There's hardly a time when it isn't helpful to have a few loaves of quick bread on hand to serve as snacks with coffee, or even for very simple sandwiches. This carrot bread recipe, which takes only 15 minutes to prepare and yields three good-size loaves, has a delicate flavor and a nice crumbly, cake-like texture.
I am partial to carrot bread with cream cheese, peanut butter, fruit chutney or whipped butter. Early in the morning, I toast it lightly and eat it plain with fruit salad. Sometimes I use it for chicken sandwiches at lunch.
The best-looking carrot bread is made with long shreds of carrot, which remain intact in the baked loaf. Long shreds are created by processing carrots sideways, so that the teeth of the food processor grate the carrots along the grain.
For long shreds, cut carrots into even lengths to fit sideways in the food chute. Insert carrots sideways, piling up the pieces on top of each other, like logs. While processing, exert firm (but not hard) pressure on the pusher so that carrots pass evenly through the shredding disc.
Once carrots are shredded and transferred to a large mixing bowl, the batter can be made with the metal blade. It is not necessary to rinse out the processor container between these tasks since the carrots ultimately will be mixed into the batter.
8 large carrots, peeled
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups oil
3 3/4 cups flour
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
Heaping 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Heaping 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Heaping 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
Insert medium shredding disk in food processor. Cut carrots in even length to fit sideways in food chute and slice with firm push. Empty carrot shreds into large mixing bowl.
Combine granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla in processor container. With motor running, add oil in steady stream within 30 seconds. Sweep container side with spatula.
Sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and allspice. Add half dry ingredients to processor and mix into batter with 1/2-second pulses. Repeat to mix in remaining dry ingredients. Batter will be very thick.
Thoroughly fold batter into shredded carrots (mixture will be extremely thick). Divide carrot batter between 3 (6-cup) generously greased loaf pans, placing 4 cups batter in each pan.
Bake pans at same time at 350 degrees 45 to 50 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in center is withdrawn clean. Cool, loosen breads from loaf pans and invert to remove. When breads reach room temperature, wrap in foil to keep fresh. Makes 3 loaves.