From the little research I tried to find on "Alabama Blueberry Bread", I found that it is usually a bread that gracefully bridges the gap between loaf and cake. "Breakfast Bread" is how Dorie Greenspan would probably define it: the bread that you can convince yourself is healthy enough to begin your day with, one very comfortable with a cup of coffee alongside. I wondered if blueberries are actually native to the south, and I found that Southerners probably would use Rabbiteye blueberries. The article I read also noted (interestingly) that "as increasing numbers of Northerners move south, the demand for blueberries will increase."
Perhaps even more southern is is the ample addition of pecans, which I prefer to stand over the bowl and crumble in by hand instead of chopping. There is something calmly therapeutic about crumbling a pecan by hand. If you keep a shaker of cinnamon sugar at the ready for toast as I do, you can use it to sprinkle the bottom of the pan before adding the batter and also dusting the top prior to baking. It makes for a nice, gently crisp, sugar topping.
Gluten-Free Alabama Bread (adapted slightly from Annie Wegner-LeFort)
1 loaf, easily doubled
- 1 1/2 c. gluten-free ap flour
- scant 1.2 t. kosher salt
- 1/2 t. baking powder
- 1/2 t. baking soda
- 1/4 t. xanthan gum
- 3/4 c. sugar
- 1 1/2 T. cinnamon
- 1/8 t. cloves
- 1/2 t. nutmeg
- zest of 1/2 lemon
- 2 small eggs
- 1/2 c. + 2 T. grapeseed (or other vegetable) oil
- scant 1 c. blueberries
- scant 1 c. raspberries,
- 1/2 c. more or less pecans, crumbled in by hand
Preheat the oven to 350, and crumple a piece of parchment paper to crease it thoroughly then line a 10x4 loaf pan with it.
Place flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, and spices in a medium bowl and stir to mix well. Make a well in the center and grate the lemon zest into it. Add the eggs and oil, and beat well with a fork. Once well beaten, mix in the dry ingredients. (Switch to a spatula, if necessary.)
Once the batter is well mixed, fold in berries and pecans to distribute evenly. Spread the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Sprinkle the top with cinnamon sugar, and bake for about 1 hour until a tester comes out clean.
Try to wait until cool to slice, but that will probably be impossible. Apparently, the loaf should store well in the fridge for several days at least - but I'm not sure I'll ever be able to let you know if that is accurate.