5 Stars For This Blueberry Loaf

Last spring my neighbor gave me a loaf of this Blueberry “Bread” as a thank you for helping her with some carpool duties. I loved the loaf and promptly asked for the recipe for the Blueberry Cake. She replied that it was actually Blueberry Bread. (It’s bread in the way that Banana Bread is Bread- but it’s cake in that it is made with butter and sugar, milk and eggs!) This is a recipe from her family, which she has tweaked a little and now I tweaked a little.  I tried it a few times and though the recipe says it makes 2 loaves, the recipe was only making 1 and ½ loaves. I have adapted the measurements so that it makes two 8½” x 4½” x 2½”  sized loaves. I have enjoyed making it as 1 standard loaf and 2 mini loaves so I can share.

As we were having our annual dinner to celebrate our Daves and their July birthdays- David Thomas and Dave Hunt, these blueberry loaves were cooling on a rack in my kitchen. I gave the Thomases a loaf to take home and test, to ensure that my adapted recipe worked out. 

David has recently published another book, Raising Emotionally Healthy Boys, and is riding the torture-filled author journey of being sized up by customer reviews on Amazon. During our dinner we talked about reviews and the power they have (and how arbitrary they actually are). I mentioned the book I am reading based on this phenomenon, The Anthropecene Reviewed by John Green’s (author of incredible Young Adult novels- Turtles All the Way Down, The Fault In Our Stars). In his introduction, he makes this vivid point about five-star scale reviews. 

“The five-star scale has only been used in critical analysis for the past few decades. While it was occasionally applied to film criticism as early as the 1950s, the five-star scale wasn’t used to rate hotels until 1979, and it wasn’t widely used to rate books until Amazon introduced user reviews. The five-star scale doesn’t really exist for humans; it exists for data aggregations systems, which is why it did not become standard until the Internet era. Making conclusions about a book’s quality from a 175-word review is hard work for artificial intelligences, whereas star ratings are ideal for them. “

It really is a fairly new way to measure things, and one that is often times over simplistic for sure, and yet greatly influences our decisions about purchases and attitudes towards things.

So, the day after our dinner, I checked in with them about the Blueberry Bread/Cake. They gave it a 5 star rating!

So before blueberries are out of season I wanted to encourage you to make this blueberry loaf, and if you have boys you love in your life, I recommend you buy David’s new book and promptly give it a 5 star review on Amazon!

Blueberry Loaves

Adapted from Leslie Aclin’s recipe 

2 cups granulated sugar

1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, softened

3 eggs

1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

1 Tbsp. almond extract

3 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 ½ tsp. kosher salt

3 ½ tsp. baking powder

1 cup milk

3 (or more) cups of blueberries (fresh or frozen)

Turbinado sugar to sprinkle on top

Preheat oven to 350˚

Grease and flour 2 standard loaf pans (8 ½ X 4 ½ X 2 ½ inch) or a combo of mini loaves and standard loaves.

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light & fluffy

Add eggs 1 at a time, then add extracts. Beating into fully incorporated. 

In a medium bowl, mix flour, salt, baking powder together.

Gently mix dry ingredients and milk alternatively into the batter. 

Toss a couple of spoons of flour with blueberries in the dry ingredient bowl. Stir in until evenly distributed. 

Scoop batter into greased and floured pans. Sprinkle top with Turbinado sugar.

Bake for 45ish minutes for large pans/25ish minutes for mini pans- until a toothpick comes out clean when tested for doneness. Cool on a wire rack. Using table knife, gently loosen the edges of the loaf. Invert onto the rack. 

Our July blueberry picking tradition continued at the blueberry patch nestled in the valley at St. Ignatius Orthodox Church!

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