Mama’s Banana Bread

 

I swear everytime I think I’ve had just about enough and one more minute of school will cause me to implode, the public school system announces a holiday. It’s only a three-day weekend, and I’m spending it all catching up on work, but the fact that I don’t have to wake up at five and spend six hours in uncomfortable plastic desks is more than enough to make me one happy little camper.

Lazy days stuck at home call for warm scents and comfort food, so that’s just what I’m bringing to you all today with Mama’s Banana Bread. Sweet to a fault and reminiscent of childhood, this bread will leave you more than satisfied (plus, it’ll make good use of those ugly bananas sitting on your counter). The secret to this rustic recipe is the use of the sugared pan and the sour milk. Sounds weird, I know. But it’s worth it, trust me.

So get ready to brush up on your banana-mashing skills and salivate over that perfectly cracked loaf top, and I hope you all enjoy your extra day off! IMG_6856IMG_6863IMG_6857IMG_6867

BAKERS NOTES:

– I used mini pans instead of regular sized because the portion sizes work better for me. I just made sure to check on the bread a little more often during baking to make sure it didn’t burn.

MAMA’S BANANA BREAD

1 cup granulated sugar (plus more for the pan)

1/2 cup salted butter, softened (plus more for the pan)

2 medium tired bananas (brown spotted)

2 large eggs

7 tablespoons sour milk (or 1 teaspoon white vinegar + enough milk to make 7 tablespoons)

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 cups flour, spooned and leveled

1/2 cup chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts), optional

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease two mini loaf pans with butter and coat it with sugar. ( Do this like you would grease a pan. Grease it first, then add about 2 tablespoons sugar to the pan and move the pan side to side until the bottom and sides are coated with sugar. Do NOT substitute cooking spray for the butter.)

2. Cream butter and sugar with a hand mixer. Set aside.

3. Add bananas, eggs, milk, and baking soda to bowl and blend until smooth.

4. Pour half the banana mixture into the butter mixture with 1 cup of flour. Mix with hand mixer until just incorporated, then add the remaining banana mixture and flour. Mix until just incorporated. Stir in nuts if using them. Pour into prepared pan.

5. Bake for 50-60 minutes until a toothpick comes out with just a few crumbs. The edges will be a dark brown and there will be a nice crack down the center.

6. Cool completely before removing loaf from pan, but you can cut slices from the pan after it’s cooled for about 15-20 minutes.

Slightly adapted from Crazy For Crust

Recipe introduction from Sharon Lee

Cranberry Orange Zest Scones

Okay, I have a confession to make.

As sad as this is to say, it has been 2 1/2 months of summer, and I have not baked a single dessert.

Not even one.

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It’s not that I haven’t thought about it, or don’t want to. I actually really really do. I just haven’t had time.

“But Christine, you’re on summer break, shouldn’t you have more time?”

Logically, yes. Realistically, no

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Truth be told, this summer has basically been the busiest I’ve ever been. I visited the East Coast, spent three weeks at Stanford, and I’m going back to the bay area this weekend. Atop of all that, I have SAT prep (yay!), volunteer, and summer assignments for yearbook that are still going on as we speak. My to-do list is literally never ending, and with everything that’s been going on, I just haven’t had time to spend in the kitchen. If you really want to know how packed my summer has been, I’m sad to say that I purchased a Disneyland annual pass in June thinking I’d go at least once a week and I haven’t gone since I bought it… I know, right? It’s bad.

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Fortunately, with my cousin’s birthday coming up as well as a possible housewarming party, there may be a couple chances for baking in the near future! Until then, I’ve pulled out a recipe from the queue to put up, so I hope you enjoy! These scones are a perfect pairing with tea, and make for a slightly sweet morning treat or afternoon snack.

CRANBERRY ORANGE ZEST SCONES

2 cups all-purpose flour

10 teaspoons sugar (divided)

1 tablespoon grated orange peel

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/3 cup cold butter

1 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup orange juice

1/4 cup half and half cream

1 egg

1 tablespoon milk

1.Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, 7 teaspoons of sugar, orange peel, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Incorporate butter into the mixture until the it resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.

2. In a small bowl, combine cranberries, orange juice, cream and egg. Pour into the bowl with the flour mixture and combine until a soft dough forms.

3. On a well-floured surface, gently knead the dough 6-8 times, and then pat the dough into a eight inch circle. Cut the circle into wedges and place onto a greased baking sheet. Brush the wedges with milk and sprinkle with the remaining sugar.

4. Place in oven and bake for 12-15 minutes or until lightly brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

5. Serve warm with butter or jam of your choice!

NOTES:

– The original recipe also includes an orange glaze and orange butter, click the link below to check it out!

– I paired the scones with orange marmalade and apricot preserves. Both were really good!

Click here for Original Recipe

Blueberry Banana Nut Buttermilk Bread

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What time is it?! SUMMERTIME!
After surviving (barely) sophomore year, my goal is to sleep all day and play all night. Beach days, disney dates, and the baking craze are on the way! Unfortunately, the only dates I had this past week was with my SAT II Chemistry Prep book. But, even with dreaded studying, I can always muster together time for baking!
So, blueberry banana nut buttermilk bread. Isn’t that a mouthful? Well you’ll have your mouths full for sure after a nibble of this delectable bread. This was my first time making banana bread AND using a bread pan, and it was an absolute success! I’ve made it 3 times in the past week. Twice for my family and once for my chemistry tutor! (This lady deserves major kudos for helping my poor soul get an A in Honors Chemistry). She liked it so much, she told me she ate half of it fresh out of the oven with coffee on the way to her next student! As for my parents, my dad loves it with margarine and my mom devours it plain. So whether you sip coffee with it, slather it with margarine, or find your own personal pairing, I hope you enjoy this beautiful loaf!

Ingredients:
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar(I actually used 3/4 since my parents don’t like things too sweet)
2 large eggs
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3(1cup) ripe bananas, mashed(overripe is best)
1 cup blueberries
1 cup(or amount desired of nuts of your choice; I used pecans)

INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a loaf pan with nonstick spray.
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Beat in eggs, buttermilk and vanilla until well combined. Beat in bananas until well combined. Gradually add flour mixture to the sugar mixture at low speed, beating just until incorporated.
Add blueberries and gently toss to combine.
Scoop the batter evenly into the loaf pan. Place into oven and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes before inverting the cake onto a wire rack.

Recipe used from http://damndelicious.net/2012/06/23/buttermilk-banana-blueberry-bread/