Snacks – Banana Bread Edition

We’re continuing full force with 2015 – Year of Guests.  This month features some of our favorite bike racers, Luke and Kaitie who are out here for the good training weather and, obviously, our spectacular company.

I know (because we’ve asked them bluntly) that everyone who’s stayed with us so far has been nervous about the Vegan thing and about what we’ll make them eat.  Luckily (I think/hope!), no one’s been totally grossed out or left hungry so far!  Yay plants!

On Sunday, I had a need to bake and a couple of old frozen bananas i.e. THE PERFECT STORM/combination for Banana Bread!  Last time I made banana bread, the recipe use a lot of coconut oil which, although a miracle oil, tends to get kind of thick when said baked good is left at room temperature thus requiring that the aforementioned baked good requires is warmed up every time you want a nibble.  So, round two, new coconut oil-less recipe.

I used this recipe from Dairy Free Cooking but, based on the ingredients I had, made some substitutions.

Banana Bread

Ingredients:

  • 2 c. flour
  • 3/4 c. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 3/4 t. baking soda
  • 3/4 t. salt
  • 3/4 t. cinnamon
  • 1/2 c. coconut milk *recipe suggested plain soy milk or almond milk
  • 1 t. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups mashed banana *I only had 3 bananas, it was fine!
  • 1/4 c. vegetable oil *recipe suggested canola
  • 2 T. maple syrup
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • Walnuts (optional) but highly recommended!

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly oil a 9″x5″ loaf pan and set aside.

2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the coconut milk and cider vinegar and let stand for 2 minutes

3. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, mix together the flour, sugars, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.

4. Add the mashed banana, canola oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract to the coconut milk/vinegar mixture, whisking until well combined.

5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing until just combined (try not to overmix!). Fold in the walnuts if using and pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan.

6. Bake for about 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the center emerges clean. Allow the bread to cool on a wire cooling rack for 20 minutes before serving. Enjoy warm or at room temperature.

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We’ve also enjoyed banana bread warmed up in our cast iron skillet, shmeared with almond butter, and topped with some avocado slices.  That brainwave belongs to Collin – another reason to keep him around!

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Making Bagels

Is there a more satisfying breakfast food than a good bagel?  I believe there is not.  Where I grew up, there was this little, hole-in-the-wall bagel shop right up the street.  The kind that are only open until noon and that have fresh made bagels every day.  When I moved up to Newmarket last year, I couldn’t find a bagel shop like this anywhere!  Say what you will, but grocery store bagels don’t even come close.  So I learned how to make my own!  I got this recipe from googling online and I’ve been loyal to it ever since.

Ingredients:

For the bagels:

4 cups Bread Flour

2 tsp Salt

1 Tbsp yeast

1 Tbsp brown sugar

1 1/2 warm water

For the wash:

4 cups water

1 Tbsp brown sugar

1/2 Tbsp white sugar

Process:

Measure out the water and add the yeast and brown sugar.  Stir together until the mixture gets frothy and let sit.  Measure out the flour and salt into a large bowl.  Add the water and knead/use the dough hook for your stand mixer for 10-15 minutes until the dough has formed a ball.

Cover and let rise for 1 1/2 hours.

Once the dough has risen (it should double in size) punch it down and turn it out onto a flat, floured surface.  Cut it into 8 equal pieces and form the pieces into balls.  Cover these and let them rise for another 30 minutes.

While the bagels are rising, pre-heat the oven to 475 degrees and prepare the water bath.  Measure out the water and pour it into a deep skillet.  Dissolve in the sugars and cover until the water boils.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease with Pam.  Each of the dough balls will have doubled in size again.  Use your thumb to punch a hole through the middle of each dough ball and then swing it around your finger to widen it slightly.  Place the ring into the boiling water and repeat 3 more times.  Let the bagels boil 2 minutes on the first side and then flip and boil for 1 more minute.  Remove with a slatted spatula and place on the baking sheet.  Repeat this process with the remaining 4 bagels.

Bake at 475 for 20-25 minutes until golden brown on the outside.

Ingredients!

Ingredients!

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Forming the pre-bagel dough balls

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The twirl the dough around your finger hole making method in action

Boiling bagels!

Boiling bagels!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note: all of these pictures are from our old place in Newmarket as the lighting in our current kitchen is quite poor.  Wasn’t our little ship stove cute!?

I’ve made these bagels an uncountable number of times over the last year or so and I can say that the smell of baking bagels is probably one of my top 10 favorites.  Don’t be daunted by the process.  Go for it and enjoy!

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Bagel recipe originally found here!