Rhubarb. I feel like I need to admit that prior to this recipe, I had never eaten rhubarb. I’m not a big fan of celery and it just looks like giant pink celery so why would I want to eat it? What is particularly astonishing about this situation is that strawberry rhubarb pie is one of my dad’s favorite desserts. I grew up with this pie being made in my household somewhat regularly. Still, I never tried it. As I sifted through my grandma’s recipe box I knew I needed to get over myself and give this a go.
I feel like you need to know your fruits and vegetables in raw form before cooking with them. So, I did it. I took a bite of raw rhubarb – BITTER!!! Clearly sugar is needed to balance this out, no wonder I’ve only ever seen it in desserts. I also tasted the batter before pouring it into the loaf pans (I know, I was risking salmonella with the raw egg). I was expecting it to be sweet like a muffin or pumpkin bread but it was actually quite mild. My second confession for this recipe is that I was starting to think this might be my first fail of Grandma’s recipe box. I. Was. Wrong! The brown sugar crumbles on top added just the right amount of sweetness to make this bread completely delightful and the bitterness of the rhubarb subsided as it baked. Alright, rhubarb lovers of the world, I get it and I’m now a member of your club!
- Sometimes your hands are better tools than anything you can buy. I found it easiest to mix the topping ingredients together by hand.
- You can grease your loaf pans if you don’t have parchment paper.
1 ½ cups packed brown sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 ½ cups diced rhubarb
½ cup walnut pieces
½ cup packed brown sugar
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, slightly softened
Preheat oven to 350°F and line two loaf pans with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, mix together all bread ingredients in order listed. Pour equal amounts of batter into each loaf pan.
In a small bowl, mix together topping ingredients. Sprinkle equal amounts of topping over each pan of batter.
Bake 50-60 minutes or until test until a test stick can be inserted and removed clean. Once loaves are baked, let cool 20 minutes before removing from pans. Slice and serve slightly warm or let loaves finish cooling on a wire rack.