Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Tasty Breads

We planted a garden this year, hoping for some summer-time abundance and I have mixed emotions on the outcome.  The cherry tomatoes did very well, the two other beefsteak tomato plants I planted have each yielded two marginal looking yet very tasty tomatoes total...that's right two plants, and two f-ing tomatoes.  The one zucchini plant we have gave us plenty of zucchini, for what we eat and quite a few to spare, consequently I needed to find a use for them...Zucchini Bread!
This is a pretty damn good recipe if I do say so my damn self...


3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 ¼ cups white sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups grated zucchini
1 cup chopped, toasted pecans (optional)
Crumb Topping:
½ cup quick oats
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup flour
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ cup butter (soft or melted)

Grease and flour three 4” x 8” pans. Preheat oven to 325° F.
Combine ingredients for the crumb topping and set aside.
Mix flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl.
Beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini and nuts until well combined.
Pour batter into prepared pans and top with crumb topping.
Bake for 50-60 minutes in a convection oven (or about 60-75 minutes in a regular oven), or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 10-15 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and completely cool (I recommend cutting yourself a few pieces, slathering them with butter and eating them with reckless abandon when you remove the loaf from the pan).
Bread will freeze well, and keep in refrigerator for weeks.

Since I have had a little extra time on my hands, I have been doing quite a bit of baking in addition to the normal cooking I do.

My banana bread recipe is pretty good as well...


Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
Yield: Makes one+ loaf.  I recommend doubling the recipe and making three 4"x8" loaves.

No need for a mixer for this recipe! Clean-up is easy too, if you want, you can mix everything in one bowl.  The best bananas to use for banana bread are those that are over-ripe. The yellow peels should be at least half browned, and the bananas inside squishy and browning.

2-3 very ripe bananas, peeled
1/3 cup melted butter
1 cup of sugar (can easily use 3/4 cup, or drop it down to 1/2 cup if you want it less sweet)
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

Crumb Topping:
½ cup quick oats
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup flour
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ cup butter (soft or melted)

-Preheat the oven to 350°F, and butter and flour two 4x8-inch loaf pans.
-In a mixing bowl, mash the ripe bananas with a fork (or paddle attachment) until smooth. Stir the melted butter into the mashed bananas.
-Stir in the sugar, beaten egg, and vanilla extract.
-Mix the baking soda and salt with the flour. Mix in the flour mixture.
-Pour the batter into your prepared loaf pans. I suggest putting the pans on a cookie sheet to catch any overflow or falling crumb topping.  
-Bake for ~45 minutes at 350°F, then add Crumb Topping to each of the loaves.  Put back in the oven and bake for an additional 15-25 minutes (total of 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes) until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
-Remove from oven and cool completely on a rack. Remove the banana bread from the pan. Slice and serve. (A bread knife helps to make slices that aren't crumbly.)