Banana Muffins

The other day I had two bananas abandoned on the fruit bowl and they were too ripe, so I thought “what can I make to use these banana?” After a quick search on the internet, the answer was “Banana Muffins”. They are so easy to make and you don’t need a mixer. Just mix everything by hand and they will be done in no time.

Banana Muffins

Recipe from Joy of Baking

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (115g) walnuts or pecans
  • 1 3/4 cups (230g) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (150g) granulated white sugar
  • 1 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 3 ripe large bananas(approximately 450g), mashed well (about 1-1/2 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 180C and place the oven rack in the middle of the oven. Line a 12 – 1/2 cup muffin pan with paper liners or butter or spray with a non stick spray.
  2. Place the nuts on a baking sheet and bake for about 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly toasted. Let cool and then chop coarsely.
  3. In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nuts.
  4. In a medium-sized bowl combine the mashed bananas, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla. With a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, lightly fold the wet ingredients (banana mixture) into the dry ingredients just until combined and the batter is thick and chunky. (The important thing is not to over mix the batter. You do not want it smooth. Over mixing the batter will yield tough, rubbery bread.) Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tins. Bake about 20 -25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Place on a wire rack to cool for five minutes and then remove muffins from pan. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Yield: 12 regular sized muffins

Old-Fashioned London Loaf

 

I first saw this loaf of bread on Pinterest (I’m addicted to it now) and immediately included on my “recipes to try” list. From there I discovered the Lemon Drop blog, which you should take a look … it’s filled with delicious recipes and loads of gluten-free ideas.

This loaf looked so good and it’s quite foolproof. In fact, I have to say, this was my first successful loaf of bread. I’ve tried baking bread twice before, but I guess I wasn’t patient enough to let it raise properly, which is a crucial step when making bread. Considering it’s normally cold here, making bread usually takes longer than what the recipes anticipate. But no problem with this loaf, since the idea is to raise quite SLOWLY… and we’re talking about at least 8 hours. Prepare the dough and go to bed. That’s what I did!

I started this bread on a Sunday around 2am. That’s right, 2AM! And I’m not crazy. It’s just that my hub said he wanted to watch UFC, which is always late, so I thought “I’m gonna make that bread and stay awake”. It only took me 10 minutes to put it together as it barely requires any work… I mixed the ingredients, kneaded by hand for 7 minutes and that was it. You can also use a stand mixer if you prefer, as in the recipe. When I woke up (after 9 hours)… wow… it had risen quite a lot. Then all is left for you to do is to shape it and bake it!

There is such a pleasure in making bread that I can’t even explain. Try it for yourself and tell me about the smell in your house when baking it! Irresistible 🙂

Old-Fashioned London Loaf

Adapted from here and original recipe in the Great British Bake Off – How to Bake cookbook

Ingredients

  • 500g white bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 10g unsalted butter, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon fast-action yeast
  • 300 ml water at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon milk

Preparation

  1. In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with dough hook attachment, stir together flour and salt. With your fingertips, rub in butter until it pretty much disappears. Stir  in dried yeast. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in water.
  2. On low speed, slowly knead in all ingredients until it starts to come together then increase speed to high and let the mixer knead the dough for 4 minutes (or knead by hand on a lightly floured surface for 10min). Cover the bowl with cling film and place in a cool location for a minimum of 8 hrs and a maximum of 12 hrs.
  3. Grease a 2lb loaf tin (mine is 30cm long). Punch down dough. On a floured surface, knead gently for one minute then shape it into a loaf, approximately the lenght of your tin, and transfer it to the tin. Cover with clean tea towel and let rest for 2-3 hrs. Brush milk over the top of risen loaf and sprinkle some flour.
  4. Preheat oven to 210C. Place a roasting pan on bottom shelf of oven and when oven has reached temperature, place bread onto oven rack. Pour 1 cup of water into roasting pan then quickly shut the door. This causes a burst of steam which will help achieve a crunchy crust.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes or until you hear a hollow sound when tapping the bottom of the loaf.
  6. Remove bread from bread pan and return the loaf back to the oven, directly on the oven rack for 5 minutes. Remove bread and let cool on cooling rack before slicing.

American Pancakes

If there is something that I miss from when I was living in the US, besides my American friends (of course!), are these pancakes that they usually have for breakfast. Then this recipes was posted on UOL and I had to make it the next day, but I swear I didn’t eat the whole pile 🙂

American Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (140g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon (10g) baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon (15g) melted unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon (15g) caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup (240ml) whole milk
  • 1 pinch of salt

Preparation

  1. Mix all the dry ingredients in one bowl and the liquids in a jug. Add the liquid to the dry ingredients, stirring slowly until everything is combined. Let it seat for 5 minutes. If the batter is too liquid, add another tablespoon of flour.
  2. Heat a little bit of oil in a non-stick frying pan. Pour the batter with a ladder or big spoon, so it forms circles. When you see bubbles on the upper side, it’s time to turn the pancakes. Brown it on the other side as well. Repeat this procedure until you use all the batter.
  3. The pancakes should be thick and golden brown. Serve with maple syrup, butter, jams or fruits.

Yield: 8 pancakes