.
  8. Cool completely before slicing with a serrated knife.

Notes

You can use frozen rhubarb, too. Defrost and drain the excess liquid, then toss the rhubarb with the dry ingredients to ensure it stays suspended in the batter as it bakes.

Three Good Reasons For Baking Mini Loaves

mini loaf ready to bake
mini loaf ready for the oven

Most bread recipes are for standard nine by five-inch loaf pans, but guess what? The batter you make for a regular loaf pan can fill three of the five and one-half-inch by three-inch mini loaf pans or two of my medium-small bread pans that are about four by seven and one-half inches!

You will need to reduce the baking time on smaller loaves by about 25%. The oven temperature stays the same. You may want to experiment with the perfect bake times because every oven is different. The loaves are done when a toothpick, skewer, or cake tester comes out clean when inserted in the tallest part of the bread.

If you want to go big, go for it! However, I’m a BIG fan of the smaller loaves, even mini loaves. Why?

  1. If your household is small, you can enjoy a loaf now and freeze the others for another day. Less waste.
  2. Because you can indulge without splurging on a whole big slice. Less waist. 😉
  3. Little loaves of bread make great gifts or something to send home with guests! Get free hugs!

P.S. If you don’t have mini loaf pans, you can buy disposable aluminum ones in the store or make this recipe into muffins instead!

buttered mini slice of rhubarb bread

What are your favorite recipes for rhubarb? Will you share, pretty please? Here are a couple of my favorites; Beautiful Rhubarb Poke Cake and Sassy Rhubarb Swirl. If you end up with too much rhubarb, here’s how to freeze rhubarb for later.

One Bowl Rustic Rhubarb Bread
One Bowl Rustic Rhubarb Bread

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