Friday, April 24, 2020

Quarantine Baking Nespresso Toasted Pecan Bread

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A match made in heaven
Ahhh 2020, I am pretty much over you.  I have been absent from my blog but I am back.  January started as usual.  I was cleaning and organizing, I got the worst cold, and then I got the worst phone call.  My mom fell in Florida and as happens with the elderly (although I never considered her elderly) she broke her hip, her arm, and then went into kidney failure.  I can't retell this chapter, but I lost my sweet mom who was really the center of my day, everyday.  We talked a minimum of once a day.  I sure hope she can still hear me, because my conversations haven't stopped.  I now call my dad everyday, and he is kind of loving it, which makes my heart soar. 


There were rumblings of COVID during the January and February trips back and forth to Florida.  And honestly when the shutdown came, I was ready to hide in my house.  Well, now I want out!!!!  In the meantime, I have been baking, and sewing and quilting, and walking!!!   I'm kind of a recluse anyway, so no issues for us.  I sure miss Pure Barre and golf....I do need those!

It's really not a bread. It's cake baked in a loaf pan!

Last week I was scrolling through Instagram and Nesporesso had a little photo of its amazing coffee and this bread, with frosting and pecans.  Everyone, including me wanted that recipe! Advertising works....I ordered another 80 capsules for my machine and I made the closest version to that beautiful bread I could.  I have every church cookbook from my mom and found many pecan breads within.  I did a little tweaking and I think I found a winner!!!

The ad that made this happen!

My icing is much whiter than the Nespresso bread!

Pecan Bread With Toasted Pecans and Browned Butter Icing

Makes 2 loaves 5x9 pans

Spray the pans liberally with Baker's Joy and preheat oven to 350.  I bake convection so I preheat to 330. 

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda

mix the dry ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. 

In a large skillet over medium heat, toast 1 1/2 cups of chopped pecans.  I dump into a dry cast iron pan and shake around until I smell them toasting.  Keep an eye on them so they don't burn.  Turn off the heat. 

In a stand mixer with the flat paddle, mix

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter at room temp
1 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Add one at a time mixing each in,

3 eggs
and add
1 cup plain full fat Greek yogurt (I use Fage 5%)

Add dry ingredients and when fully mixed add the warm pecans.  Divide among the 2 loaf pans, it will rise significantly when it bakes!!

Bake.  I set timer for 20 min and move around in the oven.  Set timer another 20.  If the inside is still gooey, drop the heat 10 degrees and give it another 10.  It should be cooked through.  Cool on a rack before popping out of the tins. 

As soon as the bread is out of the oven, (let's be honest, it's a cake!!!) brown your butter.

6 Tablespoons butter (I like salted for icing)

I use a small saucepan, you can use a skillet, just make sure its stainless steel and not dark.  You want to see it brown so it doesn't get overdone!!!  I put the pan on med high heat and when it starts to bubble, slide off heat and swirl until it stops bubbling. Again, put on heat until it bubbles, slide off and swirl.  You will be able to smell that amazing browning happening (think caramel) and see small specks on the bottom of pan.  It should be golden, not dark. You can always cook longer but if you burn it, you have to start over! 

Transfer to a small dish and put in fridge while the bread cools. 

pinch of salt if using unsalted butter
1 cup to 1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
3 Tablespoons milk (if you want decadence use evaporated milk!!!)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla 

When the bread is cooled and the butter is not warm, but not hard as a rock, whip butter in a mixer adding salt (optional) vanilla, and add the confectioners sugar 1/4 cup at a time until icing is spreadable and smooth.  Ice the cakes, decorate if you like!
Perfect for 3 o'clock Nespresso during quarantine or anytime!  What are you waiting for?  Get in there and bake!