Friday, June 24, 2011

Banana Bread {So Easy A 9 Year Old Can Do It!}

My nine year old is going through this "Bosch Kick".  Monday night he whipped out some chocolate chip cookies that mirrored my mom's famous ones so much-even she couldn't believe he had made them!  Never mind the fact that I have made that exact recipe multiple times and have never had them turn out that good.  Tuesday I had made a plan NOT to use the Bosch that day (seriously, owning a Bosch has not helped my "healthy eating" idea...) only to walk into the kitchen to find the blasted machine already pulled out and my nine year old exclaimed he was going to try to make some banana bread with the ripe bananas he found in our fruit bowl.  What could I do but let him???

I know there are a ba-zillion banana bread recipes out there, but this is the one we always use because its easy, moist, easy, delicious, easy, and bakes fast!  Oh, and did I mention it is easy???

Banana Bread
1/2 c. shortening
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 t. soda
1/4 t. salt
1/2 c. milk
1 t. vanilla
3 ripe bananas
(I usually smash these up with a potato masher in a small bowl and find it mixes easier, but it is not necessary.)
2 c. flour
1/2 c. nuts
 (optional-we never add these since most of the fam are not fans.)

Combine shortening, sugar, and eggs and beat well.  Add soda, salt, milk, and vanilla and mix well.  Add bananas, mix well, then add flour and mix well.

Bake at 325 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick comes out almost clean. 
 (Banana bread is much better, in my opinion, under baked rather than over baked!  My oven cooks very hot, so it only took about 24 minutes for ours to bake.)

Makes 1 large or 2 small loaves.

My nine year old used disposable bread pans and we got 2 small loaves and 1 medium sized loaf out of this one recipe.  (The one he is holding in the picture is the medium one.)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

French Bread

This was one of the first recipes I wanted to make when I recieved a Bosch Mixer for Mother's Day this year-holy moly was it A LOT easier with it!  But for those of you who still get a work out by kneading up your own bread by hand, this is a good one to try!  This yummy bread now makes an apperance in our home almost weekly. It's a must try recipe that I oringinally found here.

2 ¼ c. warm water
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp yeast
1 Tbsp salt
2 Tbsp oil
5 ½ -6 cups flour-stirred before measured

Dissolve yeast and sugar in the warm water.  Let it proof (sit for a few minutes until it bubbles up). Add salt, oil, and 3 cups of flour.  Beat well. Add in 2 1/2 to 3 more cups of flour. Your dough should clean off the sides of the bowl.  It shouldn't be too sticky, but be careful not too add too much flour.  Knead for a few minutes.  Leave the dough in the mixer or bowl and let it rest for 10 minutes.  Then stir it down (turn your mixer on for about ten seconds) and then let it rest for another 10 minutes.  Repeat this for a total of 5 times.  Turn dough onto floured surface and divide into 2 equal parts.  Roll each part into a 9x13 rectangle.  Roll the dough up, starting from the long edge of loaf to seal.  Place on baking sheet, with the seam side down, allowing room for both loaves.  Do the same process with the second part of dough.  Using a sharp knife, cut 3 gashes at an agle on top of each loaf.  Cver the loaves tightly and let them rise for about 30 minutes.  Brush entire surface with an egg wash (one egg white beaten slightly with 1 T. of water).  Bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees.  Cool on racks and enjoy!  We love it right out of the oven!