Our family has always been known to have a delicious homemade quick bread on the counter. Nothing is better in the morning with some coffee, and it's truly amazing having an extra delicious breakfast to grab a slice of, every day until it's gone. One of my favorites our mom makes is a blueberry bread with a streusel topping. The blueberry bread itself is so moist and full of fresh fruit, but the crumbly top is life changing. It takes everything in my power not to take a spoon to the top of the bread and just eat it all at once!
I knew I had to make a "quick bread" with as much streusel as possible. I also love blackberries and thyme, so knew I wanted to incorporate in those flavors. This quick bread is all that. A quick blackberry-thyme compote-like jam is layered and swirled into some extra *cringe* moist bread, and then topped with a nice, thick layer of streusel. Starting with the jam, it's as easy as combining fresh blackberries with a little sugar and water on the stove. Once it’s boiling, you’ll add some fresh thyme and simmer until it starts to thicken. If it still looks a little thin you can sprinkle some cornstarch in as we want to make sure it’s thick enough to spread through the batter.
Once your kitchen smells like a blackberry bush it’s time to set the jam aside and get to the good stuff. This batter is so simple that you don’t even need to pull out a hand or stand mixer. Think brownie batter-like style with just a wooden spoon.
Once the batter ingredients are combined you can get right to layering. There’s nothing worse than when you add some fresh fruit to a muffin or quick bread and you find that once it’s baked, all the fruit has sunk to the bottom. Fear not, that’s where the layering comes in! You’re going to want to add a third of the batter, swirl in some blackberry thyme jam, and repeat until both are gone. While it may seem like an extra step, you will surely thank me when you cut into this bad boy and see the beautiful swirled layers.
Once your layers are complete, it’s finally time to get to the really good stuff. Pull out a little extra butter, sugar and flour, and make sure your hands are good and clean because it’s time to cut that butter in. Once you add the cubed cold butter to the bowl with the sugar and flour, the easiest way in my opinion to create the best streusel crumbs is to get in there with your fingers and work the butter into the sugar and flour. It’s totally okay (and preferable) if the mixture ends up with different sized pieces, as I like to have a combination of sandy fine pieces to little pebble-like streusel bits.
Sprinkle the streusel mix over the layered batter, and because we’re using a loaf pan, the streusel gets piled extra high! Think like an inch high layer of streusel. In my opinion, there is nothing worse than when the delicious top of a muffin or bread (the best part!) is too thin, so rest assured, this quick bread is topped with the thickest, butteriest, crumble.
Due to its height, this quick bread is baked for a little under an hour. To protect the sacred streusel layer, after about 35 minutes or when you see it beginning to turn golden, you can tent it lightly with some foil while the middle finishes cooking.
I’m not joking, between the blackberry thyme jam and the buttery, sugary, bread, once this finishes baking your kitchen is going to smell like a farm stand meets bakery heaven. Despite that, it’s important to try your absolute hardest to let this cool for roughly 20 minutes before loosening it from the pan and cutting a slice. The layers are beautiful and it’s worth it, so pop this on the counter and feel free to stare at it while you wait.
When you leave this on your counter if you don’t cover this extremely tightly with foil there’s a good chance it won’t stay as fresh or you will find yourself sprinting back to your kitchen to eat the entire streusel layer off the top. Both are equally probable risks.
This quick bread is a cross between a berry breakfast and a buttery dessert, and I urge you to enjoy it with some coffee in the morning, tea at night, or any time in between.
Enjoy with some leftover fresh blackberries and get excited for the upcoming summer berries in the best way possible!
A spongey blackberry thyme jammy streusel bread swirled with a homemade blackberry thyme jam, topped with a buttery and crumbly streusel topping, perfect to accompany your morning coffee or tea.
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