Dandelions are one of the first flowers that I notice when spring finally arrives. The perky little yellow flowers seem to bloom everywhere from forested meadows to the medians on highways. Dandelions are native to Eurasia and the Americas but are mostly considered a weed. I also use to see the little yellow flowers as a blemish on the landscape that indicated neglected lawns and abandoned property. Now I have a new outlook on dandelions: the flowers make a great addition to quick bread! (And by now you all know how much I enjoy quick breads.)
I was first intrigued about using dandelions in cooking after reading a recipe for dandelion quick bread from Landon Cook’s blog. His blog post has some good strategies and recommendations for foraging and baking with dandelions. The recipe that Cook uses for dandelion muffins and bread is adapted from The Dandelion Celebration by Peter Gail.
Dandelion Quick Bread
First, collect one cup worth of dandelion petals.
My favorite spot to collect is along a less traveled residential road. I know the strip is maintained by the local county and is not treated with herbicides or chemicals. More importantly, it is less likely someone will drive by and notice the crazy lady collecting dandelions.
Make sure you collect enough flowers. I just pluck the entire flower head off the plant and collect them in a container. Cook’s blog recommend adding double the amount of dandelion petals than specified in Gail’s book. I felt that the extra amount of petals was needed.
After returning to the kitchen rinse off any bugs and dirt from the flowers.
Remove the greens and stems from the petals by grasping the tops of the petals in your fingers, twist and pull.
Combine all of the dry ingredients and dandelion petals in one bowl. Separate the petals from each other into the bowl to reduce clumping. Blend the liquid ingredients together in a second bowl. Next combined the dry and liquid ingredients. Mix until the batter is blended and lumpy.
Add the batter to a greased loaf pan and if desired drizzle some honey on top. Bake the bread in the oven until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
Turn the bread out of the pan onto a plate and cool. Serve. Enjoy as a snack or serve as a bread along with a meal.