This is an award-winning 1976 recipe by Hazel Gentry of Walnut Creek, California, for not one, but 33 breads. The Diablo Symphony Association members loved it so much that at their big annual reception, they made it in many varieties and served it to 400 guests.
My mom discovered the newspaper article when I was a kid and has made it so many times over the years. I finally confiscated the recipe for myself and I’ve since made it so many times, I never refer to the recipe anymore.
It’s usually my go-to dessert for a potluck or preschool event. It’s easy, portable, and can be cut up into large pieces or small. You can serve one loaf and freeze the other for later. And the combinations are endless, so it becomes a different cake every time. I made it countless times for playdates during Haley’s first years. After all the parents kept requesting the recipe, it actually became the inspiration for the Very Culinary blog.
A to Z Bread
Prep time: 15-20 (depending on ingredients you choose)
Cook time: 1 hour
• 3 cups flour
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 3 teaspoons cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
• 3 eggs
• 1 cup vegetable oil
• 2 cups sugar
• 3 teaspoons vanilla
• 1 cup chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans)
• 2 cups A-Z*
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease 2 loaf pans, set aside.
In a large bowl sift dry ingredients, set aside. In a medium bowl whisk together eggs, oil, sugar, and vanilla until incorporated. Add A-Z and nuts. Add dry ingredients and mix well.
Pour equally into the loaf pans and bake for 1 hour.
*A-Z: use one of the following, or a mixture of the following, to equal 2 cups: grated apples, blueberries, chocolate chips, chopped apricots, mashed bananas, grated carrots, pitted and chopped cherries, shredded coconut, pitted and finely chopped dates, finely chopped figs, crushed and drained pineapple, canned pumpkin, raisins, raspberries, grated zucchini.
My favorite combinations:
mashed banana/chocolate chips/walnuts
grated apple/dried cherries/pecans
grated carrots/shredded coconut/pecans