Yesterday’s cheddar-rosemary soda bread, today. Portland, Oregon, USA 11:30am 🍞 #adayinthelife

This Healthy Banana Bread recipe is great! I got it from a friend who swears by it, courtesy of Cookie and Kate.

I wouldn’t call it “healthy” exactly but it is less sugary and cloying than “regular” banana bread. More of the sweetness is conveyed through the mashed banana than through the maple syrup which is nice.

Also it didn’t call for a lot of maple syrup. You can use honey too but I am a maple syrup fanatic so.

Here’s what I changed from the base recipe:

- All purpose flour (instead of whole wheat or white wheat)
- Olive oil instead of coconut oil
- Three large bananas (instead of two)
- Added chocolate chips

All of these change are legit per the recipe, which talks about many different variations, including vegan, gluten-free, etc.

The whole point of the base recipe is that it is supposed to be healthier, because it uses natural, less-refined sweeteners and wheat flour instead of white flour. As the recipe says, some of the ingredients have trace nutritional elements.

It is a really good recipe. It will definitely change your life because it results in next-level, less toxic banana bread. 🍞🍪

Bob's Red Mill English Muffin Bread

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I learned from this recipe that the secret to good English Muffin bread-y products is uncooked yellow grits (aka polenta).You roll the dough in them just before baking. It helps the dough from sticking to the baking vessel, it provides insulation to protect from burning, and it also tastes crunchy and toasted. Like another, sparser layer of crust almost. And the crust is good, but the doughy, fluffy interior is great.

The recipe is simple but also kind of time-intensive as it involves multiple rises.

I wouldn’t totally agree that it is “English Muffin” bread because we toasted a couple of slices. And this is definitely not very similar to a toasted English Muffin. Slightly more crumpet-like, I guess.

This recipe is decent and delicious but it will not change your life, sorry Bob’s. 🍞

Banana Bread with Pecans and Chocolate Chips

Similar recipe as the Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread, but banana bread instead of pumpkin.

Decent, although we need to debug either the recipe or our oven’s convection feature. The outside turned quite dark brown after 30 minutes more than the recipe called for, because it wasn’t anywhere near done after 65 (!) minutes at 350F (which our oven insists on dialing down by 25 degrees). The dial-down might have been part of the problem.

Anyway, all things considered, it was decent for a banana bread. I think we need to do a banana bread head-to-head for this recipe and the other one I really like.

This banana bread will definitely not change your life, however.🍞🍪

Artisanal Almost No-Knead Sourdough

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Same recipe as last time: America’s Test Kitchen. This time though, we made it with a flour from Bob’s Red Mill called “Artisan Bread” flour. The website says it is more glutenous than regular bread flour. We used the same gluten-free (brown rice flour-based) starter. We’re trying to keep our options open in case we want to try making GF bread sometime.

Whatever the magic powers of the combination of this recipe and artisanal bread flour milling, it made for a delicious loaf. It was spongey and sour and airy. Almost like a very fresh ciabatta or even a fougasse-type concoction. But also definitely a sourdough. Fantastic crust although we almost burnt it-the dutch oven was on the hot side of the oven so parts of the crust were dark brown. But still very edible and crusty. 

We bartered a loaf for some masks that a neighbor made. The neighbor was very pleased with the bread.

I didn’t do the slash across the top correctly and I over-floured it just before putting in the oven but man. It tasted great! This loaf lasted approximately three hours before it was hungrily devoured by our household.

This recipe will change your life if your life is limited by a previous lack of access to fresh, spongey and yummy white flour-based sourdough. Or if you need to score three masks, and your neighbor really likes carbs and has three masks but no delicious homemade artisanal sourdough. 🍞

Whole Wheat Sourdough

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Great recipe.

It’s just a basic sourdough but we made it with whole wheat flour. When we made it, we still had a lot of whole wheat to get through. We had just gotten stocked up on flour so now we have All The Flours (whole wheat, “artisan” bread and regular white).

It was pretty dense, but it was very moist when fresh and still chewy a day later. Kind of a spongey consistency. Very tasty and definitely had that sourdough tang. We need to try making this again but with bread flour.

This recipe will not change your life unless, like us, it is your first time making sourdough in which case you will wonder where it has been all your life? 🍞

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

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Easy to make, but slow (65 minutes or so) to bake. A beautiful pale brown when out of the oven, probably due to the whole wheat flour that we are working our way through, plus the light brown sugar that the recipe calls for.

When I was checking for doneness, I didn’t pierce the crust in enough places, so missed that there was a layer of unbaked dough near the top of the both loaves. Lesson learned, I’ll know for next time. We’re going to let it stale and then make French toast out of it. I also need to figure out where the hot spots are in the oven.

I decided to add chocolate chips to the mix. That was a good decision. Next time I make it, I will probably cut the sugar in half because it was too sweet, especially with the addition of the chocolate chips.  

Food Network has a great webpage with 50 different quick bread recipes, which is a very useful resource. There are savory and sweet varieties.

This recipe will not change your life, although it was a good excuse to take our new stand mixer through its paces. I made a double batch and some flour and whatnot spilled over the edge of the mixer’s bowl. Once I got the liquid in though, it was easy and quick. Our stand mixer has a paddle that automatically scrapes the side of the bowl so that you don’t have to. It’s an excellent feature. 🍞🍪