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How to Make a Pawpaw Bread

Pawpaws are available at the farmer's markets normally in the fall.  Besides other Pawpaw recipes, you can also make a Pawpaw bread.

You will need about as many pawpaws as will fill a brown paper lunch sack. If they are not all ripe at the same time (they usually aren't), put the ripe ones in a tightly sealed plastic bag in the fridge and they
will wait for the others. A pawpaw is ripe when it is easily dented with your finger.

Start by preparing the pawpaws. This is a messy job, and not as easy as mashing bananas, but it's fun. You just need a paring knife. Cut them open, dig the seeds out, scrape the fruit into a bowl. You can pop the seeds in your mouth and suck the excess fruit off of them until you get overwhelmed with the flavor--after that, you can strip the fruit coating off of the seeds with a knife, and get a little extra fruit for the bread--but the raccoons at the compost pile will appreciate it if you don't, so don't feel obliged.

Mash the pawpaws with a potato masher or a fork.

Now you can preheat the oven: 350 degrees. And oil two loaf pans, or 8X8 pans. Here's the recipe:

2/3 cup oil (I use canola)

1/3 cup honey
 (use 2/3 for a cake-like sweetness; this gives a bready sweetness)

4 large eggs or 6 small

Add these ingredients to the mashed fruit and mix really well. In another bowl, mix well:

3 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

2 t baking powder

1 t soda

1/2 t salt

Add this to the pawpaw mixture and mix just until it's all combined.

Pour into pans and bake 45-50 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Be careful not to overbake; it gets dry easily.

This bread doesn't quite have the flavor of raw pawpaws--there's a little edge that develops during cooking--but it's a great way to enjoy them after you are tired of just munching them raw. I recommend vanilla ice cream--in my case, the non-dairy kind--to make it perfect.

(contributed by Denise Breeden-Ost with edits)

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