Watermelon stands lining the side of the rural parish roads are an especially Southern thing. Truckloads begin arriving as the temperature soars, and there is no better way to cool down than a slice of ice-cold watermelon on the back porch steps. Or maybe there is: Watermelon Bread – hot out of the oven.
I’ve won a many a seed-spittin’ contest in my younger days, but I was always afraid of swallowing one of those black devils. My Uncle John always said that if you did, you’d surely grow a watermelon in your stomach. He’d always pull up his shirt and expose his bulbous belly and laugh a snide little snicker. I didn’t believe him, but I never did swallow one of those things–that is, until this recipe for Watermelon Bread.
By the time September rolls around, you’re looking for something creative to do with your summer melons. Combining watermelon juice, pulp and roasted seeds, into a loaf of bread isn’t exactly an everyday recipe. This watermelon bread was born out of having access to way too many of those melons and too much time. But, it wasn’t exactly a leap of faith to think that sweet, juicy watermelon wouldn’t make exceptionally tasty, breakfast bread.
- 1 ripe watermelon, with seeds
- Non-stick spray
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 stick of butter, softened
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 3 large eggs, beaten
- ½ cup black currants
- Preheat the oven to 250ºF.
- Cut the watermelon and spoon out the pulp removing all the black seeds to a colander. Save the rind for making pickled watermelon rind. Rinse the seeds in water removing all the pulp and dry with a towel. Spray the seeds with a non-stick spray and toss with salt. Place the seeds on a tray, and slide into the oven to bake for 2 to 3 hours, checking them regularly until they become crunchy and nutty-like. When completely roasted remove and let cool.
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
- Chop up all the watermelon pulp, place in a piece of cheesecloth and squeeze over a bowl to remove the juice. Measure out one cup of juice in a bowl. In another bowl, measure out one cup of pulp.
- In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour and combine with the baking soda and baking powder. Add the salt, allspice, nutmeg, and sugar, stirring all together.
- In another bowl, add the softened butter and combine with the yogurt and one cup of watermelon juice along with one cup of watermelon pulp. Add the beaten eggs along with the black currants and combine.
- Add the liquid ingredients to the dry and mix. Pour the mixture into a loaf pan sprayed with non-stick spray leaving room for the mixture to rise. Place the roasted watermelon seeds on top. Bake 15 to 20 minutes and check for doneness. Remove the bread from the pan to a rack to cool.
- Serve the bread with sweet butter and a hot cup of Louisiana coffee.
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