We all have those people in our life. The ones who are crazy organized and ridiculously thoughtful and always have a gift in hand (and frequently homemade to boot). Beat them at their own game this year by making Mason Jar Bread. That’s right. A quick bread you bake up and stash away for unexpected gift givers. Ready to beat those DIY Kings and Queens at their own game? Here we go
Begin with wide mouth decorative mason jars. You are going to need eight of them.
Use the recipe I am going to give you at the end of this post to make up whatever sort of quick bread you choose. This is a recipe the Master Seamstress was given by her sewing partner in crime, Jane. We made carrot pineapple this time, but feel free to make it into whatever you’d like. Applesauce, banana chocolate chip, gingerbread. Just be sure to add 2 cups of whatever ‘add in’ so the recipe works properly.
Grease up those eight mason jars. Do not use a spray – it will not work. Jane uses straight shortening; the Master Seamstress recommends her homemade recipe for something called Pan-lease. It is 2 cups of shortening blended together with 1/2 cup of flour. I found the easiest way to grease them was to paint the bottom with a basting brush, then rub down the insides with my fingers.
Evenly divide the batter between the eight jars. There should be approximately 1 cup in each jar.
Distribute them evenly on a cookie sheet and pop them in the oven. Turn the jars once during the baking to make sure they are evenly browned. Test for doneness with a bamboo skewer before taking them out of the oven. Our batch needed an extra 5 minutes or so. Start the sealing lids simmering near the end of the baking so they are ready when the bread is.
You should end up with eight jars that look about like this. Now, you need to work quick.
Pop the lids and bands on speedy quick. You will hear them begin to pop within a few minutes.
As the jars cool, you will see the bread pull away from the sides. You can now be sure that your bread is going to come out so your recipient can actually eat it.
Now, about showing up those gift giving DIY-ers. A wee bit of seasonal fabric will fix up these jars in a hurry.
Remember to centre a the fabric so some key piece of the pattern shows in the middle. This is just the kind of trick those DIY-ers would pull.
For reference, the fabric needs to be about 7” square to turn out like this beauty that I have pictured above.
Mason Jar Bread
- 8 wide mouth pint canning jars
- 2/3 cup shortening + more for greasing jars
- 4 eggs
- 2 2/3 cup sugar
- 2/3 cup water
- 2 cups of any of the following: canned pumpkin , mashed bananas, grated carrots, applesauce, shredded carrots, drained pineapple
- 3 1/2 cups flour
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup nuts
Wash and dry canning jars; grease each jar with shortening (do not use spray)
Preheat oven to 325 F
Cream together shortening, sugar, eggs, and water
Add in 2 cups of chosen wet ingredients
Mix together dry ingredients and add to creamed mixture
Divide batter evenly between jars (approximately 1 cup each)
Wipe jar mouths clean and bake for 45-55 minutes; turn and rotate jars half way through to promote even browning
Simmer lids so they are ready when the bread is finished baking
As soon as the jars come out of the oven, put a lid and ring on each.
Set aside to cool. Each jar should pop when they are sealed. Any unsealed jars should be eaten quickly