Sweet Sausage Bread
This quick nut bread combines sweet fruit and savory pork sausage for the ultimate in grab and go breakfast treats, with plenty of protein to get and keep you going.
This post is sponsored by the Ohio Pork Council. They have compensated me for my time and provided the sausage I've used in the recipe below. Please see the link at the bottom of this post for a short survey and a chance to win a KitchenAid mixer with sausage attachment. That's a $350 value!
The BLUF (military acronym for Bottom Line Up Front) is this is a quick sweet fruit & nut bread that happens to use a pound of pork sausage. Meat and fruit in bread? It sounds crazy--but recall that mincemeat originally contained meat. Honest--you gotta try it! This recipe comes from Ruth Runyan of Oakview Farms. She and her family have been raising hogs in Urbana, Ohio for going on 4 generations now. You can read about my visit to Oakview Farms here. In this post I share how 3,500 Ohio farms raise enough pork to feed 25 million people. That's more than double Ohio's population, but these good folks share with plenty of other states. When you buy pork at the grocery store or farmers market, you are supporting Ohio farm families! (Hey thanks for eating locally and supporting local businesses. It's kind of a thing of mine.)
I was intrigued by the idea of using savory sausage in a sweet bread. After all, I like maple syrup on my breakfast sausage, bacon in my Maple Peanut Butter Bacon waffles, and I have been known to do "quality control" testing on the honey bacon at work. Sweet and savory just goes together. In addition to a hearty breakfast option, this bread can be served as a side dish (like I first tried it, with Perfect Grilled Pork Chops). I suspect it would make a terrific stuffing or dressing alongside a holiday meal. I bet you could even stuff thick cut pork chops with this bread! No matter what your application, it's an unusual recipe to add to your repertoire. If you enter the survey below, and win the KitchenAid mixer and sausage attachment, you could even customize your own sausage to make this bread!
Note: I made a few tweaks to Ruth's recipe--since I had them on hand, and since pork and cherry is a nice combination, I used cherry juice-infused Craisins (dried cranberries) in place of raisins. I had no cold brewed coffee (my coffee drinking son drank all of his Magical Elixir and went off to take exams) so I used 1 teaspoon espresso powder and 1 cup water. I also substituted for the self-rising flour according to this formula, and used a baking spice blend for some of the spices. Finally, I baked the bread in both a regular 9x5 inch loaf pan and a festive miniature loaf pan. I liked the mini loaf better. I thought it looked cuter and it was easier for me to tell that the bread was fully cooked. I recommend baking this bread in mini loaf pans.
Sweet Sausage Bread (this made 1 regular loaf but could make 4 mini loaves)
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 pound pork sausage
- 1 cup cold brewed coffee (see my Note above if you're not a coffee drinker)
- 2 cups (8 ounces by weight) self-rising flour (see my Note above for substituting all purpose flour)
- 2 teaspoons Baking Spice (Ruth uses 1 teaspoon cinnamon + 1 teaspoon nutmeg)
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 cup chopped nuts (I used walnuts)
- 1 cup raisins (I used cherry juice-infused dried cranberries)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a large bowl, beat together sugars and eggs until sugar is dissolved. Beat in sausage and coffee (or substitute water + espresso powder).
- In a medium bowl combine flour + spices. Dump into large bowl and mix well.
- Stir in nuts and raisins.
- Pour into ungreased loaf pans until ¾ full. This would make 1 regular loaf pan (9x5 inches) or 4 mini loaf pans (3x5 inches).
- Bake until internal temperature is 165 degrees or a wooden toothpick comes out clean. This took my mini loaf pan 45 minutes and an hour for my large loaf pan.
- Cool in pan, then slice and serve.
This recipe is versatile! Ruth adds that this may also be made into a cake by pouring into an ungreased angel food tube or Bundt pan and drizzled with icing. You can wrap this bread in a rum-soaked cloth and refrigerate for several weeks, then serve with whipped cream.
Now then, the Ohio Pork Council wants to learn more about how folks find & use recipes on the internet and is interested in your thoughts on cooking pork during and after the holidays. Here's a quick 10 question survey for you. It took me less than 2 minutes to complete. Taking the survey enters you to win a KitchenAid mixer plus sausage attachment, a $350 value, so this is definitely worth your time. You can access the survey here until noon (ET) on January 5, 2017. Get going!
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