Saturday, January 21, 2012

Bakers' Secret Banana Bread

This is the most amazing Banana Bread I have ever had. Its moist and sweet and just disapearing should we say. It does not last at all in this house.

I dont know what emily Ansara Baines idea for the mashed bananas was to get them to total mush or chunky but I keep them chunky. It makes for a great ballance in this bread.

 As you see here I have used an old potato masher to mash the bananas.
This makes them stay chunky in the bread. Also to mix all the ingredients together I use a large salad fork like used for serving salad. This keeps more mashing to a minimum.

 Here are all of the ingredients I have already measured them out into my prep bowls. That way I know I didnt forget anything. 9 ingredients in this bread thats it so simple. the brown ingredient is turbinado sugar also known as raw sugar. It definitely adds to this recipe. Also dont skip the melting of the butter part.

 I have mixed the ingredients all together here and now you can see this batter is chunky and not a smooth consistancy.

 Here you can see me using a cake tester to check the doneness. Perfect. I reduced the cooking time from 45 minutes to 35 minutes. I could have probably done 32 minutes to be done. But always under bake something and check doneness with a cake tester. It can always be cooked longer but it can never be cooked less.

This is perfectly cooked banana bread the lighter specks you see are the chunks of banana. I have not had a moister banana bread in my life. So definitely check out this one from the cookbook.

I hope you liked this little posting and please check back soon. I will have more recipe experiances from The Unofficial Hunger Games Cookbook soon.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Unofficial Hunger Games Cookbook Unofficial Blog

I recieved The Unofficial Hunger Games Cookbook for Christmas and was immidately HOOKED. I also got The Hunger Games Trilogy for Christmas as well. I jumped right in and started to read book one and that took a single day. That then gave me the feel for some of the cookbook recipes. I jumped in with FRENCH BREAD FROM THE MELLARK FAMILY BAKERY. This is mentioned in Chapter 1 on the Hunger Games. I thought what a simple thing to start with. I was right. Bread. Easy Right.

I had learned something from my husbands trials and errors from his attempt at bread using yeast. We keep our house cold, well at least for raising of bread. So first off 80 degrees is what I find to be the best temp for a room to be. So I went to my studio and shut all the doors and windows and cranked the heat to 80. Then off to the mixer and I mixed away. My mixer, that I have only ever used twice before I recieved this cookbook, was $12 and so its not that great of a mixer but hey it works.

I mixed the ingrediants together and started to kneed the dough. Thats a tough one when you don't work out much. I realized at that moment I dont have much upper body endurance. 8 to 10 minutes is a long long time to kneed dough. After covering the dough and taking it to my studio for an hour I relaxed and didn't clean my mixing bowl big mistake as dough becomes cement when unkneeded and left in a mixing bowl. So rinse as you go good idea atleast soak as you go.

Well the dough rose I took the next steps let the dough rise again and again and then finally I got to put it into the oven the anticipation of that 40 minutes killed me to know how it turned out.

We loved it totaly loved every bite of that bread both loaves were devoured.

Something amazing about this cookbook is that the auther has put tips from your sponsor sections on each recipe. for the French bread it says use ice cubes to make the bread truly french bread style with crispy crust and tender middles. Wow does that make a diffrence. Its quite AMAZING both ways but its definitely diffrent.

I have also experamented with this recipe and added cheese and jalapenios to the mix. I have not figured out when to add them during kneeding or during mixing I have done both. I have also used canned and fresh jalapenios. I like the fresh better. I also rolled out the dough during that step instead of rolling it into loaves I cut it up into bread sticks. They turned out to be a favorite in this household.

It takes 5 hours to make from start to the first bite and well worth it. Emily Ansara Baines has really made this recipe so easy and fun to make that the time flies. I have now started the bread then go onto other recipes and come back to the bread and cycle that way and all the time flies when having fun baking bread. Its now the anticipation of it. My husband texts me from work telling me he is craving bread thats when I know to get out the flour and yeast and start baking.

I did not take photos of this yet and will edit this post when I make my next batch of bread which I imagine will be soon as we are snowed in today and tomorrow and probabbly Friday too.

In this blog I plan on working my way through the cookbook as much as possible and having fun doing it too. I can't wait to share my other dishes with you....Hint Wild Dog was in the title. Now its my husbands favorite food this week until I make something else from this great cookbook.