Sunday, March 27, 2011

Coconut Chocolate Chip Banana Bread.

Z had his way with a banana or two today, rendering them unfit for normal peeled consumption. so, what an excuse to make some bread! My good friend Rachel had mentioned a recipe recently, so I thought I would try it out. I ended up not having a few of the ingredients on hand, so I tweaked it a bit to use up some things that I did have on hand, and what I got was something really tasty. I used coconut oil in place of shortening, brown sugar in place of regular and a mixture of sour cream and heavy cream in place of buttermilk. yummy fatty goodness. and a really really moist bread. The batter tasted of coconut and banana, but the baked product has just a hint of coconut. I think next time, I might add a little shredded coconut to bring that flavor around a bit more. and, there will be a next time. yum-o.
 Coconut Chocolate Chip Banana Bread.
3/4 cup brown sugar
 2 eggs
1/2 cup melted coconut oil, unrefined. (I got mine at Whole Foods, the 365 brand.)
2/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup heavy cream

2 bananas
 2 teaspoons vanilla

2.5 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup chocolate chips

In a bowl, whisk together the first 5 ingredients, then add mashed banana and vanilla. Then add the dry ingredients, combined. Be sure to just stir until combined, not overmixing is key. then, add the chocolate chips. divide batter between 2 greased loaf pans and bake at 350 for about 45 to 55 minutes, depending on your oven!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Apricot and Raisin Oatcakes.

I suppose I should be napping right now. But, I have to tell you about these. I am not sure how I even thought of these things, but it must have been while I was nursing at 2 in the morning. things just pop into my head, random things. and, the other day, it must have been these oatcakes from my youth. I just remember eating these after a hard swim workout when my mom would take me to the bakery in town. Of course, this must have been after my chocolate croissant days, possibly in my high school years when I was an awkward teenager concerned a little more about what I ate, and carbs were all the rage.

These are dense and not all that flavorful. sound good right? well, they actually are, which is kind of crazy. SO, the other day, I was inspired to try and make some at home. 

They are lightly sweet, and the more dried fruit you pack into them, the better.

Apricot and Raisin Oatcakes

3 cups oats, ground in cuisinart
2 c flour
1/4 teas baking powder

1/3 cup yogurt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup honey
1 teas vanilla
1 egg white

1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup apricots, dried, and diced.

mix first three ingredients, set aside. mix 2nd five ingredients. pour into dry mix and combine. add raisins and apricots and mix. it may to be mixed by hand, it gets fairly stiff.
form 2 dozen hockey puck sized patties. bake 325 for 20 minutes.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Pull Apart Bread

but first, some ramblings..

I have decided that it is time to get back into baking more bread. It has been 6 months since I baked a yeasted bread, and I love making bread. Life with kids has dominated my days and I am ready to give myself a little something that I enjoy. I also really miss this blog. So, I have a new goal, to bake something new every week. just one thing. And, hopefully, I will have blog worthy results most days and will be posting more here. I love being a mom, but sometimes I just miss my old self too. and, I hope to get a little of that back. Jointly, I also hope to start running again. My goal is to train for a half marathon, but not quite sure of that reality just yet...but, I need to commit, as it it less than 4 months away and, I havent run in at least a year and a half.
holy cow, did I really just write that?

now, on to the bread..

It was good. past tense. We pretty much decimated the whole thing during the course of the day. I made a whole wheat dough, let it rise and then rolled it out flat. I then brushed it with melted butter, sprinkled cinnamon sugar on it and then folded it onto itself. I then cut it into slivers and lined them up horizontally in a bread pan, baked it and yum.

idea from Joy the Baker, adapted from Beth's Basic Bread Book.

My version, I cut back on the butter and sugar and used the whole wheat dough in place of a white dough. what you get is not a bread that is sticky gooey, but a bread scented with cinnamon and caramelized here and there.

1/2 cup warm water
1 Tabl dry yeast
1/2 cup warm milk (not hotter than 115!)
3 Tabl brown sugar
1 1/2 Tabl melted butter
1 1/2 teas salt
1 egg
1 1/4 cup wheat flour
2 cups white flour

2 Tabl melted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 teas cinnamon

dissolve the yeast in the warm water, add the sugar, melted butter and milk. stir. whisk the egg and add to the yeast mixture. combine the flours and add to the liquid mixture. stir till the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. add the salt. knead dough on counter with just as little flour as you need. let dough rise 1 hours. punch down. let rise 1 hour more. punch down. roll out into a rectangle. brush with melted butter. sprinkle cinnamon over the top. fold the dough in half and cut into strips. depending on the length, and size of your pan, cut those strips in half. layer vertically in bread pan that is brushed with melted butter. let rise 45 minutes. bake 375, about 40 minutes, until fairly brown on top.