Entries Tagged as 'breads'

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

April 4th, 2009 · 29 Comments

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread from Sugarlaws

Sometimes the best recipes are the simplest.

I always buy bananas with such high hopes, thinking that I (or Chad) will snack on them, will eat them in sandwiches with peanut butter, and that they will not sit on my kitchen counter turning brown for a week and a half.

Yet, they always do.

But that day before you throw them away, when you’re thinking to yourself, “those bananas are just about the most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen,” just wait.

Because that should be the day you make banana bread.

By that time, the bananas are so ripe and mushy that they’ll almost liquify in your batter, creating the best, moistest, most flavorful banana bread you can make.

It’s possible, I think, that I secretly understand that every time I buy bananas as snack, it’s really just a calling to make banana bread a week later. But even if that’s true, would that be so bad? Judging from the speed at which we ate this loaf, I think probably not.

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread from Sugarlaws

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

INGREDIENTS
1/2 cup canola oil
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 large overripe bananas
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chocolate bits or chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 1.5 pound loaf pan with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, stir together flour, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, cream together the bananas, white sugar and brown sugar. Stir in eggs and the canola oil and mix until blended. Stir banana mixture into the flour mixture and beat until incorporated. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Pour the batter into the loaf pan, and bake for about 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Allow the bread to cool, then slice and serve.

Makes one loaf.

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread from Sugarlaws

Tags: breads · Breakfast and Brunch · food

Popovers

March 26th, 2009 · 29 Comments

Popovers from Sugarlaws

Sometimes I feel that life, my life in particular, is a constant set of traige-like decisions.

Between work, my wedding, this site, my family and friends, and those few spare minutes that I use to go to the gym or read a book, there is always, always, something that I’m not doing. 

And it’s at these moments that I, like everyone, start to think about comfort foods.

But why would popovers, a finicky recipe involving two different cooking temperatures and a lot of beaten eggs, be comfort food?

Because I have never, ever made these for myself (no, not even in the picture I’ve posted).  My mother, however, makes them every Christmas, every Thanksgiving, and I’m sure if I asked her, she’d make them for me every birthday too.  So when I came across these pictures in my “to post” folder, I thought it was the perfect week for them.

And now I’m off to about ten other tasks (ahem… my taxes) that have been hanging over me for weeks.  So thank you, mom, for taking today’s post off my hands.  And, of course, for providing the best popover recipe that’s ever been created.

Popovers from Sugarlaws

Popovers

INGREDIENTS
4 tbsp melted butter
6 eggs
2 cups milk
2 cups flour
Salt

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Butter and flour a popover pan or six 6-ounce custard cups.

Beat eggs slightly, and then beat in flour, milk, butter and salt until just smooth; being careful not to overbeat. Fill custard cups 1/2 full.

Bake at 450 degrees for 20 minutes. Decrease oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 15 minutes more. Immediately remove from cups and serve warm.

Popovers from Sugarlaws

Tags: appetizers · breads · food

Roasted Pepper Crackers

March 21st, 2009 · 11 Comments

Red Pepper Crackers from Sugarlaws

What is it about crackers?

They are everywhere, from kids’ lunch boxes to high-end artisanal markets.  I regularly spend a pretty penny on “flatbreads” that are, essentially, just regular old crackers. 

Who knew, though, that you can save some of those pennies by making them at home? 

Well, ok, I did.

But this is another lovely little variation on flatbread crackers.  The roasted peppers add a much-needed dose of color — make your own, or use them from a can, well drained.  Either way, these couldn’t be easier. 

Finally, I am newly smitten with white whole wheat flour.  This amazing product has the health benefits of whole wheat flour with the taste and texture of white, all-purpose flour.  I love finding ways to sneak healthier ingredients into my recipes, and it’s is one of my favorite little tricks.

Red Pepper Crackers from Sugarlaws

Roasted Pepper Crackers

1 cup white whole wheat flour
1/4 cup roasted red peppers, chopped
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup olive oil
Sea salt

DIRECTIONS
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Stir together flour, peppers, baking powder, and salt. Add water and oil and stir until the dough forms a ball. Knead dough a few times until malleable.

Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface, about 1/4″ inch thick.  Cut the dough into small cracker-sized pieces, pulling gently to separate.  Sprinkle the tops of the crackers with sea salt, and transfer them onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Bake the crackers for 8 to 10 minutes, and allow to cool.

Red Pepper Crackers from Sugarlaws

Tags: appetizers · breads · food

Whole Wheat Potato Bread

March 6th, 2009 · 26 Comments

Whole Wheat Potato Bread from Sugarlaws

I have made a lot of bread recipes, but I will say, hands down, this is my favorite.

(Ok, maybe the soft pretzels.  But that hardly counts as a bread!)

This was a real sandwich-bread/toast-bread/slice-of-it-with-a-pat-of-butter-as-a-snack-bread.  And I literally ate it as all those three, until the entire loaf was gone.  I will say, it did not take long.

Potato bread is a bit of a sticky, messy pain to make — no simple, neat baguette flour/water recipes here.  But that annoying stickiness when you’re attempting to knead the dough translates into amazing, moist deliciousness in the final product.  I’ll take a bit of messiness for delicious, flavorful bread any day of the week — that’s what kitchen sinks are for.

Best of all, this bread carries a ton of flavor without a pre-ferment or a starter — it’s just plain old flour, water, potato, and yeast.  But what an amazing result!  

PS – Some of you may have noticed that I’ve been hovering just under 1,000 subscribers for about two weeks now, and it is actually starting to drive me crazy.  So if you haven’t subscribed yet, please consider hitting the “Subscribe” button on the top of the screen — this is a milestone I’ve really been looking forward to, and I’m getting impatient!

Whole Wheat Potato Bread from Sugarlaws

Whole Wheat Potato Bread from Sugarlaws

Whole Wheat Potato Bread

INGREDIENTS
2 medium sized potatoes, peeled and boiled (reserve 1 cup of the potato water)
1 cup potato water
1/4 cup warm water
1 package active dry yeast
2 cups white whole wheat flour
2 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoons salt

DIRECTIONS
Cook potatoes for 15-20 minutes, or until a fork pierces them easily. Do not drain. Remove potatoes and reserve 1 cup of the potato water.  Mash the potatoes with 1/2 cup of the potato water.

At the same time, proof the yeast by mixing it with 1/4 cup warm water and 1 tbsp sugar.  Allow to sit for 5 minutes until milky and foaming.

In a large mixing bowl, add mashed potato mixture, the salt and the bread flour.  Knead for about 10 minutes, adding the rest of the potato water and the whole wheat flour.  Continue to knead until the dough is stiff enough to form one lump (it will still stick to your hands if you’re kneading by hand).

Turn the dough out into a lightly greased bowl, and cover with plastic wrap.  Let the dough rise in warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

Punch the dough down, and place it in a greased 1 1/2 pound loaf pan.  Let rise until the bread is the shape that you want, around 30 minutes for a regular-sized loaf.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees while the dough is rising.

Bake the loaf for 40 minutes.  Allow to cool before slicing, and serve.

Whole Wheat Potato Bread from Sugarlaws

Tags: breads · food

Braided Bread

January 11th, 2009 · 20 Comments

Braided Bread from Sugarlaws

First, some very good news.  I have moved to a new blog hosting company — which means, happily for me, that I will never have to deal with the old (awful) blog hosting company ever again.  Happily for you, this should mean that you don’t see any more terrible error messages about CPU quotas, server unavailability, or my blog being disabled (no, I was not expecting that, and yes, I screamed and cried). 

So, with that taken care of, I give you this awesome braided bread recipe.  I’m excited to post this because it seems that nearly every time I post a bread recipe, it’s extremely popular.  And I know exactly why that is — it’s because freshly baked, homemade bread is quite possibly the most wonderful creation on earth.  I can resist most of the things I create in my kitchen — I managed to go several days before polishing off the flourless chocolate cake I just posted, and I’ve navigated countless batches of cookies and cakes without completely gorging myself. 

But fresh baked bread?  Somehow it never even lasts even overnight. 

So after a rough week, this was my ultimate comfort food.  Soft and slightly dense, it’s a serious breakfasty bread that could use a smear of jam and not much else. 

Braided Bread from Sugarlaws

Braided Bread

INGREDIENTS
2 tbsp sugar
1 packet active dry yeast (approx 2 1/4 tsp)
1 cup warm milk (microwaved for 20-30 seconds)
3 cups all-purpose or bread flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 egg, beaten

DIRECTIONS
Dissolve sugar and yeast in warm milk in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes until milky.  Add flour, butter and salt to yeast mixture; mix until evenly incorporated.

Knead the dough until smooth (about 5-10 minutes).  Cover dough with plastic wrap, and let rest in a warm place for 30 minutes.

Punch the dough down and divide it into four equal portions.  Roll each quarter of the dough into a long rope, approximately 12″ long.  Place all four ropes on top of a greased baking sheet.  Take the top end of each rope and press together to join them.  Braid the dough by taking each outside rope and moving it to the center (I don’t know how to better describe braiding, but if you don’t know how, google it!).  Tuck the ends below the braided strands if any are uneven.

Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 90 minutes or until doubled in size.  While the bread is rising, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Bake the dough for 15 minutes and remove from the oven.  Brush the beaten egg onto the dough to create an even, glossy layer.  Put the dough back in the oven and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, and cool for 5 minutes on a wire rack. Serve warm, if possible.

Serves 8.

Braided Bread from Sugarlaws

Tags: breads · food