Archive for the 'Quick Bread' Category

Moist and Tasty Bran Muffins

Adapted from a recipe by Cook’s Illustrated
Makes 12 muffins. Published May 1, 2007.

No, that title is not an oxymoron. How can a BRAN muffin be both moist and tasty you ask? Let me explain…
…I have fallen in love with muffins. They are relatively easy to make and very forgiving. Yea, I still measure everything exactly (it is baking after all). But my guess is that if you just threw these together without weighing everything, they would still come out delicious.
I have made lots of muffins in my day and most of the bran muffins have been more like hockey pucks until now. This recipe delivers a bran muffin that is low in fat, moist, and tasty — all at the same time. And they said it couldn’t be done.
I made a few alterations to the basic Cook’s Illustrated (CI) recipe and I think I improved on it just a bit.
The ordinal recipe avoided using wheat bran and wheat germ to avoid a trip to the health food store. Well, I have both of those things on hand for bread baking so I added both to the recipe.
CI used 2-1/4 cups of All Bran Original cereal and took half of the All Bran “noodles” for a ride in a food processor until they were finely ground. I eliminated that step and substituted one cup of wheat bran and 1/2 cup of toasted wheat germ.
To make sure that the wheat bran did not dry out the muffins, I added one-half cup of buttermilk. To compensate of the buttermilk, I added 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder to the dry mixture.
The result is a moist, tasty (the buttermilk), delicious bran muffin with raisins. This may be one of the best muffins I have ever tasted.

Recipe follows.
Moist and Tasty Bran Muffins

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Fabulous Banana Nut Bread

Adapted from a recipe by Tyler Florence on the Food Network
Serves: 1 loaf

I had found this recipe quite awhile ago but never tried it.  Well I had four very ripe bananas and I made this over the weekend.
I am so glad I did. This is one of the best, if not THE best, banana nut breads I have ever tasted.
One of the things that makes it so good is that it contains four very ripe bananas. Yes four very ripe bananas. And two of those very ripe bananas are put in a standing mixer with one cup of sugar and beat with a wire whisk attachment for three minutes!
This give you a smooth banana/sugar liquid mixture that is used as the base for the bead. Thus, you get this “banana liquid” throughout the entire bread.  And banana flavor equally throughout the bread.
Then, after the other ingredients including the dry ingredients are mix into the batter, the remaining two bananas are mashed sightly and folded into the batter along with the chopped nuts.
Try this one.  You’ll get banana flavor in every cubic inch!

Recipe follows.

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Cranberry-Banana-Walnut Quick Bread

Cran Banana Walnut Bread

Adapted from The Bread Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum
Makes an 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-by-3 1/2-inch-high loaf

This recipe is from the newest cookbook in my collection: The Bread Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum.  I have one of her other books: The Pie and Pastry Bible.  Both are excellent.  Rose if very meticulous about how a recipe should be put together.  She does not leave out any details or leave anything to chance.  Some might say that she is too detailed.  Being an engineer who likes to cook, I am not sure that’s possible.

This is the first recipe I baked from the new book.  And, this is maybe the best quick bread I have ever tasted.  The tartness of the cranberries plays very well with the sweetness of the bananas and you get the crunch of the walnuts.  Outstanding combination!

I did make one change here.  I increased the bananas from one to two.  Many banana bread recipes I have baked call for a lot more bananas than one and I felt that just one banana would not be enough.  It worked out great.  The banana flavor came right through.

Try this bread.  You will not be disappointed.

Recipe follows.

Continue reading ‘Cranberry-Banana-Walnut Quick Bread’