Pork and Beans Bread… No, Really.

I recently found a new series of cheesy mystery novels that I enjoy. In part, like them because the main character owns a cookie shop and so they include some creative recipes for sweets. Usually, I just drool as I read them, but the book that I just finished included a recipe for Pork and Beans Bread. I wasn’t convinced by the title, but as much as my family likes baked beans, we never eat an entire recipe yield or the leftovers. I figured this recipe was worth a try since it would help solve that particular problem.

For the most part, I followed the recipe as it was written. However, I used homemade baked beans from dinner the night before. Since mine are a little less saucy and sweet than store-bought baked beans, I added a tablespoon of molasses to the batter. I also only had about ¾ cup of oil in the house, so in the end I added about ¼ cup milk.

Ingredients


1 can (15 ounce) of pork and beans (2 cups of leftover homemade baked beans works, too)

4 eggs, beaten

1 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups white sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

3 cups all-purpose flour

Directions


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F., rack in the middle position.

Prepare your pans. Spray two 9-inch by 5-inch by 3-inch-deep loaf pans with Pam or another nonstick cooking spray.


Don’t drain the pork and beans. Pour them into a food processor or a blender, juice and all, and process them until they’re pureed smooth with no lumps.


Place beaten eggs in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the pureed pork and beans and mix them in well.

Add the vegetable oil and the vanilla extract. Mix well.


Add the sugar and mix it in. Then mix in the baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Stir until everything is incorporated.


Stir in the chopped nuts.


Add the flour in one-cup increments, stirring after each addition.


Spoon half of the batter into one loaf pan and the other half of the batter into the second loaf pan.

Bake at 350 degrees F. for 50 to 60 minutes. […]


Cool for 20 minutes. Run the sharp blade of a knife around inside of all four sides of the pan to loosen the bread, and then tip it out onto the wire rack. Cool the bread completely.


(From Plum Pudding Murder by Joanne Fluke, Kensington Publishing Corporation, 2009)

Now for the interesting part: how did it taste? Pretty good, actually. The flavor mellows as it cools and you don’t really taste the baked bean flavor. Instead, the molasses and cinnamon come through nicely. The texture is thick and soft like banana bread, but lighter and not as dense. The only thing I didn’t like was how tough the bacon from my homemade baked beans became. It was like finding bits of plastic in some of the bites. Therefore, if you have bacon in your beans, consider picking it out or going with vegetarian beans.

My husband hasn’t ventured a taste, but since Vincent helped me prepare it, he tried some spread with a little peanut butter with his breakfast. One taste and he giggled with glee. That reaction alone means I’ll make this again. 

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