red devil bread

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What’s so great about Saint Valentine’s Day? Two words: red velvet. While this Southern delicacy can easily be made any other time of the year, you’re guaranteed to see an abundance of it around February 14th, like clockwork. Red velvet cake. Red velvet cupcakes. Red velvet whoopie pies. Red velvet cheesecake. You name it, businesses have got this holiday down pat. And you know what? I dig it. Any holiday that increases the amount of red velvet in this world is okay in my book.

Regardless of all the red velvet baked, bought and consumed today, I can’t help but add to the craze. So here’s my take on Saint Valentine’s Day 2013. Red velvet, devil’s food, quick bread deliciousness. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel either, if you have a staple red velvet or devil’s food recipe, use it. Just be conscious of how much batter you put in a 9 x 5 inch bread pan because you don’t want it to overflow. Been there, done that. And use a recipe with a thicker batter, it’ll make life easier I promise. Don’t feel like jumping on the homemade bandwagon today? We all know the box cake mixes are like crack. It’s no secret. I’m partial to Pillsbury Moist Supreme, but that’s just me. How someone can resist the Pillsbury Doughboy is beyond me. Pop over to your local grocery store and pick up one box of red velvet and one box of devil’s food mix and you’ll be set. Just make sure to cook the red velvet about 10 minutes less than the boxed directions say so the final product isn’t dry.

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red devil bread
makes one 9 x 5 inch loaf
useful gadgets: stand mixer, heart cookie cutter, 9 x 5 inch bread pan

for the red velvet:
adapted from Paula’s Home Cooking
2 ½ cups flour
1 ½ cups sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ½ cups canola oil
1 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
4 tbsp red food coloring
2 tsp white distilled vinegar
1 tsp vanilla

for the devil’s food:
1 ½ cups flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ cup unsalted butter
1 ¼ cups sugar
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 x 5 inch bread pan and put a rack in the upper half of the oven.

Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder in a medium-sized bowl and set aside. In a stand mixer or with a handheld mixer, beat the oil, buttermilk, eggs, red food coloring, vinegar and vanilla. The 4 tablespoons of red food coloring is really just a suggestion. I like my red velvet extra red. So if you find yourself pouring in a whole little bottle of red food coloring that’s ok. Go with it. When the liquids reach a smooth consistency, add half the dry ingredients and beat until well combined. Scrape down the bowl and add the remainder of the dry ingredients and mix until the batter is a velvety consistency.

Pour the batter into the greased 9 x 5 inch bread pan. Bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs on it. To err on the side of caution, underbake the bread since it goes in the oven again. When it’s done, remove the pan from the oven and let the bread cool. Loosen it from the pan by dragging a knife along the edges and invert onto a plate. Flip the bread right side up, cover in plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator for anywhere from an hour to four hours. Only have one 9 x 5 inch bread pan? Give it a quick wash since you’ll need it to bake the bread in again.

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Remove the red velvet bread from the refrigerator and cut the ends, taking off as little bread as possible. Cut the remainder of the loaf into 1-inch thick slices. Lay the slices out on a cutting board and use a heart cookie cookie cutter to make heart shapes, trying not to use any of the crust. Grease the 9 x 5 inch bread pan and align the heart shapes in the pan how you want. I opted to use two different size heart cookie cutters, one small and one medium, to use as much red velvet bread as I could.

Preheat the oven to 350°F again and start on the devil’s food. Whisk together the flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder and baking soda in a medium-sized bowl and set aside. In a stand mixer or with a handheld mixer, beat the softened butter and sugar at medium-high until the consistency is light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Gradually add the eggs and mix until well combined. Alternatively add the flour mixture and buttermilk. Mix well and then pour over the red velvet heart cut outs in the 9 x 5 inch greased bread pan. Make sure you completely cover the red velvet with the devil’s food batter. Bake the bread for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove the bread from the oven when it’s done, let cool and cut into slices to see the red velvet hearts!

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whisk away!

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