I made my first loaves of Irish soda beer bread in college in the tiny dorm kitchen of the hallowed Knowles Hall (Go Griz!), Pretty sure it was with a can a PBR too.
To this day I still enjoy fresh warm beer bread but now I love it even more (and so does the reluctant hubs), with this updated recipe. Sadly,I don’t have info to tip my hat too the original author, but they are probably numerous and in several family trees from days gone by. If you have a family variation, please share! We are Scottish-Asian.
Preheat the oven 375 F. Prep your bread pans by greasing and I like to add a sheet of parchment paper.
Sift or whisk together the dry ingredients, in a large mixing bowl.
3 cups all purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
Make a well in the middle and pour in your 12 ounces of beer. Whatever kind you want – this is a great way to experiment. Chai beer anyone? Mix this up good by not too much. I sometimes add a teaspoon or so of curry powder to the dry ingredients, subtle but tasty.
Melt somewhere between a 1/4 and 1/2 cup of butter. It does not matter is salted or unsalted. If I am making four mini loafs, I definitely melt a half cup so plenty to pour in each pan.
Scoop your batter into the prepared pan. Pour the melted butter on top and bake away for about an hour (I would start checking at 45 minutes). Putting the butter on top makes a delightfully crusty crusty. You can pour in pan first for a softer crust, but why…. 🙂
Let it bake for maybe 45-60 minutes for single large loaf or about 25-30 minutes for mini loaf pans. I have no idea why the time varies so much but experience has taught me. Best served warm, with butter, jam, honey or just plain.
This recipe is all about the banana and is more ‘bread pudding’ than cake. Ideally eat this treat while still warm with maybe some whipped cream or vanilla ice-cream but it is still good once cooled. No matter what though: cut yourself some crusty edge pieces right out of the oven, tell everyone you are trimming off the ‘burnt bits for them because that is how much you care’ and then eat them all up!
banh chuối nướng / banana cake recipe
I have used frozen bananas (such an easy way to store them when overspending on counter), fresh and even dried (but not the chips). For frozen slice them while still mostly frozen to avoid mush. For the bread, I have used bagels that were going stale mixed with regular white bread. The amount of bread does not have to be exact but close with an err towards a little more.
6 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt (unless your butter was salted and then omit)
1 cup coconut milk ( you can freeze the remaining for the next time you make)
2 cups milk, skim to whole is fine
8 bananas, sliced lengthwise into strips 1/8 – 1/4 inch thick
10 slices of white bread, about 12 ounces total after removing crusts
4 large eggs
1 to 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup flour
Heat the oven to 375 F. Prep your loaf pans by greasing and lining with parchment paper. Recipe makes two large loafs but you can also bake in smaller loaf pans just shorten the baking time to 30-40 minutes. I prefer the smaller loafs for easier sharing and freezing.
Prepare the bread by removing the crusts if they are more touch or darker in color. chop into cubes about an inch around.
In a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the eggs and sugar well. I found the 1 1/2 cups of sugar to be almost too sweet. I think it depends on your taste and your bananas.
Melt the butter and stir it into the milk before pouring into the egg-sugar mixture.
Add the coconut milk and salt. Mix well. Add the flour. Mix
Add the bread and mix but no too much, you still want some chunks. If you have time and especially if some of the bread was more stale. Let the bread sit and soak up the batter.
Start layering in the banana slices and batter. Put a single layer of bananas the bottom of loaf pan. They do not have to cover every open bit of space.
Using a ladle or spoon, pour some batter over the banana slices. You don’t need to add a lot because there will be several layers of bananas. Keep repeating this until bananas and batter are gone. If you find that the last loaf was a little short on banana. No worries, just top off with batter. Each of the loaf pans should be filled up to within about 1 inch of the top. This does puff up when baking but sinks when cooling. Also the edges will get pretty dark brown and are really tasty.
Bake in the oven for about an hour for full size loafs, less time for smaller loafs.
When done, run a knife around the edges, let it cool for a minute or so and then remove it from loaf pan to a cooling rack.
Enjoy! Ideally eat this treat while still warm with maybe some whipped cream or vanilla ice-cream but it is good at room temp or can be reheated.
Optional add-ins to batter: brandy or rum, nuts, cinnamon, raisins.
Recipe is adapted from Diana My Tran’s book The Vietnamese Cookbook.
Have you seen the video in your newsfeed about making bread in a bag with your kids from Leigh Anne over at www.yourhomebasedmom.com? Well, we tried it and it was a success. Save for the age-appropriate (18 month) yet periodic and unexpected emotional outbursts of unknown origin – the baking show went on.
Granted kneading isn’t yet in my sous-chef’s motor skill (or patience) wheelhouse. He did help scoop the flour into measuring cup (must teach best practices early), help dump flour in bag and then mix it up (three stages). Of course there was flour flung and dough eaten – but that is the fun part. I am a messy baker and cook and I like it that way.
This makes a simple white bread that made for a warm tasty vehicle for jam and also honey and butter. The recipe makes two perfect mini loaves of bread.
Ingredients to makes about 10 chapatis (or is it chapat-eye?)
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
¾ cup warm water or as needed
Mix together the flours and salt in a large bowl. Use a wooden spoon (I don’t know why) to stir in the olive oil and enough water to make a soft elastic dough but not a sticky one (aka add water bit by bit)
Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until it is smooth – just a couple minutes. I found I needed to wet my hands a bit as the dough was a bit dry for me ( I made a half batch). Divide into 10 chunks, or however many chapatis you want to end up with (bigger=fewer, smaller=more). Roll each piece into a ball with your hands and let rest for a few minutes.
Heat a skillet over medium heat until hot, and grease lightly with a little extra oil (olive or otherwise).
On a lightly floured surface, use a floured rolling pin to roll out the balls of dough until very thin like a tortilla. When the pan starts smoking, put a chapati on it. Cook until the underside has brown spots, about 30 seconds, then flip and cook on the other side. Thickness of chapatti various from region to region, so play around with it to see what you like best.
I plan to try cooking on the grill next time- could be awesome or smoky disaster. This time I made just a half batch the first time and rolled them into smaller balls. They turned out pretty yummy – not round though, more Antarctica or Greenland shaped. Might be a great way to lean the countries and entertain guests or sneakily conduct a Rorschach inkblot test (sly psychiatry). Being smaller they were easy to move from the counter to the pan. Big ones might get a big floppy. Other modifications for next time – incorporate herbs or spices to dough (not too much though), adding butter or ghee to top etc. I might also use this as a reason to by a tortilla press….
The rest of the dinner was pretty simple. Costco chicken korma popped in the oven and grilled sweet peppers with yogurt dipping sauce. For the yogurt, I mixed in a dash of salt and some Parnami family masala, but you could do just about any combinations to make a quick pseudo-raita: cilantro/garlic, chutney, curry, cardamom… Total time was just about 30 minutes from starting to heat oven up, hatching the plan to make chapatti from scratch till plated and photographed.
Chapati, also referred to as roti (which technically are made with only all purpose flour), is found in many countries under different names/variations (India to Africa to Southeast Asia to China (laobing) to Pakistan(doday)) . It is an unleavened bread that makes for one tasty utensil.
Goan Proverb: Fry the chapatti, while the pan is hot!
That is the question I faced when the banana fairy (also known as my MIL) visited the same day the grocery deposited my “oopsie too big” of an order. I do not think very many people are as lucky as I to have a banana fairy, where you could never be fast enough to buy your OWN bananas, let alone even jot them down on the grocery list. A couple FAQs I can imagine people asking:
Does the banana fairy bring other yellow fruits? No, just bananas. But sometimes she brings savory entrees that are yellow.
Does the banana fairy have wings and a magic wand? Nope. She wears socks with sandals.
Does the banana fairy leave evidence of other magic around the house? Yes, she sweeps with the inefficient “Asian” broom that sheds.
Does Mason the Dog try to bite the fairy? He would not dare. He would get smacked right quick. Oh wait, he gets smacked if he is good too.
Does the banana fairy fly from the magic produce stand to the house? No, she drives a Toyota from Renton but does sit on a special pillow to reach the pedals
The challenge: avoid spoiling the bunch.
Situation: 18 bananas weighing in at over six pounds of bananas; the bunch made up of 14 fresh and 4 frozen (so much easier when making banana bread)
The Remedy: Banana bread x 4 variations, banana butter and a few for original indication (breakfast, almost forgot)
Banana Bread – The Recipe (adapted from Flour Bakery in Boston)
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup oil [I used coconut oil – yumm]
3 1/2 bananas, very ripe is best, mashed (try a potato masher; if frozen, defrost and squeegee out of the peel)
2 tablespoons creme fraiche, sour cream or plain yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup walnuts, toasted (added bonus, not required) and chopped (or whatever nut you want or don’t!)
Set oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom of a loaf pan with parchment paper, use paper pans or place muffin papers in the tin. Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Beat sugar and eggs with a whisk until light and fluffy, about 10 minutes. Drizzle in oil. Add mashed bananas, creme fraiche, and vanilla. Fold in dry ingredients and nuts. Pour into a lined loaf pan and bake for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. If making muffins or using mini-loaf pans – bake for about ½ the time and check for doneness with a toothpick. Made about 3 mini loafs and 3-4 muffins per batch
Need a trick to measure out the coconut oil, given that it is solid like shortening at room temp. Sure you could nuke the whole thing, but don’t! Or spoon out and mash into measuring cup. Easier and more accurate – Use the water displacement method – that EVERYONE SHOULD have learned in junior high home economics. Grab your liquid measuring cup (I like the 2 cup one). Fill with a known quantity of cold tap water, for this example I used 1 cup. Scoop out coconut oil and plop into water. Eyeball the desired amount when scooping but then fine tune it by watching the water level rise by the SAME amount you wish to have of the coconut oil. For this recipe the goal is ½ cup, so I put in enough to raise the water to 1 ½ cups. Do be sure that it is all submerged. When measured out, scoop out, drain water and add to recipe. I show the final in a measuring cup for proof, you don’t have to do that. If you are using virgin coconut oil, the light coconut flavor adds to the overall recipe. You can also use refined, which is lacking the suntan oil aroma. Try a spoonful of the virgin stuff straight up or melt some in your coffee with cream. Yum! And good for you too – look it up.
Bananas with ½ – 1 tsp ground cardamom (can be potent!), pinch cinnamon (or omit) and unsweetened coconut flakes (yellow muffin papers)
Bananas with ¼ cup chopped candied/crystallized ginger (and a bigger chunk on top) and unsweetened coconut flakes, touch of nutmeg, cinnamon (brown muffin papers)
Bananas with 1 cup grated carrot and ½ cup (or so, not specific) dried cranberries (gluten free flour, blue papers)
Bananas with salted caramel and ~ ½ cup chopped walnuts
Melted Trader Joe’s salted caramels and incorporated into the batter when all wet ingredients in. It wanted to cool and harden real quick, so NEXT time I might just put half a caramel in the middle of the muffin tin for each one.
Banana Butter with Cointreau
3 ½ pounds bananas, peeled and chopped into small pieces
1 ½ cups packed light brown sugar
¼ cup lemon juice (not fresh squeezed as acid is important)
Note: some recipes will call for 1.75 ounces (3.5 tablespoons) of fruit pectin, go for it if you want
Place ingredients in medium pot and cook over medium to medium-high heat for 20-30 minutes, stirring often. The bananas will break down and you can help them by mushing. The alcohol will all but cook off. I did a taste test after a while and add a little more Cointreau Ladle into hot jars, leaving ¼ inch headspace. Process 10 minutes. I did have issues with my jars sealing so ultimately I tossed them in the freezer and will defrost them as needed.
What would one do with banana butter? Just what you would do with apple or plum or pear butter. Spread on toast, eat with a spoon, sauce for dessert pizza or tart, spread on banana bread (whoa, mind blown), waffles, crepes or add to ice cream. The Cointreau (one of my fave spirits) adds a nice orangey flavor and makes it a tad more adult. You could also do rum, bourbon, a flavored vodka, or not spirits (just vanilla). Some browning will occur, but they are still bananas after all…
Do you have a favorite banana joke, saying or recipe? Please share! Now, I’m gonna make like a banana and split!
Nothing beats the smell of fresh baked bread, nor the taste and crusty crust right out of the oven. In the BeHi Hood there is a tasty bakery who fires up their ovens every morning. You can smell it when out for a walk. Not quite as intoxicating, and no where nears as preserved, as the Hostess factory I used to run by – Twinkies and Ho Ho aroma while hauling your carcass around Lake Union? Yes, please. The more crusty and country roughhewn bread the better. It is such a great vehicle for those gifts of life, extra virgin olive oil, slab of cheese, peanut butter, honey, jam, or butter.
Inspired to try once again, after a few hocky puck focaccia loafs, by the Kitchen Counter Cooking School, I tried my hand and finally succeeded at the artisan bread making. What made this time more successful? For one, my yeast wasn’t old. Two, I used a different recipe than the widely available Lahey recipe from Sullivan St. Bakery. Three, I didn’t pack the flour down in the measuring cups. Rather cascade it from one into the other, to allow for more air. Given that in the US we measure by volume but most recipes originated using weight, scooping, packing it in to that cup and level with a knife (like we probably all learned in home ec) could mean a whole extra ounce of flour versus spooning the flour into the cup the leveling but no tappy, tap tap tapperoo (Happy Gilmore shout out). Ideally, dry ingredients should be measured. I do not currently practice this. No idea what I am describing? Here’s a You Tube video for you by JoyofBaking.
From Chapter 7 – The Bread Also Rises
Artisan Bread for Busy People: Yield about 4 one-pound loaves
3 cups lukewarm water (~100F)
1 ½ tablespoons yeast
1 tablespoon kosher salt
6 ½ cups unsifted unbleached all-purpose white flour
Additional flour to create loaves
Combine the water, yeast and salt in a 5-quart mixing bowl or food container with lid. Stir to mix. Add all the flour at once and mix with a wooden spoon until the dough is wet and sticky with no dry patches. Cover with a lid or plastic wrap but do not seal airtight. Let it rise for about 2 hours at room temperature.
Best part! If you are not using it immediately, refrigerate the dough, covered, for up to 2 weeks.
To make a loaf, lightly sprinkle some flour onto the dough’s surface. Scoop up a handful the size of a grapefruit and cut or tear it away from the remainder. This is probably the hardest step. Rub the dough with a layer of flour while gently stretching the top around to tuck the sides into the bottom form a smooth, round loaf.
Put the loaf on a pizza peal, cutting board or rimless cookie sheet dusted with cornmeal (to prevent sticking). Let it rise uncovered for at least a half hour or as long as 90 minutes. The loaf will plump up but not change radically in size.
About 20 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 400 F. Place a broiler tray or other metal pan on the bottom rack of the oven. Put the baking stone or cast iron skillet in the middle rack.
Dust the loaf liberally with flour. Slash the top with a cross or three lines with a sharp knife and slide it onto the preheated baking surface. Carefully pour about 1 cup of hot water into the broiler tray or metal pan and close the over door to trap the steam.
Bake for about 20 minutes, until the crust is browned and the loaf feels light and hollow. You can also check the temperature – should be around 190 F.
For a lazy sourdough, mix the next batch in the same container without cleaning it first. If so desired, you can substitute 2 cups of whole wheat flour for the white flour. You can also add in dry herbs wen mixing the dough.
I don’t plan to abandon store bough bread just yet, you never know when you need a piece of toast or handy chicken treat. And those situations can’t wait a few hours. Do consider though that there are only 4 ingredients in this bread versus almost 20 in the indestructible loaf in the fridge. What is a datem anyway….. sounds like something your Jersey friend might say – just go ahead and datem already!
Maybe I’ll change the saying to “best thing to happen since no knead artisan bread”.
Do you have a favorite artisan bread recipe or add-in to share?