Another great Banana Bread

This recipe is from King Arthur Flour and was their recipe of the year in 2018. I love that it has a lot of bananas in it (5 or 2 cups mashed) and half whole wheat (or white whole wheat flour). This is very similar to Flour Bakery’s Best Banana bread but still enough different that you should make it. I love the cinnamon sugar on top of the loaf.
I definitely recommend lining the bread pan with parchment as I did have some trouble getting it out of the pan (although I blame that on altitude-I should have made some minor adjustments for Denver).

2 cups (454g) thoroughly mashed banana, about 4 or 5 medium bananas
1/2 cup (99g) vegetable oil
1 cup (213g) brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (120g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 cup (113g) King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup (57g) chopped walnuts, toasted if desired; optional*
*Leave the nuts out, if desired; or substitute up to 1 cup chopped dried fruit, chocolate or butterscotch chips, sunflower or pumpkin seeds, or other mix-ins of your choice.
Topping
1 tablespoon (13g) sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground 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. **I highly recommend lining the pan with parchment.

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.

Nutty Seedy Breakfast Cookies

From the new Pastry Love cookbook by the amazing JoAnne Chang.There are a lot of ingredients that you may need to go to the health food store for but it will be worth it! The batter needs to be chilled at least a half an hour and this is a cookie that you should make every other day as the recipe says the cookies only hold for 2 days. Every recipe I have made from Pastry Love has been excellent and I highly recommend this book if you enjoy baking!

3/4 c. /90 grams walnuts, roughly chopped
1 cup /2 sticks/225 grams unsalted butter
1/2 c./170 grams maple syrup
1 t. pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 ripe banana, thoroughly mashed (about 1/2 c./100 grams)
3/4 c./100 grams raw unsalted pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)
3/4 c./40 grams flaked coconut
1/2 c./raw shelled sunflower seeds
1/2 c./50 grams flaxseeds
1/4 c./50 grams millet
1 1/2 c./150 grams rolled oats
1 c./120 grams dried cranberries
2/3 c./100 grams whole wheat flour
1/2 c./100 grams dried cherries
1 t. baking soda
1 t. kosher salt
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1/4 t. freshly grated nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place rack in center of oven. Place walnuts on a baking sheet and toast for 6-9 minutes, until light golden brown and fragrant. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
Melt butter and place it in a medium mixing bowl. Whisk in maple syrup and vanilla until well combined. Whisk in the eggs and banana until the mixture is totally homogeneous. The banana needs to be completely mashed so it whisks in smoothly.
In a large bowl, stir together the pipits, coconut, sunflower seeds, flaxseeds and millet. Remove 1/2 c./50 grams of the mixture and set aside for topping the cookies. Add the walnuts, oats, cranberries, flour, cherries, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg to the bowl and stir well to combine. Make a well in the center and pour in the butter mixture. Stir well to combine. The dough will be more like a soft batter than a stiff cookie dough. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight to allow the grains to absorb the liquid and firm up the batter.
When ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment or butter it.
Wet your hands and use them to scoop 1/4 c. of the dough from the bowl. Roll into a rough ball and dip the top into the reserved seed mixture and place it seed side up on the baking sheet. Press the cookies down with your hand to flatten. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, rotating the baking sheet midway through the baking time.Bake until the cookies are golden brown on the edges and firm when you press the middle. Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheet on a wire rack.
Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Dried Fruit Scone

From King Arthur Flour-one of my favorite companies and resources. I use their organic all purpose flour and lots of their baking products-like sparkling sugar. I used dried orange peel and dried pineapple. I did not freeze the scones before baking but refrigerated them for 30 minutes.

Dough
2 3/4 cups (326g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour or Gluten-Free Measure for Measure Flour
1/3 cup (67g) sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 cup (113g) cold butter
1 cup to 2 cups chopped dried fruit, chocolate or other flavored chips, nuts, or a combination, optional
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract or the flavoring, of your choice
1/2 cup to 2/3 cup (113g to 152g) half-and-half or milk

Topping
2 teaspoons milk
2 tablespoons sparkling white sugar or cinnamon sugar, optional

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder.

Work in the butter just until the 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 the eggs, vanilla or other flavor, and half and half or milk.

Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until all is moistened and holds together.

Line a baking sheet with parchment; if you don’t have parchment, just use it without greasing it. Sprinkle a bit of flour atop the parchment or pan.

Scrape the dough onto the floured parchment or pan, and divide it in half. Round each half into a 5″ circle (if you haven’t incorporated any add-ins); or a 6″ circle (if you’ve added fruit, nuts, etc.). The circles should be about 3/4″ thick.

Brush each circle with milk, and sprinkle with coarse white 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 the wedges away from the 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 the pan of scones in the freezer for 30 minutes, uncovered. Chilling the scones relaxes the gluten in the flour, which makes the scones more tender and allows them to rise higher. It also chills the fat, which will make the scones a bit flakier. While the scones are chilling, preheat the oven to 425°F with a rack in the upper third.

Bake the scones in the upper part of your oven for 18 to 23 minutes, or until they’re a light golden brown. When you pull one away from the others, it should look baked all the way through; the edge shouldn’t look wet or unbaked.

Irish Soda Bread

A wonderful recipe I found on Epicurious from Noreen Kinney. The texture is exactly like I had this bread in Ireland. I did not have the oat and wheat brans so used all wheat germ in its place. I can’t wait to try this recipe again with the other brans. It is very fast to make as you do not knead it-you just shape it and bake it! I have never baked with flax seeds before and have always thought they should be ground up to be digested? They seemed to have turned green in the bread and the bread is kind of yellowish! I would love any input if you have any ideas about flax seeds!

1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour or graham flour, plus more for shaping
3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-sized pieces
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 cup wheat bran
1/4 cup oat bran
1/4 cup untoasted wheat germ
2 tablespoons flaxseed
1/3 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 large egg
About 1 3/4 cups buttermilk


Adjust an oven rack to the center position and preheat the oven to 425°F. Coat a heavy baking sheet with vegetable cooking spray or line it with a silicone baking pan liner or aluminum foil.
In a large bowl, stir together the all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour. Add the butter and work it into the dry ingredients with your fingertips until the fat particles are very fine. Stir in the baking soda, salt, sugar, wheat bran, oat bran, wheat germ, flaxseed, and sunflower seeds.
Beat the egg lightly with a fork in a 2-cup glass measure. Add enough buttermilk to come to the 2-cup line and stir with the fork to combine well. Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until the dough gathers into a thick, wet-looking mass.
Sprinkle your work surface with whole wheat flour and scrape the dough onto it. Dust the dough with a bit more whole wheat flour. Pat the dough into a circular shape about 7 inches across and 2 inches high and transfer it to the prepared baking sheet. Don’t be concerned about evenness—the loaf should look rustic. Make a cross-shaped indentation on top of the loaf going right to the edges. I use a plastic bench scraper and press it into the dough very gently; don’t actually cut the dough. During baking the indentation expands, giving the top of the loaf an attractive pattern.
Bake the bread for about 40 minutes, until it is well browned and sounds hollow when rapped on the bottom. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the loaf should register 195° to 200°F. Cool the loaf on a wire cooling rack, and serve warm or at room temperature. Cut into quarters and slice each quarter with a sharp serrated knife. Delicious with butter.
Storing:
The loaf keeps well at room temperature, wrapped in plastic wrap, for 2 to 3 days. The entire loaf or quarters of it can also be frozen when completely cool. Wrap in plastic wrap, place in heavy-duty resealable plastic bags, and freeze for up to 2 weeks. Thaw completely before unwrapping. If desired, refresh the bread in a preheated 300°F oven for 10 minutes.

Eleven Madison Park Granola

From the famous restaurant in NYC-they give diners small jars of this after their meal. I love the combination of the pistachios, coconut and pumpkin seeds!

2 3⁄4 cups rolled oats
1 cup shelled pistachios
1 cup unsweetened coconut chips
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon salt (adjust according to your taste and type of salt)
1⁄2 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3⁄4 cup dried sour cherries.

1. Preheat oven to 300. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, pistachios, coconut, pumpkin seeds and salt.
2. In a small saucepan set over low heat, warm the sugar, syrup and olive oil until the sugar has just dissolved, then remove from heat. Fold liquids into the mixture of oats, making sure to coat the dry ingredients well.

3. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, and spread granola over it. Bake until dry and lightly golden, 35 to 40 minutes, stirring granola a few times along the way.

4. Remove granola from oven, and mix into it the dried sour cherries. Allow to cool to room temperature before transferring to a storage container. Makes about 6 cups.

Adapted from Daniel Humm, Eleven Madison Park, New York.

Perfectly Poached Eggs

The key to perfectly poached eggs is to strain each egg before you poach it. In this picture, I left my egg in the strainer too long, a few seconds is long enough and then put the egg into a small bowl to add to the simmering water.

Keep the water at a low simmer and cook for three minutes. Use a spider or slotted spoon to remove from water and drain on a paper towel!

Sqirl’s Millet-nola

From Sqirl in LA. A very interesting and delicious version of oat-less granola! The turmeric and cardamom are so vibrant together. The puffed millet is so light that it is the perfect snack or addition to salads or ice cream!

4 1/2 cups (84g) puffed millet (or other puffed grains)
1/2 cup (60g) roughly chopped pecans
1/3 cup (40g) sliced almonds
1 3/4 teaspoons ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (75g) lightly packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon (32g) unsalted butter
1/3 cup (111g) glucose (or honey, brown rice syrup, or corn syrup)
1 teaspoon molasses
1/2 teaspoon teaspoon baking soda

Directions

Heat the oven to 325° F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment and set aside.In a large heatproof bowl, combine the millet, pecans, almonds, turmeric, cardamom, and salt. In a small pot, stirring occasionally, heat the light brown sugar, butter, glucose, and molasses, until they reach 250°F (it will have been simmering in slow, steady large bubbles for a minute or two). Remove from the heat, whisk in the baking soda, and immediately pour over the dry ingredients. Stir well with a sturdy spoon or spatula (the mixture will be stiff), making sure to mix in all the spices that have fallen to the bottom of the bowl, and then spread the mixture on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, stirring halfway through. Allow to cool completely before breaking up and storing at room temperature.

Indian Scrambled Eggs with Cilantro and Ginger

From an ancient cookbook, Time Life series Foods of the World, called The Cooking of India. I make a two egg version of this for myself if I don’t have others to feed. The flavors are so fresh and vibrant. Sometimes I add a small diced potato to the onion mixture and be sure to cook until tender.

6 eggs
1/4 c. milk
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper
3 T. ghee
1 t. scrapped finely chopped ginger root
3 T. finely chopped onions
3 T. finely chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 t. turmeric
2 t. finely chopped fresh hot red or green chili
1/2 t. cumin
garnish with chopped tomato and cilantro

Break the eggs into a deep bowl and whisk lightly. Add the milk, salt and black pepper and stir until well combined. In a skillet, heat the ghee over moderate heat and add the ginger, onions,(potato if using) and cook until soft. Stirring constantly add the turmeric and cilantro. Pour in the beaten egg mixture and sprinkle with the fresh chili. Turn the heat down to the lowest possible point and stir constantly until softly set. Sprinkle with cumin and garnishes and serve.

Savory Oatmeal

From Shape magazine A wonderful savory way to start the day. I used a cube of vegetable bouillon to add to the water. I did not have smoked Gouda but used parmesan and it was delicious! There are lots of other savory oatmeals in the article in Shape.

2 cups water (1 cup water if using old-fashioned oats)
1 cup steel-cut oatmeal (or rolled old-fashioned oats)
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus additional to taste
1/2 medium onion, finely sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 to 8 ounces crimini mushrooms, sliced
3 to 5 sprigs fresh thyme
1/2 cup finely grated smoked gouda
Flaky sea salt to taste
Cracked black pepper to taste
2 to 3 sprigs fresh thyme leaves, for garnish

Directions:
1. Bring water to a boil in a pot. Pour in oatmeal, reduce heat to a simmer, and cover. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes, until oats have reached desired tenderness.
2. Meanwhile pour oil into a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Add onion and garlic and saute for 3 to 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and thyme sprigs and saute until mushrooms turn golden brown, about 5 to 7 minutes. (If liquid dries too soon, add 1 teaspoon oil at a time.) Remove thyme sprigs.
3. When oatmeal finishes cooking, remove from heat and fold in gouda. Scoop into pan with vegetables and mix thoroughly. Transfer to serving bowls and add olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste. Garnish with fresh thyme leaves.