Pear Almond Loaf

Last week’s chilly weather and rainy days called for some hot, soul-comforting food. Thankfully, Joanna Szurmak’s pear almond loaf recipe rises to the occasion perfectly.

There’s nothing more comforting than a hot loaf of bread fresh from the oven (especially when it’s served alongside a bowl of soup). On the not-so-bright side, bread-making is no easy feat. The cooking experts may give us all the dos and don’ts and break it down like a Dummies guide but somehow, it’s never enough. (At least, it isn’t for me.)

While Szurmak, the digital initiatives and science liaison librarian, may not have provided us with a dummies’ guide to making bread, she did provide the secret ingredient to her pear almond loaf: almond flour. “It’s not the same without it,” she says.

A fair warning to all: this recipe may be best left to individuals with some prior experience in bread-making. Now, let’s take a look at the recipe.

Pear Almond Loaf

(Adapted from an All-Bran recipe found on in 2013)
Serves 8–12
  • 1¼ cup of all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup of whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup of sugar (white or golden)
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup of chopped, slivered almonds
  • 1½ cup of bran cereal (e.g. All-Bran)
  • 1¼ cup of milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup of grape seed or vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup of chopped peeled pear
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  • ¼ cup ground almonds or almond flour
  1. In a large bowl, mix the bran cereal and milk. Ensure that all the cereal is in contact with liquid. Let the mixture stand for 5 minutes.
  2. Spray a loaf pan (9” by 5”) with olive oil.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix the flours, sugar, baking powder, salt, and almonds.
  5. Get a hand blender (or a manual mixing utensil) and break up the cereal in the large bowl, then beat in the egg and oil.
  6. Add the flour mixture and the pear pieces to the cereal-liquid mixture.
  7. Stir everything until combined; do not over-mix.
  8. Pour and spread the batter into the prepared pan.
  9. Bake for approximately 60 minutes or until a wooden twig (or pick) comes out clean from the centre.
  10. Cool completely before cutting.
  11. Serve immediately.

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