Tag Archives: baking

Banana Bread Muffins

According to the interwebs, banana bread was one of the top icons of the recent quarantine. Everyone and their grandmother has been baking like their lives depend on it and banana bread was at the top of the list. This is not your grandmother’s quarantine banana bread. These are fluffy, moist and quite chocolaty. A perfect mobile breakfast for the meal planning guru’s arsenal, easily adjusted to be gluten free using a 1:1 baking flour, and really the only way I’ll enjoy banana anything… muffins!

Chocolate chip or double chocolate with deep rich red dutch cocoa, better than grandma’s. If my grandmother heard me say this… she might agree! This recipe is hers, with a twist.

As it relates to a meal planner’s arsenal, these muffins store well in the fridge or freezer and easily warm up in the oven or microwave oven for a good meal “on the go”. During what I refer to as meal prepping Sundays, I make at least a dozen and this will satisfy breakfast for my little boys for the entire week.

So don’t let those bananas go to waste on your counter top. If anything *pro-tip*, peel, cut in half, freeze on a cookie sheet, and then transfer to a freezer sealed bag to use for future smoothie material. OK, I’ll enjoy banana two ways… but for now… muffins!!

Banana Bread Muffins
350 (f) degrees / 25 – 30 minutes baking time / 10-15 minute prep time
Yield One Dozen (12) Muffins

3 Medium Ripe Bananas
2 Large Eggs
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
1/3 Cup Brown Sugar, Packed
3/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda
3/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder

1 Teaspoon Spice (combination of cinnamon, ginger, & nutmeg)
1/2 Cup Butter, Melted
2 1/4 Cup All-Purpose Flour
1/3 Cup Chocolate Chips (or as many as you like!)

For Double Chocolate Chip Make the Following Ingredient Adjustments
Add 1/4 Cup Red Dutch Cocoa Powder
Reduce All-Purpose Flour to 2 Cups only


For Gluten Free Make the Following Ingredient Adjustments
Replace All-Purpose Flour with 2 1/4 Cups of 1:1 Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Baking Flour

STEP 1:
Pre-heat oven to 350 (f) degrees. Prepare a muffin tin with liners. Set aside.

STEP 2:
In a stand mixer with a whisk attachment mix bananas, vanilla, sugars, spice, baking soda and baking powder. Once fully blended and fluffy, whisk in melted butter. Once incorporated, change the whisk attachment to the mixing attachment to fold in the flour (& cocoa powder if making the double chocolate variation) and chocolate chips.

If no stand mixer is available, start by mashing the bananas and sugar together with a fork or potato masher, then with a hand whisk or handheld mixer whisk in vanilla, spice, baking soda and baking powder. Once fully blended and fluffy, whisk in melted butter. Once incorporated, use a spatula and fold in flour (& cocoa powder if making the double chocolate variation) and chocolate chips.

Your batter should be thick and not able to easily fall from the spoon.

Why add the soda & powder to the wet ingredients & not the dry like every recipe on the interwebs??? I’ve found that by whisking the soda & powder with the wet ingredients, it helps to create a fluffier texture. This is why I recommend folding (do not over mix) your flours into the wet to avoid breaking down the fluff you’ve just created. I’m no scientist but baking is a science and to test & experiment is to find new improved ways to do things!

STEP 3:
Fill each cupcake liner to the brim. Don’t overflow but fill them to the top. Place the filled muffin tin in a preheated 350 (f) degree oven for 25-30 minutes. Test with a toothpick to ensure a clean removal & your muffins are done and ready to consume.

STORAGE:
Stores well in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a week or in a freezer bag for a few months. Heat up on the go in the oven or the microwave for a few minutes. Perfect with your morning beverage to go!

Enjoy!!

Simple Country White Bread

“Love doesn’t just sit there, like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new.” – Ursula K. Le Guin

I first started making bread eight years ago. I was trying to save money and cut out all of the crap in our daily consumption. The original recipe was quite tasty but there were too many ingredients involved for me to consider it cost saving. Plus, a simple tasty slice of bread is made from just a few simple ingredients.

Simple country white bread consists of flour, yeast, water, honey, and flax seed or chia seeds. I add the seeds for protein and omegas. The seeds are 100% optional and not needed to get a great fluffy loaf of bread. I store our loaf in an airtight container in a cool location. The loaf will last the week for the oldest’s sandwiches for lunch or honey toast for my youngest for breakfast. Any leftovers get turned into french toast at the end of the week!

SIMPLE COUNTRY WHITE BREAD

350 (f) degrees / 38 minutes / yield avg. 12-14 slices

  • 3 cups organic unbleached all purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 tablespoons yeast
  • 1/4 cup organic chia or flax seeds *optional
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons raw local honey

STEP 1: In a bowl combine yeast, honey, and warm water. Note, not too hot or it will kill the yeast. Set aside and let activate. You’ll have a layer of foam when you know the yeast has bloomed.

STEP 2: Once the yeast has bloomed add flour, seeds (*optional), salt, and olive oil. Mix. You can use a stand mixer with bread attachment or the best tools you have in the kitchen… your hands. Mix until combined and kneed for a couple of minutes. Add flour if it is too sticky. Once combined, set aside in the bowl, covered with a dish towel in a warm location. Let rise or double in size.

STEP 3: Prepare a loaf pan with parchment paper. Once the dough has doubled in size, kneed out the air for a couple of minutes, shaping to your desired loaf pan. Cover with dish towel and set aside in a warm location to double in size.

STEP 4: Preheat oven to 350 (f) degrees. Once doubled in size, sprinkle the top of the loaf with some warm water and place in preheated oven for 38 minutes. When finished, remove from oven and loaf pan and place on a wire rack to cool.

STEP 5: Store in an airtight container in dark cool location for up to a week. ENJOY!

Country White Bread

Country White Bread

“If thou tastest a crust of bread, thou tastest all the stars and all the heavens.” –Robert Browning

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… I LOVE BREAD! Any bread… I’ll devour a slice… or two… or three. Sour dough has always been on the top of my list as a favorite. I attempted a few times, making homemade sour dough. I was successful for only a couple loafs…until I let the dreaded starter die (aka The B****). I think my failure in keeping the starter alive was a combination of improper storage and a temperature I couldn’t regulate. I’m sure it’s not as challenging as I make it out to be but it took more than I could figure out at the time.

I decided to move on to something with less management and this brings me to Country White Bread. I explored the interwebs looking for good bread sites providing simple tips for bread newbies like me… but also photos… a lot of good photos to see what I’m up against. I found www.thekneadforbread.com which lead to their host site and the following recipe provided by www.cookingbread.com.

It seemed easy enough. We needed a basic bread around the house that would suffice for morning toast and lunchtime sandwiches. The prep was not difficult but with anything homemade, time is always a factor. After mixing the basic ingredients there is a 15 minute resting period. After the major mixing is complete the dough must rest for another hour or longer until it doubles in size. After degassing the bread and fitting it to 2 loaf pans you must wait another 45-60 minutes to let it rise again. Then it’s time to bake… difficult, no… time consuming, a little.

Why do I make my own bread… to save money and to know where and what the ingredients are that I am feeding my family.

We’ll get back to sour dough very soon… with wild yeast possibly… but until then… Here is my take on the Country White Bread recipe.

* = organic
^ = local

Country White Bread
2 -5×9 loaf pans, 375 (f) degrees for 30-35 minutes

5 – 6 cups bread flour * (you may not use all the flour)
1 cup lukewarm water *
1 cup buttermilk * (room temp)
1/4 cup melted tallow *^ (you can sub olive oil or butter… I can’t recommend using other oils)
2 eggs *^ (room temp)
1/4 cup raw local honey ^
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons flax seed meal *
3 teaspoons instant yeast

Egg Wash
1 egg white *^
3 tablespoons cream *^

Step 1: In a mixing bowl measure out 1 1/2 cups of flour and with a wooden spoon stir in the water and buttermilk. Next mix in melted tallow, honey, eggs, salt, flax seed meal, and yeast. Mix till all ingredients are incorporated and then set aside covered in a warm area for 15 minutes.
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Step 2: After resting, incorporate a 1/2 cup of flour at a time till it’s too hard to mix with the spoon. On a clean flat work surface add 1/2 cup flour and pour out the dough onto the surface. Knead the flour into the dough till the dough is no longer sticky.
country white bread

Steo 3: [NOTE] I used only 5 cups of the 6 total cups of flour listed in the original recipe. It may take more or less depending on your climate and quality of ingredients [END NOTE]. Place your dough in large lightly oil coated bowl; rotate the dough to make sure all sides are coated. Cover with a towel and set aside in a dry warm place for 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
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Step 4: After the resting period, on a lightly floured surface pour out the dough, cut in half and degas the dough by lightly kneading it out. [NOTE] Do not overwork the dough or add too much flour. It will cause the dough to be rubbery & dense. [END NOTE]
country white bread

Step 5: Shape each ball of dough into a rectangle, fitting the length of a 5×9 loaf pan (NOTE you can omit the loaf pans and place directly on a greased or parchment lined cookie sheet END NOTE). Roll the dough like a jelly roll and pinch the seam closed with your fingers. Place each roll into a greased 5×9 loaf pan. Cover with a towel and rest for another 45-60 minutes or until it’s doubled in size.
country white bread

Step 6: After the resting period, brush each loaf with the egg wash. Let the loaves rest 5 minutes and then brush each loaf again with the egg wash mixture.
country white bread

Step 7: Now it’s time to bake – place in a pre-heated 375 degree oven for 30-35 minutes. When baking is done, remove the loaves from the pans and place on a wire rack to cool. The loaves will feel light and have a hollow sound when done. Enjoy your Country White Bread!
country white bread

country white bread

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