Peanut Butter Banana Bread

I’ve had a few bananas on my counter for about a week now, and of course they’re turning browner every day. Last night I decided Banana Bread was in order. I found this recipe on allrecipes, but it called for nuts. I’ve never really cared for nuts in my food, so I left those out. The peanut butter is not very noticeable in the bread, but does give it a mild nutty flavor without the actual chunks of nuts.


Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 2 bananas, mashed
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Instructions
Preheat oven to 325. Lightly grease a 5×9 inch loaf pan.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs; beat well. Stir in peanut butter, bananas, flour and baking soda until blended. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake at 325 for 70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Remove to a wire rack to cool.

This bread came together very quickly, though it does bake for a long time. It smelled great while it was baking, I kept hearing “is it ready yet?”. It came out moist and full of banana flavor. Well worth the wait! 🙂
– Jodi

Apple Cinnamon Bread

Last week I made a Braided Onion Loaf that turned out very well. I thought I’d play with the fillings on this bread a little bit to see what other kinds of bread braids I could make. Since I still have way more apples than I know what to do with I wanted to incorporate them somehow. I decided on a sweet apple cinnamon filled bread. I used the same dough as last week, but to keep it simple I’m posting that info here too.








Dough:
1 pkg (1/4 oz) active dry yeast
3/4 cup warm water
1/2 cup warm milk
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
4 to 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Filling:
2 apples finely diced, about 2 cups
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp apple pie spice (I use this recipe)
1/4 cup butter, softened

Topping (approximate measurements here, I just threw this together):
3-4 tbsp melted butter
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon







In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the milk, butter, egg, sugar, salt, and 2 cups flour; beat until smooth. Add enough of the remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.


In a small bowl, combine the filling ingredients. Punch dough down; turn onto a lightly floured surface. Divide into thirds. Roll each portion into a rectangle about 20 in X 4 in. Roll up jelly-roll style, starting from a long side.










Place ropes on a baking sheet lined with either parchment or a silicone baking mat; braid. Pinch ends to seal and tuck under. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Brush with melted butter/Topping above, remove from pan onto wire rack.
This was much messier coming out of the oven than the onion loaf, probably because it was a much moister filling. Definitely use something to line the pan because the butter/brown sugar does leak a little around the edges and caramelize. It was also a much heavier loaf than last week’s and a little difficult to move from the pan to the rack without it separating. But, that said, this was totally worth the effort. The bread is chewy and moist with a lot of apple cinnamon flavor. Perfect for snacking on this very chilly fall Sunday!

– Jodi


P.S. I couldn’t resist sharing this little picture of my kitchen “helpers”! They’re always waiting to see if I’ll drop anything, and they are loving all the apples around here. 🙂

Braided Onion Loaf

I found a recipe last week that I’ve been wanting to try, but I’ve been lacking motivation lately. I blame it on the gloomy weather. Today I finally got around to making this braided onion loaf, and it didn’t even take very much effort!







1 pkg (1/4 oz) active dry yeast 
3/4 cup warm water
1/2 cup warm milk
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
4 to 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Filling:
1/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup dried minced onion
1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp garlic salt, optional
Melted butter

Dough: In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the milk, butter, egg, sugar, salt, and 2 cups flour; beat until smooth. Add enough of the remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. 
Filling: In a small bowl, combine the butter, onion, Parmesan cheese, paprika and garlic salt. 
Punch dough down; turn onto a lightly floured surface. Divide into thirds. Roll each portion into a rectangle about 20 in X 4 in. Roll up jelly-roll style, starting from a long side.




Place ropes on an ungreased baking sheet; braid. Pinch ends to seal and tuck under. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Brush with melted butter, remove from pan onto wire rack.
The onion flavor is pretty intense, but I really enjoyed it. Though yesterday’s trip to the apple orchard is making me think I might like to try this with some apples and cinnamon in place of the onion filling. I’ll let you know how it goes! 🙂
-Jodi

Roasted Garlic and Herb Bread

Yesterday was pretty chilly around here, and I thought some nice fresh warm bread sounded like a good lazy Sunday snack. I found this recipe for Roasted Garlic and Herb bread and since it made two loaves I shared one with Patricia. I think this would be an excellent side with a pasta dish, though I’m having some tonight with a steak dinner.

2 whole garlic bulbs
2 tsp olive oil
1 (1/4 oz) pkg dry active yeast
1 cup warm water
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 to 3 cups all purpose flour
2 tbsp dried parsley
2 tsp dried marjoram
1 tsp dried rosemary, crushed
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese (I really like the cheese, so I doubled this)
2 tbsp melted butter

Remove the outer skin from the garlic, but do not peel or separate the cloves. Cut tops off the bulbs and brush with oil. Wrap each bulb in foil. Bake at 425 for about 30 min until softened. Cool for 10 min then squeeze garlic into a small bowl with the herbs.

Dissolve yeast in warm water in a large mixing bowl. Add sugar, salt and 1 cup flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface, knead for 6-8 minutes until smooth and elastic. Place in bowl coated with cooking spray, turning once to coat the top. Cover and let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes.

Punch dough down. Turn onto lightly floured surface, divide in half. Roll each portion into a rectangle about 8X10. Spread each with half the garlic herb mixture and half the cheese. Roll up starting with the long side, pinching the ends and seam to seal.

Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Place loaves seam side down on pan, tucking ends under. With a knife make slashes across the tops of the loaves. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.

Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes- until golden brown. Remove from pans and allow to cool. Brush the tops of the loaves with the melted butter.

This was a fast and easy bread to make, I will definitely make it again. You could really use any combination of herbs here that you like, and I think I might try experimenting with the cheeses too.

Enjoy!
– Jodi

Ciabatta Bread

Yesterday I decided to make chili for dinner, and for me there has to be fresh bread to go with chili. Earlier this year I bought The Bread Bible and got my kitchenaid mixer and intended to try my hand at all kinds of different breads. Then spring came and I kind of dropped it -Who wants to be inside when the weather gets nice? Now that it’s cooling off I want to get back into breads.
This was my first attempt at the Ciabatta in the book and I think it turned out very well. Nice crisp crust, soft inside with lots of big holes. It didn’t get as high as I expected, but I’m not sure that it was supposed to. Any experienced bread makers out there, please let me know what you think!


Starter (6 hour rise):
1/2 cup + 1/2 tbsp unbleached all purpose flour
1/16 tsp instant yeast
1/4 cup water at room temperature


In a small bowl combine all ingredients and stir the mixture with a wooden spoon for 3-5 minutes or until smooth and comes away from the sides of the bowl. It will be slightly sticky to the touch. Cover the bowl tightly with oiled plastic wrap and set aside until tripled and filled with bubbles, about 6 hours at room temperature.

Dough:
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1/4 tsp instant yeast
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup water
Starter (above)
Whisk together the flour and the yeast in the mixer bowl, then whisk in the salt. Add the water and the starter. Mix on low speed until just moistened. Raise the speed to medium-high for 3 minutes, dough should pull away from the bowl. If the dough hasn’t pulled away from the bowl, scrape down the sides. Lower the speed to medium (medium-high if you had to scrape) and continue beating for 2 minutes.
Using an oiled spatula, scrape the dough into a large lightly greased bowl. Push the dough down and lightly oil the top. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise until tripled, about 1 1/4 to 2 hours.

Sift a generous amount of flour onto a counter. Scrape the dough onto the flour using an oiled spatula, and sift more flour on top. Handle the dough gently to maintain as much air as possible. Push sides of dough together slightly using the palms of your hands. Make large deep dimples in the dough about 1 inch apart using your fingertips, this will elongate the dough. Push the sides together a second time. Carefully lift up the dough and invert onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sift flour over the top and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Allow to rise in a warm spot until 1 to 1 1/2 inches high, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 475 about one hour before baking. Have an oven shelf at the lowest level and place a baking sheet on it, and a cast iron skillet or baking sheet on the floor of the oven before preheating.

Remove the plastic wrap and gently set the baking sheet on the hot baking sheet. Toss 1/2 cup of ice cubes into the pan beneath and immediately close the door. Bake for 5 minutes, then lower the temp to 450 and continue baking for 20 minutes or until the bread is deep golden brown. Halfway through, turn the bread for even baking.


I was intimidated before I started, but it really wasn’t as hard as I thought. There are a lot of steps, but they aren’t difficult. I really enjoyed this bread, by itself and dipped in the chili.
– Jodi

Turkey Veggie Chili

Yesterday I was looking over my food supplies and trying to come up with a meal to make that wouldn’t require me to go shopping. This was part laziness and part budgeting. Every time I run to the store for “just a couple things” I end up with a cartful of stuff. I decided I had the makings of a good chili, and for me you don’t have chili without fresh baked bread.  That’s the way my mom always served it, and now that’s the way I like it. To go with my chili then, I made a loaf of Ciabatta bread which you can read about here. This chili was nice and thick and because of all the veggies and ground turkey it’s pretty healthy too. This recipe is not very spicy because I am not a fan of really spicy foods. I leave those to Patricia!


1 large onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound ground turkey
1 1/2 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp paprika
2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp ground cumin
2 medium tomatoes, chopped (I used some I had canned)
1 can tomato sauce
1 can chicken broth
1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 medium carrots, thinly sliced into rounds
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1 can mushrooms, drained
Salt and Pepper to taste

Brown turkey with the onion and the garlic in a large pot over medium heat. Add spices, tomatoes, tomato sauce, broth, beans, veggies and mushrooms; bring mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer until meat and vegetables are tender, about 30 to 45 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 
I garnished mine with a little white cheddar cheese and my bread of course!
– Jodi

Broiled Tilapia, Compound Butter, Cheddar Dill Biscuits/Crackers

I attended a cooking class this week at Whole Foods, and I really enjoyed the food. So of course I had to give it a try for myself! The recipes below are from the class, and my modifications are listed as well. I’m not normally a fish person, but I am willing to try new things. This isn’t too fishy and really takes on the flavor of the marinade. My biscuits were in a minute or two too long, but they were still tasty. Our teacher suggested that using the scraps after cutting the biscuits was a good way to make crackers, so I tried that too!
– Jodi

5 Herb Compound Butter
1/2 lb of butter at room temp
1/4 cup minced herbs. In class we had dill, parsley, rosemary, chives and tarragon. (I don’t have any tarragon, so I used basil instead)
I also added a clove of garlic so I’d have garlic herb butter.

Combine herbs and butter in mixer bowl. Whip to combine. I just scooped mine into a little dish. If you wish to have a stick of your butter, you can scoop butter onto waxed paper and roll into a tube. Put in the refrigerator to firm up, about a half an hour.


Broiled Tilapia (I halved this as I only needed 2 filets)
4 6-oz tilapia filets
2 lemons zested and juiced (I’m not a big lemon eater so I only used a little zest. In place of the juice I used white wine)
1 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced

Combine lemon zest and juice(wine), garlic, olive oil and filets in a zip top freezer bag. Push out all the air and marinate half an hour, turning as needed. Pre-heat broiler and three minutes before broiling, pre-heat the broiler pan. Broil three minutes per side, depending on your broiler. Fish should cook to 155 degrees. Serve filets topped with a pat of compound butter.


Cheddar Dill Biscuits
2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon each baking soda and salt
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1/2 cup all vegetable shortening
2/3 cup each buttermilk and grated sharp cheddar cheese (I used an extra sharp white cheddar)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a small mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cheese, dill and sugar. Cut in shortening with a fork or your fingertips. When the mixture looks like coarse breadcrumbs, add the buttermilk all at once and mix gently until just combined using either a wooden spoon or your hands. Turn out the dough onto a floured counter and knead for 30 seconds. Divide in half, pat out each piece until it is about a half inch thick. Cut the biscuits using a biscuit cutter or the top of a glass. Space the biscuits evenly on a greased cookie sheet, leaving 1/2 inch of space in between. Bake 12-15 min or until golden brown.

Crackers
I rolled out the scraps of the above trying to go as thin as I could (they were still a little thick). The instructor advised to cut using a pizza cutter, but I went for the cute factor and used a heart shaped cookie cutter. I spread them out on a greased cookie sheet, sprinkled a little salt and baked until golden brown on top. This took about 7 min, but I didn’t time it exactly- just watched them closely.