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.

Vermont Whole Wheat Oatmeal Honey Bread

My new favorite bread recipe! This is #7 of the Best Basic Recipe Collection on kingarthurflour.com. The flavor of this bread is wonderful, a little sweet from brown sugar and honey with a hint of cinnamon. I will be making it again and again!

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Honey Bread

2 cups boiling water
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 Tbl honey
4 Tbl butter
1 Tbl kosher salt or 2½ tsp table salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1½ cups white whole wheat flour
4 cups all-purpose flour

In a large mixing bowl, combine water, oats, brown sugar, honey, butter, salt, and cinnamon. Let cool to lukewarm, which typically takes about 10 to 15 minutes. Add the yeast and flours, stirring to form a rough dough. Knead (about 10 minutes by hand, 5 to 7 minutes by machine) until the dough is smooth and satiny. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the dough to rise for 1 hour.

Divide the dough in half, and shape each half into a loaf. Place the loaves in two greased 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ bread pans. Cover the pans with lightly greased plastic wrap and allow the loaves to rise until they’ve crowned about 1″ over the rim of the pan, about 60 to 90 minutes.

Bake the loaves in a preheated 350°F oven for 35 to 40 minutes, tenting them lightly with aluminum foil after 25 minutes, to prevent over-browning. Remove them from the oven when they’re golden brown, and the interior registers 190°F on a digital thermometer. Turn the loaves out onto a rack to cool.

Sugar Cookies

This is kingarthurflour.com Best Basic Recipes’ #5. How are you doing with the “Stay at Home” or “Shelter in Place” order, depending on where you live, do you need a cookie? There’s something about a homemade cookie and a glass of milk. Well, I actually ate many of these cookies and a Diet Coke ;o). These sugar cookies have a crisp, sugary outside and a tender inside. I made half of the batch rolled in sugar and the other half rolled in cinnamon sugar, both are delicious! Wishing everyone happy baking and good health!

Sugar cookies 4

Sugar Cookies 2 Sugar Cookies 5 Sugar Cookies 1

Dough
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup (16 Tbl) butter, softened
1¼ cup sugar
1/4 cup cream cheese, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 large egg

Topping
3/4 cup sugar (add 1 tsp cinnamon, optional)

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease two baking sheets, or line with parchment. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla and almond extracts, and the egg; scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add the flour mixture, and mix at low to medium speed until the mixture is evenly moistened.

Place the 3/4 cup sugar in a large plastic bag, or in a shallow pan. Scoop the dough by tablespoonfuls into the sugar, rolling them in the pan or gently shaking them in the bag to coat them with the sugar. Place on the prepared baking sheets, leaving 2″ between them. Using a flat-bottomed glass, flatten the cookies to about 1/4″ thick. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes — 10 minutes for softer cookies, 12 minutes for crunchier. The edges of the cookies will just barely begin to brown. Remove from the oven and cool on the pan for 5 minutes, before transferring to a rack to finish cooling completely.

More Comforting Cookies!
Peanut Butter Fudge Oatmeal Cookies
Fruity Pebbles Cookies
Brownie Cookies with Chocolate Fudge Frosting
Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookies
Peanut Butter Oatmeal M&M Cookies
Biscoff Spread Cookies
Chunky Oatmeal Cookies

Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin pie isn’t just for Thanksgiving, it’s for quarantine too! This is recipe #4 of kingarthurflour.com Best Basic Recipe Collection. I’m enjoying baking my way through this collection, it’s delicious!

Pumpkin Pie 1

Pumpkin Pie 2 Pumpkin Pie3 Pumpkin Pie4

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 Tbl flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cloves
1/8 tsp pepper, optional
3 large eggs, beaten
2 cups (15oz can) pumpkin
1¼ cups light cream or evaporated milk
1 single pie crust, your favorite or King Arthur single pie crust

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sugars, flour, salt, and spices. In a large measuring cup, beat together the eggs, pumpkin, and cream or evaporated milk. Whisk into the dry ingredients. For best flavor, cover and refrigerate the filling overnight before baking. Roll the pie dough out to a 13″ circle, and transfer to the pan. Crimp the edges above the rim; this will give you a little extra headroom to hold the filling when it expands in the oven. Refrigerate the crust while the oven preheats to 400°F.

When the oven is hot, place the pie pan on a baking sheet to catch any drips. Pour the filling into the unbaked pie shell. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until the filling is set 2″ in from the edge. The center should still be wobbly. Remove the pie from the oven and cool on a rack; the center will finish cooking through as the pie sits.

My other favorite pies: Pie Pie Pie!

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.

Cinnamon Babka

Melt in your mouth, buttery, cinnamon goodness!

Cinnamon Babka!

Ingredients
Babka Dough:
1 Tbl dry active yeast
1/3 cup (+ 1 tsp to activate yeast) sugar
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup whole or 2% milk, warmed in microwave
3/4 cup butter, melted
2 tsp vanilla
4¼ – 4½ cups all-purpose flour
2 eggs, beaten

Sugar Syrup:
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Cinnamon Filling:
3/4 cup butter, melted
1½ cups sugar
2 Tbl cinnamon
pinch salt

Instructions
Pour warm water in bowl of mixer (with dough hook), sprinkle yeast over water and sprinkle 1 tsp sugar over yeast. Let sit until foamy, 5 to 10 minutes. Add warm milk, melted butter, and vanilla; mix. Add 2 cups of the flour and salt, mix until smooth. Mix in beaten eggs. Add remaining flour and mix until dough comes together. Raise mixer speed and knead for 5-8 minutes until dough is shiny, elastic and smooth. Turn dough out into a greased bowl, cover and let rise 1-2 hours.

Make sugar syrup while the dough is rising. Combine water, sugar, and vanilla in a small saucepan. Bring to a low boil until the sugar has dissolved. Set aside and cool.

Make the cinnamon filling, combine melted butter, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl. Grease three 8½”x4½” loaf pans. Divide dough into three equal parts. Roll out one part into a rectangle (approx. 9″x12″). Spread with 1/3 of the filling and roll up into a log from long side, cut in half straight down the center of log. Twist pieces together and fit into prepared pan. Repeat with remaining two pieces of dough. Cover pans lightly and let rise 30-45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°. Bake for 20 minutes. Brush each babka with generous amount of syrup. Bake for another 15-30 minutes. When babkas come from the oven, brush again with a liberal amount of syrup. Allow to cool in pans 5-10 minutes. Run a knife around outside of babka to loosen from sides of pan, place babkas on wire rack and cool completely. Original recipe found at family-friends-food.com.

IMG_7103 IMG_7105 IMG_7112

Cinnamon Babka

This is a rich buttery yeast bread (almost cake or dessert), full of cinnamon flavor. It’s not hard to make, just takes a little time, and so worth the wait!

Cinnamon Babka

Babka Dough
1/2 cup whole milk (heat to 110°)
1½ tsp yeast
1/4 cup sugar
2 egg yolks (reserve egg whites, 1 for filling & 1 for top of loaf)
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
4 Tbl butter, softened

Cinnamon Filling
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
2 Tbl butter, melted and cooled
1 egg white
2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt

In bowl of mixer with dough hook, pour heated milk. Sprinkle yeast over milk, sprinkle sugar over yeast, and let sit until yeast is activated and bubbly. Add egg yolks, egg, and vanilla; mix. Add flour and salt; mix about 3 minutes. Increase mixer speed to medium and softened butter in pieces, one piece at a time. Mix until butter is incorporated and dough smooth, about 5 minutes. Turn dough out into a greased bowl, cover, and let rise until at least doubled (probably about 2 hours).

Mix cinnamon filling ingredients and set aside. Turn risen dough out onto well floured surface. Using enough flour so dough doesn’t stick, roll out into a 12″x16″ rectangle. Gently spread cinnamon filling evenly over surface of dough. Roll up starting from short side and pinch seam. Using a sharp knife, carefully cut all the way down the center of your dough cylinder (use flour on knife to help keep from sticking). Turn both halves of dough so filling is facing up. Twist one half over the other starting in the middle to the end (keeping cut edges facing up) and twist other end from center to the end. Tuck ends under and loaf together to length of loaf pan. Liberally grease loaf pan and carefully lift loaf into pan. Cover and let rise about 1½ hours.

Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly beat the one reserved egg white until frothy. Gently brush over risen loaf and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar if desired. Bake about 45 minutes. Cool in pan on cooling rack about 20 minutes, remove from pan and cool completely for clean, neat slices.

Cinnamon Babka 1  Cinnamon Babka 2

Cinnamon Babka 3  Cinnamon Babka 4

Pumpkin Spice Baked Doughnuts

My daughter Lindsay is visiting and we have been taste testing all things pumpkin spice. Have you noticed all the products in the stores? Pumpkin Spice Cheerios, Pumpkin Spice Lindor Truffles, Pumpkin Spice Kisses, Pumpkin Spice Ghirardelli Squares, Pumpkin Spice Oreos, Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal, Pumpkin Spice Life Cereal, Pumpkin Spice Jell-O Pudding, Pumpkin Spice Granola Bars. No, we did not eat all of that. Lindsay did make Pumpkin Spice Baked Doughnuts, and we did eat them, yummy!

Pumpkin Spice Baked Doughnuts.jpg

Pumpkin Spice Doughnut Batter:
1 box yellow cake mix
2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp clove
1/8 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 eggs
3 Tbl melted butter

Preheat oven to 350°. In large bowl, combine cake mix, cinnamon, clove, allspice, and nutmeg. Add pumpkin, eggs and melted butter; mix until well combined. Set aside, make streusel.

Streusel:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 Tbl melted butter

In separate bowl, stir together brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and melted butter.
Spoon batter into doughnut baking pan, filling each ring halfway. Sprinkle streusel over batter in each doughnut ring. Bake for 10 minutes.

 

More Pumpkin Goodness:

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookie Crust Pie 2

Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes 1

 

 

 

 

 

Pumpkin Milk Chocolate Blondies

Pumpkin Coffee Cake

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream

Pumpkin Pie Granola

Pumpkin Pie Cake

Pumpkin Gingerbread with Cinnamon Pumpkin Cream Frosting

Chocolate Swirl Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Sweet Rolls

Pumpkin Pie Cake

Apple Pumpkin Pecan Cake

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.

Nutty Chocolate Chip Banana Bran Muffins

Sometimes I’m in the mood for healthy and low calorie, that is when I bake something like Bran Muffins. Today I throw all those cares to the wind and bake a bran muffin with sugar, chocolate and lots of nuts. I fool myself with the words banana and bran, that there is some health benefit in there somewhere. My workout tonight will have to be a little longer, but that’s OK, my craving is satisfied. ;o)

Nutty Chocolate Chip Banana Bran Muffins

3 bananas, medium, mashed
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup applesauce
1 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 cup All-Bran cereal
1¾ flour
1½ tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
3/4 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 400°. Coat 12 cup muffin pan with nonstick spray.
In large bowl, stirring by hand, combine banana, eggs, buttermilk, applesauce, vanilla, brown sugar, and All-Bran cereal. Let sit 5-10 minutes. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt; add to banana mixture. Stir just until all is combined. Stir in chocolate chips, pecans, and walnuts. Scoop mixture into prepared muffin cups, they will be full. Sprinkle some mini chocolate chips and nut pieces on top if desired. Bake 20-22 minutes.

Other Muffins:

Mandarin Orange Muffins     Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Muffins

Very Vanilla Crumble Muffins     Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins

Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins     Snickerdoodle Muffins

Blueberry Oat Nut Muffins     Raspberry Chocolate Chip Muffins