Basic Banana Bread

This is my favorite basic banana bread.  Last time I made it I was out of vanilla, so I subbed almond extract and cardamom and ended up baking one of my favorite loaves ever.

A single batch of this nearly overfills my standard loaf pan, especially if you include the nuts. Last time I had a lot of bananas, so scaled up the recipe by a third, then split into two loaves. Worked great. (Room for more batter if ever want/need to scale up to 1.5X sometime.)

  • 2 C. very ripe bananas, mashed; about 4 or 5 medium bananas (455 g.)
  • 1/2 C. vegetable oil (99 g.)
  • 1 C. sugar  (200 g)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 T. milk
  • 3/4 t. almond extract or 1 t. vanilla
  • 3/4 t. cardamom or 1 t. cinnamon
  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour (250 g.)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 9″ x 5″ loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, mash the bananas, add the oil, sugar, eggs, milk, and extract, stir to combine.
  3. Mix in the flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. (and nuts, if using.) Make sure ingredients are thoroughly combined.
  4. Bake for 60 to 75 minutes, until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  5. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack.
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Oatmeal Banana Muffins

After making these about 6 times in the past couple of months, I think I can declare these our official household muffins.

Adapted from food.com.

  • 1 cup AP flour (128 g.)
  • 1 cup 100% whole wheat flour (128 g.)
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats (100 g.)
  • 1 cup cane sugar (210 g. turbinado)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 med.-lg. bananas, mashed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to  375 degrees (I use 360ish because I have a dark muffin pan.)
In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients (first 9 ingredients), in a medium bowl mash the bananas and add the remaining wet ingredients, mix well.
Add wet to dry, mix just until combined.  Fill muffin tins 3/4 of the way full, sprinkle with large grain turbinado sugar.  Bake for 15-18 minutes, until toothpick comes out with only a few crumbs clinging.
Makes 16 muffins.  (They freeze well!)

Vegan Pumpkin Walnut Bread

I’m ready to declare this my favorite pumpkin bread.  Especially after defrosting a 2.5 year old loaf from the deep freeze and finding it to be as delicious as if I had pulled it out of the oven that day.

Recipe from the delightful Joy the Baker.

Makes 2 loaves.

  • 2 C. all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 C. white whole wheat flour or whole wheat flour
  • 2 C. light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/3 C. granulated sugar
  • 2 t. baking soda
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 t. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  • 1 t. allspice
  • 1/2 t. cloves
  • 1 15-oz. can pumpkin puree, or just under two cups
  • 1 C.  vegetable oil
  • 1/3 C. maple syrup
  • 1/3 C. water
  • 1 C. chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease 2 loaf pans (8″x4″)

In a large bowl mix dry ingredients listed, through the cloves. In medium bowl, mix wet ingredients.   Add wet to dry, fold with spatula until combined.  Mix in walnuts, reserving some to sprinkle on the tops of the loaves.   Pour into two prepared loaf pans.

Bake for 60-75 minutes, testing for doneness with a skewer.  Let cool in pans for 20 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack.

Notes:

  • My frozen loaf was noted “nearly vegan”  but I have no idea what modification I made.  Maybe I used part butter, part oil?
  • To freeze, I wrapped in saran wrap and then foil, and then stored in a freezer ziploc bag.
  • The flavor and texture of this loaf are awesome.  Moist, dense, leans gingerbread-ish with the listed amount of spices.
  • I’m usually inclined to try reducing the sugar, but don’t know if I did that before or not.  2 1/3 cups + maple syrup is a lot of sugar, even for 2 loaves.  The one-third cup of white sugar seems especially extraneous.
  • Next time: review comments on Joy’s site — people have tried various methods of reducing both oil and sugar.

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Tried a bread machine recipe for cinnamon raisin bread with whole wheat flour. It uses buttermilk, so this particular recipe isn’t going to be a throw-it-together-from-the-pantry staple for us, given that I don’t keep buttermilk in the house on the regular. But overall, it was tasty and I’ll try it again with some tweaks.

Adapted from Bread Machine Magic, for 1lb loaf.

  • 5/8 – 3/4 C. buttermilk (I used 5/8, next time try 3/4)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 C. whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/4 C. bread flour
  • 3/4 t. salt
  • 1 t. cinnamon (more would be good)
  • 1/4 C. butter (I used a little more than half this.)
  • 2 T. brown sugar (I used cane sugar)
  • 1/2 C. raisins
  • 1 1/2 t. dry active yeast

Results:

  • Had to add more buttermilk, as the dough spiraled up and out of the baking pan. Added about 2T more during first kneading cycle.  Was afraid that I might have added too much when it looked like a wet blob when it started the first rise, but it seemed to rise okay in the end. Bread was a little unevenly dense – more so toward the bottom of the loaf.
      Next time: Add 1T more buttermilk at the outset and see what happens.
  • Crust got a little too dark.
      Next time: bake on light crust setting, or take out before end of bake cycle.
  • Raisins not evenly distributed.  More towards the bottom.
      Next time: Try adding raisins at the “Add” beep instead of with everything at the beginning. Try not soaking them first?

Rosemary Olive Oil Bread

New bread machine for Christmas!  The Zojirushi 1lb bread machine. I’ve creatively nicknamed her Zoji. 

I really wanted to try to replicate our favorite Rosemary Olive Oil bread from Harris Teeter for the first loaf.  Because it’s amazing, and why would I want to do something crazy like use one of the recipes that is included with my machine?

A little internet searching found me this Cuisinart page — it says it’s for a 1lb loaf, but not a single one of the recipes that came with Zoji called for 2 tsp of yeast, so I modified thusly:

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups King Arthur unbleached bread flour
  • 3 teaspoons fresh chopped rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast

Everything went in the machine in the order listed, and set to regular density (not soft or firm) and regular crust (not light). 3:40 to finish.

Survey says? It was really tasty.  Crust was pretty light – we’d prefer it darker – and the bread itself was very fluffy and light.

Next time:

  • Try firm setting?  It was perfect for slathering with butter and dipping in soup, but would not have been firm enough for sandwiches.
  • The loaf rose within millimeters of hitting the lid.  Maybe back off of the yeast just a touch? (Can’t imagine if I’d have followed the 2 tsp yeast in the linked recipe!)
  • Maybe look for a foccacia recipe?  I think to better match the HT bread, I need to use more olive oil.  The HT bread is more of a sourdough-based texture.