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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Black-Currant Tea Bread

Tart black currants make an enticing tea bread that is fruity without being too sweet, while mint adds a fresh, herbal note. Orange juice is used to enhance the flavour of the bread and decrease the amount of sugar needed in the recipe. If you have extra black currants, make a few loaves of bread and freeze them for up to 2 months.

Cooking spray
3 cups (750 mL) self-rising flour
1 tsp (5 mL) baking powder
3 tbsp (45 mL) light margarine
1⁄3 cup (75 mL) sugar
5 oz (150 g) fresh black currants
3 tbsp (45 mL) fresh mint, chopped
3⁄4 cup (175 mL) orange juice

Black currants are an excellent source of vitamin C—gram for gram, they contain 3 times as much vitamin C as oranges. They also provide useful amounts of potassium, and are rich in a group of phytochemicals called flavonoids, which may help to protect against heart disease.

• The oils menthol, menthone and menthyl acetate, responsible for the characteristic flavour of mint, are believed to have powerful antiseptic properties.

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Coat a 9 x 5-in. (2 L) loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside. Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl, then cut in the margarine with two knives or a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in the sugar and make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients.
Place the black currants and mint in the well and pour in the orange juice. Gradually stir the dry ingredients into the liquid until just combined.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake until loaf is firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean, about 1 hour. If the loaf looks as though it is browning too much after about 45 minutes, place a piece of foil loosely over the top.
Allow the tea bread to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely. The tea bread is best left overnight before serving, and can be kept in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Preparation time 15 minutes 
Cooking time about 1 hour 
Makes 1 large loaf (14 slices)

Nutritional information 
Each serving (one slice) provides: calories 135, calories from fat 9, fat 1 g, saturated fat 0 g, cholesterol 0 mg,
carbohydrate 28 g, fibre 2 g, sugars 7 g, protein 3 g.
Choices per serving: Carbohydrate 2

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