November 20, 2011

B.A.N.A.N.A Bread

1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
2 TBSP Vegetable Oil
1 TSP of Baking Powder
1/2 TSP Backing Soda
1/4 TSP salt
1/3 cup rolled oats
2 Banana's
1 TSP of Vanilla
1 TBSP of honey
1/4 TSP lemon
1/3 cup of milk
1 TSP Cinnamon
1/8 TSP Clove (optional)
1/8 TSP All Spice (optional)
1/8 TSP Nutmeg (optional

Pre-heat oven to 350

I am proud of this bread!

I think it is flavorful. It probably only cost $1.00 to make one loaf. I find it annoying somtimes when someone says it only cost x.y.z to make when you dont have the ingredients to make it. So if you can try and shop at a market that sales items by weight in bulk containers. So lets say flour cost $.30lb that means for about  two cups of flour you will spend less then $0.20. A banana cost any where from $0.19-$0.34 each (if you divide the $.69lb)...then you have all your other items. If you dont have any of these ingredents in your pantry it may cost you $2.00 if you bought from a bulk store, or it may cost you $10.00 to get all your supplies. Obviously paying $3.00 for your vegetable oil or $3.00 for a 5lb bag of flour feels like it hurts your wallet (just to make one loaf of banana bread), but keep in mind you can use those items for a bunch of other things, like pancakes. I have learned it is a good idea to plan your food budget for the month and break it down by each week....anyway, that's getting off subject.

My goal this past week was to try and cut back on using butter, butter is my fav thing however it really makes the cost of your baked goods to go up. So because I did not have butter in my house, or the money to buy it I used vegetable oil becuase thats what I had.I wouldent sugest using olive oil, but if yo have some other type of oil besides veg. or olive oil (i.e canola oil) you could use that. You can buy butter substitutes like Blue Bonnet which cost less then a $1.00 for 4 cubes. Its not the most healthy thing to use because it has partially hydrated oil, which I like to avoid when I can. However baking with it here and there to help out with the cost of your grocery bill helps when you need to cut back on items for the month to pay that Doctor bill you have, or get a gallon of gas for your car. 

So on to the instructions for the bread....
Put flour, sugar (brown and white), baking powder, baking soda, oat's, all in one bowl and whisk. Now as with everything if you have a kitchen aid or a mixer go ahead and use it, but I dont have one so I do it the "old fashion" way.

In another bowl take banana's and smash with a fork then add lemon juice. Then add eggs, vanilla, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice, veg.oil, honey, milk and salt and mix all together. I like to put the salt with my wet ingredients because I find when I do it with my dry ingredients it does not disperse properly. Once wet ingredients are all mixed properly pour into dry ingredients and combine well.

Place batter into a well oiled (or buttered) loaf pan. Then let bake on 350 for 45-55 min (depends on your oven). I suggest checking your bread after 45 min and then again at 50 min.  Just use a toothpick or butter knife and insert into the middle of bread loaf. If comes out clean, it is done.

You can add other things to this bread like nuts, cranberries or raisins (even all of it if you want).

A great tip when measuring honey is oil your measurements cup or spoon first then add the honey, it will come right out. I measure my oil first then use the same spoon for honey.

November 03, 2011

The perfect fluffy pancake

So I accomplished it! I was able to come up with the perfect fluffy pancake. Its a simple recipe, but I think one day I will try to use buttermilk because I like the sourness it can add. Here is my recipe. I have made this recipe 3 times now, and I have made edits to the orig. recipe (below are the new measurements), one day I will take new pics.

2 cups plus  of All purpose flour
3  tbsp p of granulated sugar
1 tbsp baking powder (make sure you have fresh powder because this effects batter)
1 tsp of baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup of half & half cream
1 cup of 1% milk
2 eggs
2.5 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup of melted butter

In a bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and whisk together.

Combine  eggs, milk, cream, and whisk/blend. Then melt 1/4 cup of butter (melt for 30 sec) then add the 3 tbsp of sugar to butter and combine then pour into egg/milk and whisk/blend together.

 Then take wet mixture and slowly pour into dry mixture and stir while pouring wet mixture. Do not over mix! You want a semi lumpy batter that will be a slightly thick texture.

Set mixture aside and heat your cast iron or griddle pan. I started pan on a high to low heat, then once it started to smoke turned down to a medium low temp. I took pan off burner for 2 mins. Then placed a dab of butter, however I would use vegetable oil instead. Place some v.oil on a paper towel and rub you pan. You will need to re-oil your pan after 5 pancakes. 

Then took a 1/3 measuring cup and used to scoop up batter. This way all pancakes are the same size. Place in pan with melted butter then placed back onto burner.

Once bubbles start to form on top of pancake it is time to flip. Pancake will then puff up and after 20 to 30 sec remove from pan....the bottom should have a nice color to it.

And there you have it! Personally I think you need to follow directions as is first. If you try to adjust the type of milk I can not promise you will get the same effect. And also always remember the tip when measuring. When it comes to flour, use a spoon to scoop out of bag into measuring cup. This results into a more accurate measure. Also there is a difference between the type of measuring utensils you use. If you have those glass measuring cups, know that is for measuring liquids not dry ingredients. If you have plastic or metal cups that is what you should use for dry. These make a difference in the final again if the pancakes don't turn out fluffy and light, it possible the wrong cups where use and the batter was over mixed. Don't be afraid! Its not necessary to use a blender to mix the wet ingredients, I have just whisked together.