Sunday, January 13, 2008

Banana Bread

This recipe comes to us from my brother-in-laws sister, Katarina Felsted. Everyone has their favorite banana bread recipe and so did I. For years I used the same recipe and didn't worry too much because I am not usually a banana bread lover... Until now. Just recently I added this one to the golden book of beloved recipes. This recipe makes for loaves so moist and so delicious that it just melts in your mouth. I'm not exaggerating. We actually find reasons to let our bananas go brown just so we can make this recipe. Thanks Kat!

Banana Bread
mix-------1 cup sugar
...............1/3 cup butter (softened)
Stir in-----2 eggs
Add-------1 1/2 cups mashed, ripe bananas (3 or 4)
................1/3 cup water
Beat 30 seconds
Stir in-----1 2/3 cup flour
.................1 tsp baking soda
.................1/2 tsp salt
.................1/4 tsp baking powder
Mix just until blended
Finally add-1/2 cup chopped nuts
Pour into greased loaf pans. Bake 350* until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. (about 45-50 minutes). Tops will be quite brown.
*** just a note- I usually use 1/2 white and 1/2 whole wheat flour in this recipe. It is delicious either way. ENJOY!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Honey Wheat Black Bread

I love the heartiness of this bread. It has a slightly sweet taste and heavier texture. I substitute more cocoa powder for the coffee and leave out the carmel color. I also make 2 regular sized loaves instead of the 8 smaller ones. My kids love this hot out of the toaster with real butter.
Honey Wheat Black Bread

1 1/2 cup warm water
2 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup honey
2 cups Unbleached Bread Flour
1 2/3 cup Whole Wheat Flour
1 tablespoon cocoa
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 teaspoons instant coffee
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon powdered caramel color (optional)
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast

Manual/Mixer Method: In a medium-sized mixing bowl, or the bowl of your electric mixer, combine all of the ingredients. Stir the mixture together, using your hands, a spoon, or your mixer, till the dough forms a shaggy mass that begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. Knead the dough, by hand or mixer, for about 10 minutes, till it's become smooth. Transfer it to a lightly oiled bowl, turning to coat all sides. Cover the bowl, and allow the dough to rise until doubled in bulk, at least 1 hour.
Bread Machine Method: Place all of the ingredients into the pan of your bread machine. Program the machine for manual or dough, and press Start. Examine the dough about midway through the kneading cycle; it should be soft and smooth, but not overly sticky. Adjust the consistency with additional water or bread flour, as needed. Allow the machine to complete its cycle. Divide the dough into 8 pieces. Shape each piece into a small log-shaped loaf. This dough is soft, so use flour or a non-stick spray on your hands. Sprinkle a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet with cornmeal, place the loaves on the sheet, and cover. Let the loaves rise for 1 hour, or until they look "puffy" but aren't doubled in size.
Bake the bread in a preheated 350 F oven for 20 to 25 minutes. The loaves will appear slightly darker on the top when they're done. Remove them from the oven, and cool on a wire rack. Yield: 8 mini-loaves. This bread stays moist and delicious for at least four days. If you want a less sweet bread, just cut the honey to 1/4 cup and leave out the 1 tablespoon sugar. The bread won't stay moist as long, but has very good flavor.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Honey Wheat Bread

This is our favorite bread recipe of all time. It is 1/2 white and 1/2 whole wheat. It is so easy to make and is great for sandwiches, toast, plain with butter, with jam, with honey... you get the idea. Usually we don't get much further than right out of the oven.

Honey Wheat Bread

3 cups whole-wheat flour
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup butter
1 TBS salt
2 TBS yeast
2 1/4 cup very warm water (120* to 130*)
3 cups all purpose flour

Mix whole wheat flour, honey, salt, butter, and yeast in large bowl. Add warm water. Beat until well blended. Stir in all-purpose flour to make dough easy to handle. Knead about 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Put in greased bowl and let rise about 1 1/2 hours or until double.
Grease bread pans. divide dough and shape into loaves. Cover and let rise 40 to 50 minutes or until double. Bake at 350* 35-40 minutes or until golden brown and sound hollow when tapped. Remove from pans and butter tops. Cool on wire rack.

*** When I make this in my BOSH I put everything in and let it do all the work, I always let it knead the entire 10 minutes. I also like the dough to remain a bit sticky. It makes for lighter loaves.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

January- Bread Month

When I was little I begged for the soft goodness of wonderbread. I would eat the crust and wad the center up in a ball or smash the rest as flat as I could get it and nibble slowly like a mouse so that I could savor the flavor. It was weightless and absolutely delicious to me. Unfortunately my family never ate wonderbread and it became like candy to me whenever I went to a friends house. They thought I was a little weird for wanting a slice of bread rather than cookies or sweet treats. Well, they didn't have a mother that made homemade bread. Not like my mother that is. Luckily for me my aunt Jan taught me that homemade bread didn't have to be tasteless and heavy enough to anchor the titanic. When she finally convinced me that the bread we ate every time we traveled to their house in Montana was homemade I realized I had some learning to do. About the time we hit Helena my mouth would start watering and I just couldn't wait the remaining 3 hours for the hot loaves that would be coming out of the oven just in time for our arrival. It has taken me a while to feel confident that someone may be just as excited about my bread. Once I got my BOSCH however, it was a whole new world. Now we make bread quite often, especially during the cold winter months. January tops the chart of cold here in Idaho so it seems only appropriate to consider this month bread month. From sandwich bread to sweet bread, It warms us up all through the winter. Try a few of these recipes when you want to cozy up your house a little. If they don't come out right the first time keep trying. These are tried and true and my favorite bread recipes for January.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Chicken Pot Pie

I guess it is the season. We tend to cook more during the winter. With the cold weather we love coming home to the wonderful smells of warmth in the kitchen. With everything from Chicken Pot Pie and Homemade Bread to Pumpin Cake and Hot Chocolate our family spends a lot of time in the kitchen this time of year, not that anyone complains we just can't seem to remember to get the recipes out to everyone when they ask for it. Luckily there is blogger and we can hit anyone who wants a new treat for dinner or snacking. I'll be putting up my favorite recipes for the season and if anyone has a favorite just fill in a comment and I'll see what I can do.

This has been the hot recipe of the season.
Chicken Pot Pie

1 cup carrots (cut small)
1 1/2 cups potatoes (cut up small)
1 cup peas
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
2/3 cup milk
2 1/2 cups cut-up cooked chicken or turkey
pie Crust ( to follow)

Cook carrots and potatoes and drain, set aside. heat butter in 2 quart sauce pan over medium heat until melted. Stir in flour, onion, salt and pepper. Cook stirring constantly until mixture is bubbly; remove from heat. Stir in broth and milk. Heat to boiling stirring constantly. Boil and stir for 1 minute. Stir in chicken and vegetables.

Heat oven to 400*. Prepare pie crust. Roll 2/3 of pastry to fit into a 9x9x9 ungreased pan. Pour chicken mixture into pastry lined pan. Roll remaining pastry to fit top of filling. Turn edges over and cut slits in top. Bake about 35 minutes or until golden brown.

Pie Crust

2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup Lard
1 TBS white vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 lg egg
1/4 cup cold water

Sift flour and salt. Cut in lard until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Mix water, vinegar, and egg together in separate bowl. Add to flour mixture and toss with fork until all flour is moistened and pastry cleans the side of the bowl. Do not over mix.