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Entries in bread (5)

Monday
Jun112012

Summer snacking prep work.

The other weekend I thought I'd get ahead of the game and bake several loaves of banana bread and put them up in the freezer.  As summer officially starts next week, I thought this would put me in good shape to have something on hand for snacking.

Problem is, I haven't baked banana bread in a while.  The boys went nuts, eating an entire loaf in an afternoon.  And then they inhaled the second loaf the next day.  I didn't tell them where I hid the third.

I was left with merely an end slice (which was delish with my morning cuppa).

I went with the Coconut Banana Bread with Lime Glaze again.  I can't believe this but I need to head to the store to buy ripe bananas for baking this week--I've also alerted the non baking neighbors to drop off any black bananas (yes, I totally do that).  I figure I have a fighting chance to stock the freezer if I do the baking while they are out of the house.  I have new recipes to try--both banana based and not--and will report back.  And maybe, just maybe, I'll write down and capture the chocolate chip cookie recipe we've finally deemed our "keeper"...it's only taken me 2.5 years to decide.  I am so fickle.

Sandra

Wednesday
Mar162011

Mixing it up.

After weeks and weeks of churning out the  coconut banana bread with lime-glaze, I decided to mix up a batch of banana bread from the "archives."  It was one of my original posts--Banana Blueberry Bread

I made a couple of loaves last week and completely over baked them.  I had an odd, nonchalant attitude about the entire thing and did not watch them like a hawk those last critical minutes in the oven.  This is a departure for me.  I have been known to pull a chair up to the oven and watch a baked good like a sitcom.  Perhaps gooey lime-glaze and its wondrous moisture-enhancing quality has made me a bit lazy?

Even though the bread turned out on the dry side, we nonetheless enjoyed some variety and I'll still reach for the recipe now and then.  But the boys are asking for our "normal" banana bread for their upcoming birthday breakfasts.  We celebrate three birthdays in just over five weeks.  And the first one, for littlest one,  is tomorrow! 

Sandra

Monday
Jan242011

Easy savory biscuits.

I promised I would post my recipe for easy biscuits...it's basically the cream scone recipe tweaked to compliment savory flavors.  It's more biscuit-y than scone-y.  And the unbaked dough is pretty crumbly, just so you know.  I don't bother patting it into a disc and cutting (like I do with scones).  I just drop by generous spoonfuls...

12-15 minutes later, they hold together just fine while remaining tender.  They are so, so easy and even though I make them weekly, they are always a hit. 

Savory Biscuits

  • 2 cups (10 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour, preferably a low-protein brand such as Gold Medal or Pillsbury
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons chilled, unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1/2 - 1 cup add-ins (I like shredded cheddar, crumbled cooked bacon, choped turkey or ham, etc.)
  • 3/4 - 1 cup half and half

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425°F.

2. Place flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in large bowl.

3. Quickly cut in butter (using two knives, a pastry blender or your fingertips) until mixture resembles coarse meal, with a few slightly larger butter lumps. Stir in add-ins.

4. Stir in half and half with a rubber spatula or fork until dough begins to form, about 30 seconds (stir until all the dry bits are incorporated but do NOT over mix).

5.  Drop by large spoonfuls onto a prepared baking sheet (either sprayed with Baker's Joy or lined with parchment paper/silicone baking mat).  You may need to use your hands to gently shape and lump the dough together.

6.  Bake until biscuit tops are light brown, 12 to 15 minutes (mine go 13 minutes).  Cool on wire rack for at least 10 minutes.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Enjoy!

Sandra

Wednesday
Oct062010

Coconut banana bread with lime glaze.

When I saw this recipe on Made, I knew I had to try it.  It has many of our favorite ingredients:  coconut, banana, citrus.  Plus, it's a lower calorie recipe.  We still love the banana blueberry bread recipe that I previously posted, but this is a wonderful way to vary the bread box.  I made our first loaf on Friday and it was gone before dinner that evening.  I then made two loaves on Sunday, thinking they would get us through the week.  They were gone by Tuesday.

On the first batch, I only glazed half of the loaf because I wasn't sure if the boys would take to the lime glaze.  It turned out to be their favorite part, so for the following batches, I used a skewer to poke holes in the loaves before glazing.  Yummy pockets of lime goodness ensued.

Dana has great step-by-step pictures over on her site.  But I make my quick breads a little differently.  Basically, I do things in the order my cooking guru, Alton Brown, tells me to do it.  I'm posting my take on the recipe here.

Coconut banana bread with lime glaze

care of Cooking Light Magazine, via Made

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) softened butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3 bananas)
  • 1/4 cup yogurt (I used vanilla)
  • 3 Tbl apple juice or applesauce (I used apple cider)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup coconut flakes
  • 1 Tbl coconut to sprinkle on top of bread

    Glaze 
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tbl fresh lime juice (approx 1 lime) 

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Prep loaf pan (spray with a baking spray that has flour incorporated or grease and line loaf pan with parchment paper)
  • Mix the 2 cups flour, 3/4 tsp baking soda, and 1/2 tsp salt in a large bowl, whisk, and set aside
  • Place the 2 eggs, softened 1/2 stick of butter, and 1 cup sugar into a mixer bowl (I just used my hand mixer) and beat on medium for one minute
  • Add the following ingredients:  mashed bananas, 1/4 cup yogurt, 3 Tbl apple juice/applesauce, 1/2 tsp vanilla, and 1/2 cup coconut flakes;  mix just until everything is incorporated
  • Dump wet ingredients on top of the dry ingredients and hand stir until just blended (no dry pockets)
  • Scrape batter into prepared loaf pan, sprinkle remaining 1 Tbl coconut on top, and bake for approximately 1 hour (mine was perfect at an hour but my oven is true to temp--do not over bake)
  • For the glaze, stir together the juice of one lime with 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • After removing loaf from oven, allow it to rest for 5 minutes in the pan
  • Remove the warm loaf from the pan and drizzle with glaze (I used a skewer to poke random holes through the loaf from the top before glazing because we loved the glaze)

I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Sandra 

Wednesday
Jun022010

A bread that's quick (but not a quick bread).

I put it that way because this is a "real" bread...most quick breads are like a big muffin.  Delicious, to be sure, but often dense or heavy, with very little crust, if any.  And they usually stand alone--I think of them for snacks or breakfast.  But not often for dinner.  Besides, I usually have bread dough at the ready using one of the recipes from the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day cookbook (I talk about it here). 

But the other day I was out of dough and so I searched for a quickie bread recipe.  I held out hope that I'd find something to produce a loaf to go alongside our dinner.  In an hour

I stumbled upon Gourmet Mom on-the-Go's recipe for a quick french bread and had to try it.  I'm so glad I did!  It produced three loaves and yes, one was ready for our dinner table that very night.  The second was just fine the next night after I warmed it, wrapped in foil, in a low oven.  And the third made delicious cheese bread on the third night, topped with garlic butter and parmesan and broiled--though I suppose anything is good topped with garlic butter and parmesan and broiled.  But this was especially good.

The next time I made the recipe, it was part of teacher appreciation gifts at the boys' preschool.  And then I made it again, baking one loaf, and sticking the other two into the freezer to bake later.  I will report back on that.

Here is the link.  But I'm also posting the recipe because I hope to someday print my blog and it would be nice to have.

No Fail Quick French Bread

from Gourmet Mom on-the-Go

Ingredients:
1 T shortening
1 T salt
2 T sugar
1 C boiling water
1 C cold water
1/3 C lukewarm water
1 T yeast (cut your yeast in half if you are at a high altitude) (*I didn't measure--just used one packet)
4 1/2 C - 6 C flour
1 egg

Directions:

  1. Place the 1 C hot water in the microwave for 3 minutes to bring to a boil.
  2. Dissolve the yeast into the 1/3 C lukewarm water; stir until mixed.
  3. Combine the salt, shortening, and sugar in the bottom of your mixer (use a fork--my dough hook doesn't reach low enough).
  4. Pour the boiling water over the shortening mixture.
  5. Pour the cold water over the mixture.
  6. Pour the lukewarm water and yeast combo into the mixer.
  7. Begin to add the flour, one cup at a time, until the dough pulls away from the side of your mixer. 
  8. Let the dough mix on high for 8 minutes (*my dough hook says not to use above speed 2, which is what I did).
  9. Let the dough rise in the mixer for about 20 minutes. (this step can supposedly be skipped if you are in a hurry)
  10. Separate the dough into three parts and place on a large jelly roll pan sprayed with cooking spray.
  11. Let the dough sit for about 5 minutes. Letting it sit will make it much easier to shape.
  12. Spread the dough out into a rectangle, then roll into a long log.  (*I used my fingers to pat it out, no rolling pin)
  13. Bring the ends over and layer them on top of each other.
  14. Turn the loaf so the seam side is down. Repeat these steps with the other 2 parts of dough.
  15. Spray a sharp knife with cooking spray.
  16. Make your egg wash by whisking the egg until frothy.
  17. Cut three diagonal slits in the top of each loaf. Completely cover with the egg wash.
  18. Place the loaves in a warm 170 degree oven and let rise for about 15 minutes.
  19. Turn the oven up to 375 degrees for a convection oven, and 400 degrees for a regular oven. Leave the loaves in while the oven increases in temperature.
  20. Bake for 10 minutes convection or 15 regular oven, or until the loaves are golden brown and crusty.
  21. Turn the oven down to 325 for convection, 350 for regular and turn the pan around in the oven. Bake for another 7 minutes convection or 10 minutes for regular.

Enjoy!
Sandra