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Entries in Bread (9)

Thursday
Feb092012

Chocolatey Banana Bread 

Everyone, and I mean everyone, needs a go-to banana bread recipe. For starters, banana bread is quite possibly one of my most favorite things to consume. You can eat it for breakfast, a snack, or even dessert. In my book, if you can use a food for more than one meal, it deserves a gold star. It is also incredibly easy to cook. This recipe is an add-an-ingredient-mix-add-an-ingredient-mix kind of recipe. The preparation takes no more than 5 minutes of your time and it comes out equally tasty in muffin form as it does in loaf form. Because it is so easy, it also ends up being the perfect bread to make for a neighbor, friend, party, etc. And they will all like it. Which brings me back to my original point: everyone needs a go-to banana bread recipe. This is most definitely not the healthiest recipe (it isn't bad for you either, but I certainly wouldn't sit here and toot my healthy-recipe horn). There are plenty of other ways to make healthy and tasty banana bread, including substituting oats for flour, yogurt for oil, subtracting the chocolate chips, so forth and so on. While I can't guarantee this bread will help roll off the pounds, I can guarantee you that this recipe yields a moist, semi-sweet bread with just the right amount of banana flavoring.

Bananas at the slightly brown stage are the best to mash. If they are green or bright yellow, they will be far too ripe for this recipe. You can also freeze brown bananas and pull them out when you are ready to make banana bread.

 Banana Bread (Chocolate Chips Optional)

  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mash 3 bananas with the back of a large spoon.
  3. Add 1 cup of sugar and mix.
  4. Add 1 tsp baking soda and mix.
  5. Add 1/2 tsp of salt and mix.
  6. Melt 1/4 cup of butter in a small bowl. Mix melted butter into banana mixture.
  7. Mix in 2 eggs.
  8. Add 1.5 cups of flour and mix.
  9. Add 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips if desired and mix.
  10. Lightly grease a muffin tin or a bread pan (9x5).
  11. Pour batter into the bread pan or muffin tins.
  12. If you are making muffins, bake for 20-25 minutes. Stick a toothpick or knife into the center to determine if they are done. If the toothpick comes out clean, remove from oven and let cool. If it doesnt, bake in 5 minute intervals, checking each time to see if it is cooked through. If you are making a loaf, bake for 45 minutes. Check the inside with a knife/toothpick to determine if the loaf is baked thoroughly. If it is not, let it bake in 10 minute intervals. If the loaf begins to brown, cover it with a piece of foil for the remainder of baking time.
Wednesday
Jan252012

Chocolate Chip Scones, Revisited

On Sunday, November 21, 2010, I posted a recipe for Chocolate Chip Scones. Fourteen months later, I finally decided to make these scones again. Armed with more knowledge about cooking and baking than a year ago, I tweaked the recipe slightly. I took out the cream and replaced it with Chobani 0% Greek Yogurt and I substituted regular white sugar for brown sugar. I sometimes worry that adding greek yogurt will lead to a bitter, sour cream taste. Without fail, the recipes using greek yogurt come out tasting marvelous. These scones are no exception. They are moist and soft, and the swap of greek yogurt for cream makes them that much healthier. It just goes to show, removing butter and whipping cream from recipes does not have to result in a flavorless food. And while you may think scones take a lot of work, I had these cooked and on the table within 30 minutes of waking up. Next time you crave a scone, skip Starbucks or the local pastry shop and try making them yourself. Remember, you can substitute chocolate chips for nuts, cinnamon morsel, and fresh or dried fruits.

Chocolate Chip Scones, Revisited

Servings: 8-10 scones

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup butter, chilled and diced
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup 0% plain Chobani greek yogurt
  • 1 egg
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat together cream, egg and vanilla. In another large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, chocolate chips, baking powder, cinnamon, salt. Cut in butter in small chunks and mix.
  3. Slowly pour wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients, mixing with rubber scraper until dough forms. Knead dough 4 or 5 times.
  4. Lightly flour a surface.
  5. Shape dough into a circle, roughly 6-8 inches in diameter by 2 inches in height. 
  6. Cut the circle into 8-10 wedges. Place scones on lightly greased baking sheets.
  7. Bake until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.

 

Tuesday
Oct252011

Pumpkin Bread with Cinnamon Sugar Glaze

There is something magical about food. It is more than just something you eat and more than the end result of an activity that acts as a de-stressor for me and so many others. Food is something that brings people together. We make plans to go out to dinner with friends. Over the holidays we go to huge efforts to make elaborate meals to share in the company of our loved ones. We make dinner so that we can sit down and share conversation over a meal with our family. Well today my friends, food brought 25 people together to celebrate the 1st birthday of our beautiful niece. We ate, Sophia slept. We ate some more and then we did just what you should do on a 1st birthday: We oohed and ahhed over the birthday girl while she "blew out" her first candle, tried her first piece of cake, unwrapped her very first set of presents and had more pictures taken of her in one sitting than ever before. Accompanying this fabulous birthday celebration was more food than you could imagine, including 3 loaves of pumpkin bread. Now I have made pumpkin bread before but none has come out tasting quite this good. It was just the right level of moist with a hint of sweetnes in the glaze on top. You'll have to enjoy this recipe without pictures of the bread, though I'll throw in one of the birthday girl for good measure. And not to worry, it was taste tested and toddler approved by the birthday girl herself.




Pumpkin Bread with Cinnamon Sugar Glaze

Servings: 3- 7x3 inch loaf pans or 1 9x5 bread pan +8-12 muffins

Pumpkin Bread


  • 1-15 oz can pumpkin (Libby's is the best)

  • 4 eggs

  • 1 cup vegetable oil

  • 2/3 cup water

  • 2.5 cups sugar

  • 3.5 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 tsp baking soda

  • 1.5 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp cinnamon

  • 1 tsp nutmeg

  • 1/4 tsp ginger


Glaze


  • 2 tbsp milk

  • 1 cup powdered sugar

  • 1 tsp cinnamon

 


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease baking pans and muffin tins (or line with muffin wrappers)

  2. In a large bowl, beat together pumpkin, eggs, oil, water, and sugar until blended.

  3. In another bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger.

  4. Beat the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until blended.

  5. Pour into the pans and place in the oven.

  6. Bake for 50-70 minutes. I checked mine at 50 minutes and at about 60 minutes I covered them with foil and continued to cook for another 10 minutes. They are done when you can insert a toothpick or knife and it comes out clean.

  7. Let sit for 5-10 minutes and turn out onto cooling rack.

  8. Make the glaze by beating together the cinnamon, milk and powdered sugar. Add more sugar or milk as needed to get it to the right consistency. Place the glaze into a pastry bag or a ziploc bag (cut the tip of the bag) and drizzle the glaze onto the bread.

Tuesday
Oct112011

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

You know that Cinnamon Swirl bread by Pepperidge Farms? This recipe is its better looking twin sister. Yup, you read it right...this recipe actually trumps the store brought bread. I know I know, who really has the time to make homemade bread. Well my friend, you do. Do it in steps. Make the dough in the evening and let it rise overnight. Punch it down in the morning. Let it rise during the day. Make the bread at night. Or start it when you get home after work and you'll have a loaf in the oven by the time you sit down to watch 10pm television. Don't duck away from this just because rumor has it homemade bread takes a long time. Remember high school? Ya you do. Turns out rumors can be wrong. Still doubt me? Just try it once. The smell of this bread makes it worthwhile enough. The taste? Well the taste will knock your socks off. So ladies and gents, let me introduce you to Cinnamon Swirl Bread - defying rumors and Pepperidge Farm one loaf at a time.

Oh - and don't forget the bread flour. Set aside your constant companion, all purpose flour, and use bread flour instead. Little known secret that makes ALL the difference in taste and texture.

















Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Servings: 1 loaf

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients for Bread


  • 1 tbsp butter

  • 1/2 cup skim milk

  • 2 tbsp white sugar

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp cinnamon

  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast (1 envelope)

  • 3/4 cup warm water

  • 3 cups bread flour (it does make a difference!)


Ingredients for Filling


  •  2 tbsp butter, softened

  • 2 tbsp white sugar

  • 2 tbsp brown sugar

  • 1 tbsp cinnamon

 


  1. Heat butter and warm milk in a microwave in 30 second increments until butter is melted.

  2. In a large bowl mix sugar, salt and cinnamon.

  3. Pour warm butter mixture into the large bowl and stir.

  4. In a separate small bowl, stir yeast and warm water until yeast is dissolved. This could take up to two minutes.

  5. Pour yeast/water into the large bowl and stir.

  6. Mix in 2.5 cups of flour.

  7. Place the dough onto a floured board (I use the back of my large cutting board).

  8. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup of flour onto the dough and knead the dough until soft and smooth - roughly 6-8 minutes. (Here is a good video showing you how to properly knead dough).

  9. Grease a bowl either with a bit of olive oil or spray it with cooking spray. Place the dough into the greased bowl and cover with a dish towel. Let it rise for 1 hour. The dough should double in size.

  10. Punch down the dough in the bowl with your fists.

  11. Place dough onto a floured surface and knead it again for just a minute or two this time.

  12. Roll the dough into a rectangle (mine was more of an oval and it turned out looking just like a loaf of bread should).

  13. Spread the butter onto the rolled dough.

  14. Mix the filling toppings in a small bowl - sugar, brown sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle the mix on top of the buttered dough.

  15. Roll the dough (similar to rolling up a yoga mat). The tighter you roll it, the better the dough will stay together once it is baked.

  16. Place the roll of dough into a greased 5x9 inch bread pan with the seam of the dough facing down.

  17. Cover one more time and let it rise for 30 minutes.

  18. Preheat the oven to 375ºF.

  19. Take a sharp knife and score the dough by cutting 3 slashes diagonally across the top of the loaf.

  20. Bake the bread for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown.

  21. Let the bread cool before cutting into it.

Monday
Aug292011

Peanut Butter Banana Bread

Whipped up a little bit of this bread the other day in my new, beautiful Fiestaware loaf pan (thanks Emily and Wayne). There isnt much better in this world than peanut butter - crunchy of course - and bananas...well, and chocolate. So why not throw them all together. Needless to say, this bread was delish with a bit of crunch thanks to the crunchy PB thrown in there. You could obviously switch it up if you preferred creamy but the crunch really adds to the texture of this. As an aside, I freeze my bananas once they reach the "brown" stage. It works really well if you arent quite ready for banana bread. Just throw them in the freezer and thaw them out 10-15 minutes before you use them. Anyways, here is the recipe. Have at it and enjoy!

Navy Fiestaware Loaf Pan (available here)

 

Add some nutella for a sweet treat


Peanut Butter Banana Bread


  • 1 stick of butter, softened

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 2 eggs

  • 3 bananas

  • 3/4 cup chunky peanut butter

  • 2 cups flour

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp baking soda

 


  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF.

  2. In a bowl, cream together butter and sugar.

  3. Add eggs, beating until combined.

  4. Add bananas and peanut butter, again beating until everything is mixed together.

  5. Add in the remaining dry ingredients (flour, salt and baking soda) and cream.

  6. Pour into a greased 9x5x3 loaf pan.

  7. Bake for approximately 1 hour. I checked mine at 40 minutes by inserting a toothpick. The top was golden brown at that point so I it with foil and baked for another 20 minutes, checking again. When its almost completely cooked through, pull it out and keep it covered with the foil. It will continue to cook a bit and won't dry out.