Category Archives: Quick Breads

Banana Bread . . . and Dog Treats?

Dog Treats / Especially Edible

I am a holiday person. I start buying Christmas presents in January. At my last job, I spent more time decorating my cubicle – twinkling lights, heart garlands, shamrocks – than I did actually working. (Which is probably why it was my last job.) So when I miss a holiday, even one of the fake holidays – and I’m talking super-fake here, not just Hallmark fake – I’m pretty bummed out. Did you know, for example, that February 23 was National Banana Bread Day as well as National Dog Biscuit Day? For real. There’s a site called Punchbowl that will send you an e-mail each morning to keep you abreast of such important dates. For equal-opportunity holiday freaks like myself, however, it would be better to get a heads-up the day before so that we know what to celebrate. I had all of February to throw a Lays-and-hash-browns party for National Potato Lover’s Month (which really should have the apostrophe after the S, don’t you think?), but with the glacial speed at which I put a blog post together, one day is just not enough time to write an ode to both banana bread and dog treats.

Grandma's Banana Bread / Especially Edible

The thing was, I almost made the deadline. In my ever-growing file of stuff to post, I have not one but two banana bread recipes, two variations on banana muffins, and some photographs of banana chocolate chip cookies that I took way back when I thought slapping a cookie on a plate under the kitchen lights was the way to make food look delicious. Despite my not owning a dog, the week of the 23rd also happened to mark my first foray into pet treats. But after my Monday night volunteer gig and an hour of wrestling with my iPhone to get my still-marginal pictures onto my computer, I finally admitted that any blog post on banana bread and dog biscuits was not going to happen by midnight. And since it wasn’t going to be time-stamped 2/23 anyway, I decided to shove the entire thing and watch a 2005 rerun of America’s Next Top Model instead.

Grandma's Banana Bread / Especially Edible

Now that you know about my sub-par work ethic, you can probably work out what happened next, and why I’m celebrating banana bread and dog treats (ooh, don’t banana bread dog treats sound promising?) on the 3rd of March instead of the 23rd or 24th of February. Each recipe really deserves a post of its own, especially my grandmother’s banana bread, but the gods at Punchbowl – or more likely the people at the Banana Growers Board and PetSmart/Petco lobby – decided to celebrate a quick bread and a doggie delicacy on the same day. (Unfortunately, the gods at Recipe Ziplist decided that I couldn’t put more than one recipe in a post. So you’ll have to follow the links for the dog treats.)

Dog Treats / Especially Edible

My grandmother’s recipe for banana bread reminds me a lot of her mother’s recipe for fruitcake. Compared to today’s recipes, it’s bare-bones: sugar, flour, bananas, and not a whole lot more. By contrast, the caramelized banana bread I made last month called for all that plus dark brown sugar, buttermilk, and rum. But when the simple, brown-flecked loaf made from my grandmother’s recipe emerged from the oven, I wondered why I’d bothered standing over the stove and sauteeing the bananas for the circa-2012 recipe. (Not that it was bad. In fact, I might even get around to posting it sometime in the next three years.) When did recipes get so complicated? It now seems like a badge of honor to use six different types of flour (all gluten-free, natch), chill dough for an entire day (hello, NYT chocolate chip cookies), and eschew butter or vegetable oil for fancy, faddy ingredients like coconut oil. I personally like complicated recipes. If I can get in and out of the kitchen in under half an hour, I don’t feel like I’ve accomplished much. But that certainly doesn’t mean those recipes taste better. My official testers, my mother and father (who, now that I think about it, really didn’t have a choice but to prefer his mom’s recipe), ate up Grandma Keizer’s banana bread faster than they’ve devoured any other quick bread.

Grandma's Banana Bread / Especially Edible

As for the second half of the celebration, what was someone who’s never owned a dog doing making treats for canines? A friend of my father’s has a beloved, crazily smart dog who’s sick. (This dog is definitely a who, not a that.) The dog’s name is Zoe and she lives in Maine, officially on the opposite side of the country. But that’s why the postal system invented priority mail. That’s also why Amazon carries more types of bone-shaped cookie cutters than there are breeds of dogs.

I don’t know what dogs like. But Beggin’ Strips ads (baconbaconbaconbacon!) and the old-school “Got Milk” campaign have taught me that dogs go crazy for peanut butter and bacon. I found a recipe on the Food Network website – who knew that Giada De Laurentis baked for pets as well? – for peanut butter dog treats to which I could easily add some crumbled bacon. The other recipe, this one from Martha Stewart, whose Chow Chow actually won “best in breed” at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in 2012, had ingredients that were a bit more unusual: cheddar and applesauce. But who doesn’t like cheese?!

Making dog treats was definitely a crapshoot. At least with cookies, I can enlist one of my parents for a taste-test before subjecting other people to my recipes. But they weren’t about to try doggie biscuits – though I thought the bacon and peanut butter might tempt my dad. So I swathed them in bubble wrap and sent them on their way to Maine.

Dog Treats / Especially Edible Well, Zoe loved them. Her owner sent along some great clips of Zoe shaking “hands” to earn a treat. If the whole food blog thing doesn’t pan out, it’s comforting to know that I can always hawk my dog biscuits at a card table outside PetSmart.

I may officially be a cat person, but there’s something about a dog’s joie de vivre that’s irresistible. They’re such happy animals, and they wear their emotions on their metaphorical sleeves. Cats are just a bit more aloof. No matter how overjoyed they are at the sound of the can opener, they don’t smile the way dogs seem to. Dogs are so enthusiastic that they leave paw prints on your T-shirt. Cats, on the other hand, like to maintain their dignity. This photo of Zoe sums up everything that makes dog’s a man’s (or a woman’s) best friend.

Zoe Beach Run

So mark your calendars for February 23, 2016. That’s probably the next time you’ll see banana bread and dog biscuits in the same sentence.

Grandma's Banana Bread

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: 1 loaf

Ingredients

2 cups flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

5 Tbs. buttermilk

3 bananas, mashed

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 large eggs

Instructions

Preheat oven to 325. Mist a 9x5 loaf pan with cooking spray.

Dissolve baking soda in buttermilk and set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs, then stir in the baking soda-buttermilk mixture.

Add flour and salt and mix until combined. Fold in mashed bananas.

Bake for 1 hour. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

http://www.especiallyedible.com/banana-bread-and-dog-treats/

 

Quince Quick Bread

Quince Quick Bread | Especially Edible

Have you ever eaten quince? Until very recently, I hadn’t. I had a vague notion of a quince as some sort of large fig that went into holiday pies . . . . but that was more a conflation of “quince” and “mince” than anything else. It turns out that quince is a staple of cheese platters – the local natural foods store sells blocks of quince paste in little plastic containers alongside the Stilton and Camembert – and is indeed used in pies, though not necessarily for the holidays. I got my first taste of quince from a friend who has her own quince tree and gave me a tiny can of the paste she’d made. (Appropriately, very thick quince paste is called “quince cheese.”) The fruit, which turns up in stores starting in October, looks like an acne-prone pear. It’s lumpy, bright yellow, and hard as a rock; this is not something you can eat raw, and for that reason, it’s something of a forgotten delicacy in the U.S. When cooked, the fruit softens and its acidic flavor mellows into something sweeter. It’s known for turning a rosy pink color when poached, when the tannins in its flesh release a red pigment called anthocyanin. (Fine Cooking helpfully explains the chemistry of quince, which sounds a bit like trees changing colors, here. FYI, cooking the quince in an aluminum pot, which reacts to tannic acid, deepens the pink color. Good to know, since my quince – ooh, a rhyme! – only turned a pale peach.)

Quince Quick Bread | Especially Edible

I’m not big on cheese platters, so what was I planning to do with the quince? Bread. There were some gorgeous recipes for tarts and pies online – upside-down quince and honey spice cake – but I wanted something that I could bring to Kathie, the friend who introduced me to quince, for Christmas. So quick bread it was. Try to find a quince quick bread recipe, however, and even Google comes up empty-handed. (Well, almost empty-handed. Weirdcombinations.com does have a recipe for an almond-quince cake.) Since I was going to be poaching and mashing the quince into a paste anyway, I decided that tweaking a recipe for applesauce bread – of which the Internet has plenty – was the way to go.

Quince Quick Bread | Especially Edible

Did it turn out? Yes and no. My mother thought it tasted “funny,” but Kathie liked it. And since that was the point, and because quince is supposedly something of an acquired taste, I called this recipe a success. The only thing that would have made it better would have been electric pink quince, which might have yielded pale pink bread. I’ve never been a fan of oddly colored breads or cakes – what exactly does that tablespoon of red food coloring add to red velvet cake except a fake-y element? – but this could have been an exception. Maybe next time.

Quince Quick Bread | Especially Edible

Quince Quick Bread

Prep Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes

Cook Time: 55 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours

Yield: 1 loaf

Ingredients

For the Quince Puree

2 pounds quince (about 3 large)

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup honey

Large strip of lemon or orange peel

3 Star anise

1 whole cinnamon stick

For the Bread

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 whole wheat flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 large egg

1 1/4 cups quince puree

1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil

1/2 plain yogurt

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

3 Tbs. rolled oats

Instructions

For the Quince Puree

Peel quince with a vegetable peeler. Cut off four sides, avoiding the core.

Mix four cups water, sugar, honey, citrus peel, anise, and cinnamon in a 3-quart saucepan. Bring to a boil and slip the quince into the liquid.

Partially cover the suacepan with its lid. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 40-50 minutes. Quince will be tender and will turn color, ranging from a pale yellow to a bright pink.

Drain liquid from saucepan and allow quince to cool. Mash with a potato masher or puree in a food processor.

Recipe from The Kitchn

For the Bread

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a small bowl. In a large bowl, beat together oil, egg, yogurt, sugar, vanilla, and quince puree.

Mix dry ingredients into wet until just moistened. Spoon batter into a 9x5 loaf pan misted with cooking spray. Sprinkle rolled oats on the top.

Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center is removed without crumbs.

Let cool for 10 minutes in pan, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe adapted from Joy of Baking

http://www.especiallyedible.com/746/

Pumpkin Gingerbread

A tasty fall-winter mashup.

Pumpkin Gingerbread / Especially Edible

There are five days until Christmas and I’m still stuck on pumpkin. I like to think that’s because I don’t want to leave fall behind – after all, winter means snow, and snow freaks me out – but mostly it’s because I’m the slowest, most intermittent blogger in the universe. I watch marathons of America’s Next Top Model instead of posting, or I nap through the evening despite having slept until noon the day before. Or I bake something, which just adds to the queue of dishes waiting to make their appearance on Especially Edible. But that’s the perk of writing a blog that nobody besides my mother reads. You can be as late as you want and no one – or almost no one – cares.

Pumpkin Gingerbread / Especially Edible

Besides, this pumpkin recipe has one foot in the Christmas season. Let’s call it a fall-winter hybrid. Pumpkin for die-hard harvest fan, and gingerbread for those who put up their tree before Thanksgiving. The problem with Christmas is that there are very few recipes that are actually unique to the holiday. Buche de Noel, panettone, eggnog, sugar cookies with royal icing – and of course, gingerbread. But the rest of it can be lumped together with the rest of the season. Pumpkin pie and sweet potatoes are just as much Thanksgiving as Christmas, and hot chocolate is more of a general winter thing. If I had readers, this is where they’d come in, reminding me of jam thumbprints and stained-glass cookies, but those are cookies. I make cookies every week of the year.

Pumpkin Gingerbread / Especially Edible

That’s my excuse, at least, for why my blog is light on holiday recipes yet revels in pumpkin, pumpkin, pumpkin. I do have a candy cane brownie recipe up my sleeve, but for now . . . let’s celebrate the closest I’ll ever get to fussy cookie-cutter, white-iced gingerbread people.

Pumpkin Gingerbread / Especially Edible  

Pumpkin Gingerbread

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: 1 loaf

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. ground ginger

1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

1 cup pumpkin puree

1/2 cup butter, melted

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1/2 cup molasses (I substituted 1/4 cup honey for 1/4 cup of the molasses and the bread turned out just fine)

2 eggs

3 Tbs. water

1/2 cup raisins

1 Tbs. minced candied ginger (I put mine in my mini food processor)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, and spices. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together the pumpkin puree, butter, sugar, molasses, candied ginger, eggs, and water.

Mix the flour mixture into the wet ingredients. Fold in raisins and stir until just incorporated.

Pour batter into a 9x5 baking pan coated with cooking oil. Bake for 50-60 minutes. Remove from oven, and cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out the bread onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe from Simply Recipes

http://www.especiallyedible.com/pumpkin-gingerbread/

 

Honey Maple Beer Bread

The quickest quick bread you’ll ever make.

Pumpkin Beer Bread / Especially Edible

How about another alcohol post from your favorite teetotaler blogger? I may not drink, but I do know there’s a very narrow window where something that actually sounds like something I’d want to drink is stocked on grocery store shelves: pumpkin beer. I hate beer, and I’d probably hate pumpkin beer as well, but in my imagination it tastes like a pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks. (OK, all you drinkers can laugh at me now.)

Pumpkin Beer 2

Mostly, I think about all the baked goods that call for beer, and how good a pumpkin ale would taste in those. Beer bread can be savory or sweet, and I naturally fall on the sweet end of the spectrum. I prefer cinnamon and nutmeg to chives and cheddar, and this bread has both. I still have a beer brownie recipe in my queue, but since pumpkin beer appears around October 1 and disappears exactly one month later, replaced by spiked eggnog and hard apple cider, I figured I’d better use it while I could. The maple syrup flavor inches you further into fall, into frost-tipped mornings and crisp gusts of wind. It’s a perfect bread for the transition from October to November. And as a bonus, it’s one of the easiest quick breads I’ve ever made – just one bowl makes for incredibly easy cleanup.

Pumpkin Beer Bread / Especially Edible

It’s taken me awhile to post this bread, so it won’t make much sense if I tell you it reminds me of a pumpkin patch hayride I took with a friend and her six-month-old, who looked decidedly blase (I almost used the word nonplussed here, but contrary to informal North American usage, it does not mean “unperturbed”) in reaction to all the screaming and miniature-pumpkin-throwing going on amongst the three- and four-year olds. Let’s just say that this is a bread for Halloween, delivered just a couple weeks too late.

Honey Maple Beer Bread

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 1 loaf

Ingredients

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 Tbs. baking powder

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. nutmeg

1/2 tsp. salt

2 Tbs. canola or vegetable oil

2 Tbs. molasses

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup maple syrup

12 oz. pumpkin beer

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 375.

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients besides beer and mix thoroughly. Then pour the beer over the ingredients - it will bubble and foam - and stir in.

Bake for 40-45 minutes in a 9x5 loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Cool in pan for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe from Averie Cooks

http://www.especiallyedible.com/honey-maple-beer-bread/

Banana Rum Bread

Boozy banana bread goodness.

Banana Rum Bread | Especially Edible

I don’t drink. So why would I decide to make something called “Banana Rum Bread?” Because “rum” doesn’t just say “alcohol.” It says decadent. It says happy, boozy, slightly blurry Friday nights. It says, especially for the non-drinker, that Katy Perry song about waking up in Vegas (“get up and shake the glitter off your clothes now”). Most of all, it says Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean.

Oh, Johnny Depp. Sigh.

Any more questions about why I’d want to make banana rum bread?

It doesn’t scream rum, but it does scream best banana bread ever.

Banana Rum Bread | Especially Edible

Banana Rum Bread

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

1 loaf

Ingredients

1/2 cup butter

3/4 cup brown sugar, packed

2 large eggs

1 tsp. vanilla extract

3 large ripe bananas, mashed

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup wheat flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1/2 cup dark rum

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350.

Whisk together the flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a small bowl.

Cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time, then mix in vanilla, mashed bananas, and rum.

Pour batter into a 9x5 loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake for 55 to 65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool loaf in pan for ten minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe from A Pastry Affair

http://www.especiallyedible.com/441/

Butternut Squash Maple Bread

Celebrate fall without an ounce of pumpkin!

2014-09-28 14.38.11

After I finished making my butternut squash macaroni and cheese, I had about a cup of squash puree left over. I didn’t want to throw out such an autumn-friendly ingredient, especially one so bright and happy as the oranger-than-pumpkin puree, so I did a quick Google search and came up with this recipe from The Sweet Chick for butternut squash maple bread. The maple was an added plus, as my father’s friend from Maine – the same one who sent live lobsters in a Styrofoam ice chest last Christmas – had recently mailed us a box full of Maine goodies, including, naturally, Grade A pure maple syrup. (It also featured a lobster catnip toy for the cat last seen photobombing my brownie photo shoot.) I left out the white chocolate chips and nuts called for in Sweet Chick’s recipe and tossed in a cup of raisins instead – golden raisins, just because they matched the batter. (I am one of those people who is simply thrilled when her pink socks match the pink in her sweater – and all the better if both also match her pink underwear.)

2014-09-28 14.39.02-2 squash

Like the macaroni and cheese, the bread didn’t taste like squash, exactly. In fact, if you hadn’t told me there was butternut squash in it, I would have just assumed it was a cinnamon-raisin bread with a hint of maple syrup. And like I made quite clear in my last post, I don’t approve of “hiding” vegetables for children by tucking them into otherwise kid-friendly dishes. But there are plenty of adults who aren’t getting their recommended daily allowance of orange vegetables. This, then, is the bread for you.

2014-09-28 14.42.38

Butternut Squash Maple Bread

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes

Yield: 1 loaf

Ingredients

For the bread

1 3/4 cups flour

1/2 cup quick oats

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 tsp. baking powder

3/4 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. allspice

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

2 large eggs

1/2 cup pure maple syrup

1/2 cup oil

1 cup butternut squash puree

1 tsp. vanilla

1 cup golden raisins

For the crumble

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

2 Tbs. flour

2 Tbs. quick oats

2 Tbs. butter, softened and diced

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350.

For the bread

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.

In a larger bowl, beat together eggs, maple syrup, oil and vanilla. Add dry ingredients and mix until incorporated.

Fold in raisins. Pour batter into a 9x5 loaf pan coated with cooking spray.

For the crumble

In a small bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, and oats.

Cut in butter and mix until crumbly.

Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the bread batter in the loaf pan.

Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Recipe from The Sweet Chick

http://www.especiallyedible.com/butternut-squash-maple-bread/

Carrot Cake Bread

Carrot bread that’s just as good as carrot cake.

2014-09-21 13.45.17

What is carrot bread? It’s not carrot cake, or else it would be called, um, carrot cake. Too many recipes labeled as carrot bread are simply carrot cake baked in a loaf pan, an excuse to have dessert for breakfast. 2014-09-21 13.43.29

Of course, in some sense, quick breads are just frosting-free cakes baked in a loaf pan. Even this recipe from Cooking Light was originally called “Garden Cake” instead of “Garden Bread.” My go-to recipe for carrot bread, however, has additional directions not only for cream cheese frosting but for candied carrots. If you’re going to go to all that work, just get out two round pans and make the darn cake! No, it may not feel as virtuous to cut a slice of layer cake for breakfast, but for all intents and purposes it’s the same thing.

I admit, I came thisclose to adding the frosting and candied carrots to this recipe. I was baking the bread for a friend who’s crazy about carrot cake – even her baby-shower cake was carrot – but I realized that, when removed from the pan and wrapped in aluminum foil, a frosted loaf of bread looks pretty sad.

2014-09-21 13.42.14

In the end, I ended up leaving off the extras and making three small loaves – because, as I’ve learned, having a food blog means you need an extra loaf to cut up and photograph. An uncut, unstyled loaf of bread may make for a better gift – who wants half their loaf pre-sliced into dryness? – but it doesn’t make for a great pic, as you can see here with my firewood-log banana bran bread. So two loaves were delivered to my friend, who now has a bouncy five-month old who can put his toes in his mouth and roll over all by himself (we watch Baby Einstein now instead of horror movies), and one was sacrificed for the greater good of my blog. You’re welcome. 😉

Carrot Cake Bread

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 60 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Yield: 1 loaf

Carrot Cake Bread

Ingredients

2 cups flour

2/3 cups brown sugar

1 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp. ground cloves

2 cups shredded carrot (I put mine in my mini-food processor)

2 large eggs

2/3 cup milk

1/3 cup canola oil

1 cup raisins

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350.

Whisk the dry ingredients - flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices - in a small bowl. Set aside.

Blend together the brown sugar, milk and canola oil. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Fold in the two cups carrots and the cup of raisins.

Stir the dry mixture into the wet ingredients until just moistened.

Pour batter into an 8x4 loaf pan (or three mini loaf pans) misted with cooking spray. Bake the large loaf for 55-60 minutes and the small loaves for 30-35 minutes. Cool in pan for ten minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.

Recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens

http://www.especiallyedible.com/carrot-cake-bread/

Garden Harvest Bread

Summer’s last hurrah in a loaf of bread

garden harvest

Can we pretend for a second that fall isn’t on its way? Can I replace the brown and yellow leaves falling from the trees with healthy green foliage? Can the nights stay warm? Please?

I sense the universe is not listening to my pleas. The air is already cooler, crisper, and the roads are crowded with yellow school buses. If back-to-school sales and the smell of number 2 pencils and Crayola crayons don’t scream fall, nothing does.

But this is a bread for people who like to delude themselves. This is Endless Summer bread, the kind that you might eat as a kid at the start of vacation, when three months of freedom really do seem endless. Fresh from the garden with zucchini, carrot, and apple, it also has the distinction of being disgustingly healthy.

Garden Harvest Bread

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Yield: 1 loaf

Garden Harvest Bread

Ingredients

1 cup flour

2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup canola oil

1/4 cup buttermilk

2 large eggs

1/2 cup grated, peeled Granny Smith apple

1/2 cup grated carrot

1/2 cup grated zucchini

Instructions

Preheat oven 350.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a larger bowl, beat together sugar, oil and buttermilk. Beat in eggs one at at a time. Fold in the grated apple, carrot and zucchini.

Beat the flour mixture into the wet ingredients.

Pour into a 8x4 loaf pan coated with cooking spray.

Bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe from Cooking Light

http://www.especiallyedible.com/garden-harvest-bread/

This recipe, from Cooking Light, pushed my lazy baker tendencies to the limit. Cooking Light is one of those magazines that insists on doing everything by the book. The flour measurements are given first by weight (4.5 ounces, if anyone’s interested) and then, for the rest of us peons not inclined to whip out the kitchen scale, by volume (1 cup). The best cookbooks and food bloggers will tell you that weighing dry ingredients is the best way to get a consistent product. And if you’re not going to use a scale, then at least use the “scoop and sweep” method: Scoop the flour into the measuring cup by spoonfuls, then sweep across the top, using a knife as a level. Honestly, how many people actually do that? (Dear reader, perhaps you do. Perhaps I am the lazy outlier. Hmm.) I just dip my measuring cup into the flour container and level the top with whatever’s handy, usually the edge of a spoon. The whole reasoning behind weighing and “scoop and sweep” is that not only does the size of measuring cups vary, but flour packed into the cup will naturally be more than flour that loosely sits in it. The two methods are designed to get a standard amount of flour or sugar into the cup. So yes, I get it. But have I used either method? No, because my baked goods always seem to turn out just fine. I’ve never had a bad loaf of this garden harvest bread, for example. Usually my mistakes are related to my far more serious crimes of laziness – melting the butter in a cookie recipe to make it easier to beat into the sugar instead of creaming it cold. That’s a far greater crime than avoidance of “scoop and sweep.” And yet, I live to bake another day!

Banana Bran Breakfast Bread

Homestyle banana bread with a pop of orange flavor

photo(2)

OK, so it looks like a chunk of firewood. And the sides are a bit collapsed. It’s been said that we eat with our eyes first, but let your taste buds do the testing for this homely but delicious bread.

Do as I say, not as I do. I made a lot of aesthetic mistakes with this bread – and it shows in the ugly photo. First, don’t make this bread for someone else if you’re thinking of photographing it! Not being able to cut into the loaf just emphasizes the fact that it looks like it just came out of a pile of firewood.

As for the actual baking, make sure there isn’t too much batter for the pan. I used the 9×5 pan that the recipe called for, but when I poured in the batter, it came to a mere inch from the rim – hence, the boxy, flat-topped shape of my loaf. To get that perfect domed, cracked top, you’ll want to leave at least two inches of space. Toss the extra batter, or if you can’t stand the waste, bake two smaller loaves: an 8×4 and a 5.5×3. That way, you’ll also avoid the slumped sides of my lovely creation. (Smaller loaves will also avoid the risk of a mushy middle – a problem that I increased the baking time from 55 to 75 minutes to avoid.)

Banana bread is not an inherently beautiful product – at best, an unsliced loaf looks like a brownish-yellow blob. But here’s hoping that yours will be prettier than mine . . . but taste just as good.

Banana Bran Breakfast Bread

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 1 loaf

Banana Bran Breakfast Bread

Ingredients

1 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup whole wheat flour

3/4 cup wheat bran

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 cup buttermilk

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup butter, melted

2 large eggs

3 ripe bananas, mashed

1 Tbs. grated orange rind

1 Tbs. orange juice

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flours, bran, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. In a larger bowl, combine bananas, buttermilk, sugar, butter, eggs, orange rind and orange juice.

Beat dry ingredients into wet until just moistened. Pour batter into a 9x5 loaf pan.

Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe from The Dairy Farmers of Canada

http://www.especiallyedible.com/banana-bran-breakfast-bread/