Whole-Grain Banana Bread

Moist and flavorful is what I will say about recipe #10 on kingarthurflour.com‘s Best Basic Recipe list. I say that after much grumbling about the burned overflow in the bottom of my oven and the burned smell that exists in my house. I am following these recipes as exact as I can to see if I agree with the word BEST given in the title.

So, as I poured the batter of this banana bread into the loaf pan and it goes scarily close to the top rim, I say to myself, this isn’t going to work. In my mind there is a battle brewing, that is way too much batter for that pan, no, trust the recipe and the pan size it says, follow the recipe as exact as possible, you better use a larger pan or separate into two smaller pans. You add quarantine to this situation and it’s not good!

Well, I went with trust the recipe and the pan size it says. All is cleaned up now, it’s not the prettiest loaf you will ever see, and you have the full story. Use a larger pan or two smaller ones, and you will have a moist and flavorful Whole-Grain Banana Bread. Ü

Whole-Grain Banana Bread

Batter
2 cups mashed banana, about 4-5 medium bananas
1/2 cup oil
1 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, optional

Topping
1 Tbl sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350°F with a rack in the center position. Lightly grease a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan; if your pan is glass or stoneware, reduce the oven temperature to 325°F. In a large bowl, stir together the mashed banana, oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Weigh your flours; or measure them by gently spooning into a cup, then sweeping off any excess. Mix the flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and chopped walnuts into the banana mixture. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl and mix again to thoroughly combine the ingredients. Scoop the batter into the prepared pan. Mix together the sugar and cinnamon, and sprinkle over the batter.

Bake the bread for about 60 to 75 minutes, until the bread feels set on the top, and a paring knife (or other thin knife) inserted into the center comes out clean, or with just a few moist crumbs (but no wet batter). If you have a digital thermometer, the bread’s temperature at the center should register about 205°F. If the bread appears to be browning too quickly, tent it with aluminum foil for the final 15 to 20 minutes of baking. Note: If baking in a glass or stoneware pan, increase the baking time by 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the bread from the oven. Cool it in the pan for 15 minutes, then loosen the edges, and turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool completely. Store leftover bread, tightly wrapped, at room temperature for several days. Freeze for longer storage.

Simply Perfect Pancakes

How about a stack of pancakes to make quarantine a little better? This is recipe #9 on kingarthurflour.com list of Best Basic Recipes. I have to admit, I haven’t had pancakes since…well, I don’t know when. So, this was a treat! Light and fluffy, an amazing vehicle for getting butter and pure maple syrup into my mouth!

Perfect Pancakes 1

Perfect Pancakes 2

2 large eggs
1¼ cups milk
3 Tbl melted butter or oil
1½ cups flour
3/4 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
2 Tbl sugar or 1/4 cup malted milk powder*

Beat the eggs and milk until light and foamy, about 3 minutes at high speed of a stand or hand mixer. Stir in the butter or oil. Whisk the dry ingredients together to evenly distribute the salt, baking powder and sweetener (*I used powdered French vanilla coffee creamer). Gently and quickly mix into the egg and milk mixture. Let the batter rest for at least 15 minutes (hard to wait, but an important step), while the griddle is heating; it”ll thicken slightly.

Heat a heavy frying pan over medium heat, or set an electric griddle to 375°F. Lightly grease frying pan or griddle. The pan or griddle is ready if a drop of water will skitter across the surface, evaporating immediately. Drop 1/4 cupfuls of batter onto the lightly greased griddle. Bake on one side until bubbles begin to form and break, about 2 minutes; then turn the pancakes and cook the other side until brown, about 1½ to 2 minutes. Turn over only once. Serve immediately.

 

Scones

Recipe #3 of kingarthurflour.com Best Basic Recipe Collection is SCONES! I will eat any scone from plain to savory to sweet (sweet will always be the favorite, of course). The secret with scone dough is to handle it as little as possible to keep those littles bits of butter nice and cold until they hit the oven. This is a basic recipe and you can choose your mix-ins and flavoring, this time I used 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips and vanilla. Next time I might use raisins, pecans, and maple, oh, that sounds amazing!

Scones 1

Scones2 Scones3 Scones 4

Dough
2¾ cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1 Tbl baking powder
1/2 cup cold butter
1-2 cups chopped dried fruit, chocolate or other flavor chips, nuts, or combination
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla or flavoring of choice
1/2 – 2/3 cup half-and-half or milk

Topping
2 tsp milk or half-and-half
2 Tbl sparkling sugar or cinnamon-sugar, optional

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Cut in butter just until mixture is unevenly crumbly; it’s OK for some larger chunks of butter to remain unincorporated. Stir in the fruit, chips, and/or nuts, if you’re using them. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, vanilla or other flavor, and half-and-half or milk. Add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients and stir just until all is moistened and holds together.

Line a baking sheet with parchment or silpat; if you don’t have either, just use pan without greasing it. Sprinkle a bit of flour atop the parchment or pan. Put dough onto floured parchment or pan, and divide it in half. Round each half into a 5″ circle. Brush each circle with milk, and sprinkle with coarse sparkling sugar or cinnamon-sugar, if desired. Using a knife or bench knife that you’ve run under cold water, slice each circle into 6 wedges. Carefully pull wedges away from center to separate them just a bit; there should be about 1/2″ space between them, at their outer edges.

For best texture and highest rise, place pan of scones in freezer for 30 minutes, uncovered. Chilling scones relaxes the gluten in the flour, which makes scones more tender and allows them to rise higher. It also chills fat, which will make scones a bit flakier. While scones are chilling, preheat oven to 425°F with a rack in the upper third.

Bake scones in upper part of your oven for 18 to 23 minutes, or until they’re a light golden brown. Remove scones from oven, and cool briefly on pan. Serve warm. They’re delicious as is, but add butter and/or jam, if you like.

When scones are completely cool, wrap them in plastic and store at room temperature for up to several days. To reheat room-temperature scones, place on a baking sheet, tent lightly with foil, and warm in a preheated 350°F oven for about 10 minutes.

Soft Cinnamon Rolls

This last week I saw a post on Instagram by kingarthurflour.com, it is a collection of their 16 Best Basic Recipes. I have decided to make all 16 of these recipes from beginning to end. It’s a great way to pass the time while quarantined. I see some people on Instagram challenging others to organize drawers or closets, that’s a lovely idea, but I prefer to BAKE! Maybe if we are in this long enough I will have to give in and organize. But, for now, let’s begin with the first of the 16 Best Basic Recipes.

Soft Cinnamon Rolls 1

Soft Cinnamon Rolls 2 Soft Cinnamon Rolls 3 Soft Cinnamon Rolls 5

Ingredients

Tangzhong (starter):
5 Tbl water
5 Tbl milk
3 Tbl + 1 tsp bread flour

Dough:
All of the Tangzhong (above)
4 cups + 2 Tbl bread flour
3 Tbl nonfat dry milk
1¾ tsp salt
1 Tbl instant yeast
3/4 cup lukewarm whole milk
2 large eggs, beaten
6 Tbl butter, melted

Filling:
3/4 cup brown sugar
4 tsp cinnamon

Icing:
2 cups powdered sugar
pinch of salt
2 Tbl melted butter
2-3 Tbl whole milk, to make a thick spreadable frosting

To make the tangzhong: Combine all of the starter ingredients in a small saucepan, and whisk until no lumps remain. Place the saucepan over medium heat, and cook the mixture, whisking constantly, until thick and the whisk leaves lines on the bottom of the pan. This will probably take only a minute or so. Remove from the heat, and set it aside for several minutes.

To make the dough: Mix the tangzhong with the remaining dough ingredients until everything comes together. Let the dough rest, covered, for 20 minutes; this will give the flour a chance to absorb the liquid, making it easier to knead. After 20 minutes, knead the dough — by hand, mixer, or bread machine — to make a smooth, elastic, somewhat sticky dough. Shape the dough into a ball, and let it rest in a lightly greased covered bowl for 60 to 90 minutes, until puffy but not necessarily doubled in bulk.

To make the filling: Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon, mixing until the cinnamon is thoroughly distributed.

To put it all together: Gently deflate the risen dough, divide it in half, and shape each piece into a rough rectangle. Working with one piece at a time, roll the dough into an 18″ x 8″ rectangle. Sprinkle half the filling onto the rolled-out dough. Starting with a long edge, roll the dough into a log. With the seam underneath, cut the log into 12 slices, 1 1/2″ each. Repeat with the second piece of dough and the remaining filling. Lightly grease a 9″ x 13″ pan. Space the rolls in the pan.

Cover the pan and let the rolls rise for 45 to 60 minutes, until they’re crowding one another and are quite puffy. While the rolls are rising, preheat the oven to 350°F with a rack in the bottom third. Uncover the rolls, and bake them for 22 to 25 minutes, until they feel set. They might be just barely browned; that’s OK. It’s better to under-bake these rolls than bake them too long. Their interior temperature at the center should be about 188°F.

While the rolls are baking, stir together the icing ingredients, adding enough of the milk to make a thick spreadable icing. The icing should be quite stiff, about the consistency of softened cream cheese. Remove the rolls from the oven, and turn them out of the pan onto a rack. Spread them with the icing; it’ll partially melt into the rolls. Serve the rolls warm. Store completely cool rolls for a couple of days at room temperature, or freeze for up to 1 month.

Chocolate Nutella Granola

Is granola still healthy if you add Nutella and chocolate chips? All the healthy elements are still there so let’s say yes! We love to eat it by the handful, yesterday we had it with vanilla yogurt and berries, and today I added banana and vanilla almond milk and had the most delicious lunch.

Chocolate Nutella Granola

Chocolate Nutella Granola 2

5 cups crispy rice cereal
4 cups rolled oats
1 cup wheat germ
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup rough chopped pecans
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
2 cups raisins
1 cup coconut
1 cup chopped dates
1 cup dried cranberries
2 Tbl cinnamon
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup Nutella
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325°. In large bowl, mix together crispy rice cereal, oats, wheat germ, almonds, pecans, sunflower seeds, raisins, coconut, dates, dried cranberries, and cinnamon. In saucepan, melt butter, Nutella, and brown sugar together. Add maple syrup, salt, and vanilla. Pour over dry ingredients and stir gently until thoroughly combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Spread out evenly on two cookie sheets that have been sprayed with nonstick spray. Bake for 8 minutes, remove and gently stir and spread out again. Bake another 8 minutes, remove, gently stir and spread out again. Bake 8 minutes more. Remove from oven and cool completely. Store in airtight container. Eat as a snack, in a bowl with milk or on top of ice cream, yogurt, you decide.

Bran Muffins

We love a good muffin, don’t we? But, I am big on counting calories, and a muffin can be loaded with calories. With this recipe, the goal was healthy, good taste, fiber, and low calorie. I think is hits the mark, it can be a good start for your morning or a great snack. Don’t expect a lot of sweet, there is no sugar added. The flavor comes from the hardiness of bran, a hint of molasses, cinnamon, and little bit of chocolate here and there.
One muffin has 145 calories, 5g fiber, 2.6g fat, 30.7g carbs.

Bran Muffins

Bran Muffins II

1¼ cups All-Bran cereal
2/3 cup milk (I use unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 egg
2 Tbl molasses
1/2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbl mini chocolate chips*

Preheat oven to 350°. Spray 6 muffin cups or add papers.
Stir together All-Bran, milk, applesauce, egg, molasses, and vanilla. Let sit 5 minutes for the bran to softened. Stir together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Add dry ingredients to bran mixture and stir just until combined. Stir in mini chocolate chips. Scoop batter evenly into the 6 muffin cups. Bake 20-22 minutes.

*Use 4 Tbl mini chocolate chips for a little more chocolate in your muffins, this increases the calories per muffin to 170. Still good on calories, and more chocolate!

 

Popovers

Make popovers for dinner to go with your soup. Make them for breakfast to eat with butter and jam. Or, make them anytime just because of that amazing crunchy outside and tender delicious inside!

Popovers 1Popovers.jpg1 Tbl butter, melted, cooled
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 400°. Spray a 6-cup popover pan with nonstick spray.
Combine butter, milk, eggs, flour, and salt in blender. Blend for 30 seconds. Divide batter among the 6 popover cups, filling each about half full. Bake 40 minutes, do not open oven door during baking time. Remove from oven. You may want to pierce each popover to let steam escape. Serve warm. You can make popovers in a muffin pan or Pyrex custard cups.

Other Quick Bread Ideas:

Quick Dinner Muffins Quick Dinner Muffins

Corn Bread Muffins Buttery Sour Cream Corn Bread Muffins

Peanut Butter & Banana Oatmeal Bake

This is a delicious way to eat your oatmeal!

Peanut Butter & Banana Oatmeal Bake

Peanut Butter & Banana Oatmeal Bake 1

4 cups old fashioned oats
1½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2¹⁄3 cups almond milk (or other milk)
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
3 bananas, mashed
1/2 cup peanut butter, creamy or crunchy

Preheat oven to 375°. In medium bowl, stir together oats, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In large bowl, stir together milk, brown sugar, vanilla, maple syrup, and lemon juice. With electric mixer on lowest setting, mix in bananas and peanut butter. Add oat mixture and mix just until incorporated. Pour mixture into sprayed 13″x9″ baking pan, spread evenly. Bake 20-25 minutes, until set. Serve while hot on a plate or in a bowl with syrup, cream, milk, bananas, raisins, you decide! Leftovers can be kept in an airtight container in refrigerator for 5-7 days and reheated. You can make half a batch and bake in 8″x8″ or 9″x9″ baking pan. Recipe from shelikesfood.com.

Other Breakfast Ideas:

Baked Frittata

Bacon, Tomato, & Cheddar Bake

Breakfast Pizza

Sausage & Potato Breakfast Casserole 2

Harvest Grain & Pecan Waffles

 

 

Cranberry & White Chocolate Scones

A warm scone on a cold winter morning, lovely.

Cranberry & White Chocolate Scones

Cranberry & White Chocolate Scones 1    Cranberry & White Chocolate Scones 2    Cranberry & White Chocolate Scones 3

2½ cups flour
3 Tbl sugar
1 Tbl baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup butter, cold, cut in pieces
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped frozen cranberries tossed in 2 tsp sugar

Preheat oven to 375°. Line baking sheet with silpat, parchment or spray. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. In small bowl, stir together milk, egg, and vanilla. Add milk mixture to dry ingredients, mix to incorporate. Mix in white chocolate and cranberries. Mixture will look dry. At this point I use my hands to bring all together, knead slightly to form a ball (don’t work too much or your warm hands will melt the butter). On well flour surface, press into a round disc about 1 inch in height. Cut into eight wedges. I like to make smaller scones, pictured above. Divide dough in half, press each half into a round disc 1 inch in height and cut into six wedges. Place scone wedges on prepared baking sheet. Optional:  brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar. Bake 16-20 minutes (depending on size), until scones just start turning golden brown.

More Scones:

Sun Dried Tomato Basil & Feta Scones

Raspberry Scones

Orange Cranberry Scones

Spiced Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Scones 3

 

Banana Chocolate Chip Scones

A yummy solution for one over-ripe banana sitting on the counter!

Banana Chocolate Chip Scones

Banana Chocolate Chip Scones 2   Banana Chocolate Chip Scones 3

2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbl baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup cold butter, cut in small pieces
3/4 cup cream
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 banana, cut in small pieces
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
Coarse/Turbinado sugar for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 400°. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat. In large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in butter. Add cream and vanilla; stir gently just until dough comes together. Gently fold in bananas and chocolate chips. Transfer dough to floured surface and knead dough gently a few times, until ball forms. Pat dough into 9″ circle, about 3/4-inch thick. Cut into 8 even wedges. Place wedges on prepared baking sheet. Brush tops with a bit of cream and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake 15-18 minutes, or until golden brown. Recipe from prettysimplesweet.com.

One Year Ago: Brownie Cookies w/Chocolate Frosting Brownie Cookies with Chocolate Fudge Frosting

Two Years Ago: Birthday Cake Oreo Blondies Birthday Cake Oreo Sprinkle Blondies

Three Years Ago: Chocolate Cherry Bars Chocolate Cherry Bars

Four Years Ago: Mini Oreo Cheesecakes Mini Oreo Cheesecakes