Ann Sather restaurants are legendary in Chicago for their cinnamon buns, breakfasts, and familiar comforts like this carrot bread, a sweet loaf that goes back to Ann’s beginnings with the restaurant in 1945. That was when Ann plunked down savings earned at a meat-packing plant to buy an already-existing Swedish diner. Although Norwegian, Ann kept the Swedish menu to please already-loyal guests in the then-heavily-Swedish neighborhood. (There were seven Swedish restaurants on her block when she opened (!) Ann worked the restaurant for 30 years before selling to Tom Tunney, now 44th Ward Alderman, the man responsible for growing Ann Sather’s to four current locations. According to Alderman Tunney, Ann’s cinnamon-spiced carrot bread was originally included with the bread service at dinner, and is still served at the restaurant as a specialty bread.
Makes 2, 9 x 5-inch loaves
Carrot Bread Ingredients
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 2 1/4 tsp each of baking soda & cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 1/4 cups oil
- 4 large eggs
- 2 1/2 cups (about 1 small bunch) fresh carrots, trimmed of their tops, peeled and grated
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 350. In a medium-sized bowl, sift flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat sugar and oil together on low speed; add eggs and continue beating until incorporated. Increase speed to medium high and whip until light and fluffy.
- Alternately stir dry ingredients and grated carrot into mixture, just until no flour streaks remain.
- Fold in walnuts.
- Divide batter into two parchment-lined or well-greased loaf pans. (Ann poured them into greased pans; we like using parchment, which means you can more-easily slip the loaves out and there’s no added fat.) Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes; reduce oven temperature to 250 degrees and bake an additional 25 to 30 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool on wire racks for 10 minutes. Unmold. Serve warm–especially nice with a little whipped honey butter, or slightly-sweetened whipped cream cheese.