Streusel—that wonderful mixture of flour, sugar, butter and nuts—can get you through some tight spots in baking. Is your pie less than perfect on top? Is your cheesecake cracked when it comes from the oven? Does your bread look dry? Scatter streusel on top, bake a few minutes longer, and problem solved.
German for “sprinkle” or “strew,” streusel is sometimes gussied up with ground cinnamon, particularly when it’s used on coffeecakes, muffins or other breads. It gives everything a slightly crunchy topping that sets off tender baked items.
Making streusel takes only a few minutes, and over the years, we’ve learned a shortcut. Instead of cutting in the softened butter with our fingers, a pastry blender or a fork, we find it’s much easier to melt the butter and stir it into the sugar mixture with a kitchen fork. Measure, combine, stir—you’re done.
Pumpkin Streusel Bread
When you pour the pumpkin mixture into the pan, it seems as if there isn’t nearly enough. But as the loaf bakes, the batter rises to fill the pan and form a rounded top, which is characteristic of quick loaves.
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoons chopped walnuts
Nonstick cooking spray
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1. To prepare streusel, combine flour, granulated sugar and brown sugar in a small bowl. Add butter and stir with fork until crumbly. Add walnuts and toss to combine. 2. To prepare bread, preheat oven to 350F. Coat a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Line bottom and 2 sides with a wax paper, letting edges extend over sides of pan.
3. Whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl to blend.
4. In a mixing bowl, beat eggs, oil, granulated and brown sugars, pumpkin, cinnamon and allspice at medium speed until blended. Stir in flour mixture.
5. Pour batter into pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle streusel over top and press lightly into batter. Bake 50 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool 10 minutes in pan on wire rack; remove from pan and peel off wax paper. Let cool completely on wire rack. Makes 1 loaf; serves 12.
Per serving: 230 calories, 10g fat, 35mg chol., 3g prot., 35g carbs., 1g fiber, 150mg sodium
Photo credit: Teresa Blackburn