For the past two weeks, we’ve plucked gallons of berries and barely poked them in. I have my arms scratched to prove it.
Picking raspberries, even under the best of conditions, is not for the faint of heart as the canes have sharp, prickly thorns that wreak havoc on uncovered arms. Black raspberry thorns are even more vicious and can tear the skin if they brush against it.
Add to this the fact that our raspberries are not in rows, but grow in any unmown area of ââour farm, where the birds have dropped seeds, and at the edge of our garden, where we have thrown the canes. when we pruned them. It’s not hard to see why my arms seem to have tried to cuddle a wild cat.
Black raspberries are rampant at the Bailey / GrÃ©goire farm. (Photo / Ann Bailey)
During this time, this season, I lost a shoe in the brambles and I fell in a patch of nettles. My left moccasin came off as I tried to grab a bunch of luscious-looking berries and still couldn’t find it a week later. A few days ago, I lost my balance when I fell on a log hidden in a clump of bushes and landed in the nettles.
I didn’t let the misadventures stop me, however. Raspberries are too delicious and nutritious to waste.
According to the Berry Health Network website, the dark pigment in black raspberries gives them one of the highest levels of antioxidants in common fruits and berries.
Black raspberries are a super berry, rich in antioxidants. (Photo / Ann Bailey)
Black raspberries, which are also high in ellagic acid, anthocyanins, and antioxidants, have been called the “King of Berries” because of their superior health benefits. (Berries can also be used as a dye due to their extremely dark pigment, which I can attest to as my fingers are purple when I’m done picking.)
Besides eating the fresh berries, I made raspberry milkshakes, bars, cobbler, muffins, and bread with them. The desserts not only taste wonderful, they are also marbled with a beautiful deep purple.
While baking cobblers, muffins, and bars isn’t new to me, this is my first time making raspberry bread. I didn’t even know there was a recipe until I asked Ellen the other Sunday what I should do with the raspberries we had just picked and she asked me for bread. I was surprised that a quick internet search yielded some recipes.
I’m sharing the one I made below because the bread was easy to make, tasty, and, I think, unique.
The black raspberry bread is beautiful and delicious. (Ann Bailey / Photo)
Here is the recipe:
2 cups plus 4 tbsp. all-purpose flour, divided
Â¾ cup packed light brown sugar
Â¼ cup granulated sugar
1 C. baking soda
* Pinch of salt (optional and to taste)
vs. unsalted butter, melted and cooled for a few minutes
1 large egg
* Â¾ c. Buttermilk
vs. canola or vegetable oil
2 tbsp. vanilla extract
10 to 12 ounces of raspberries (about 2 cups)
* A handful of chocolate chips, if desired
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with floured cooking spray or grease and flour the pan. Put aside.
In a large bowl, add 2 cups plus 2 Tbsp. flour, sugars, baking soda, salt (if desired) and whisk to combine.
In a medium microwave-safe bowl or glass measuring cup, melt butter for about 45 seconds on high power. Let the butter cool for a few minutes (so that the egg does not cook when added).
To the butter, add the egg, buttermilk, oil and vanilla, and whisk to combine.
Pour wet over dry ingredients and stir until combined, but do not over-mix. The dough will be somewhat lumpy; do not try to stir the lumps until they are smooth or the bread will be hard. Put aside.
In a medium bowl, add the raspberries and 2 Tbsp. flour, and mix lightly to combine.
Add the raspberries (and chocolate chips if you like chocolate) to the dough and gently fold to combine.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, lightly smoothing the top with a spatula and pushing it into the corners and sides, if necessary.
Bake the bread for 45 minutes to an hour. Bread is cooked when the top is set in the middle, slightly rounded and elastic to the touch, and when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
When the bread is done, take it out of the oven and place the pan on a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes, then remove the bread from the pan and allow it to cool completely before slicing. If sliced ââbefore cooling, the bread will break.
* Remarks *
* I used salted butter and omitted the salt.
* I had no buttermilk so I used sour milk, which I made by adding Â¾ tsp. vinegar to Â¾ cup of milk and let sit for a few minutes before adding it.
* I love chocolate so I added mini chocolate chips, and the result was fabulous.
Ann Bailey is a reporter for the Grand Forks Herald who writes a personal column twice a month.