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Monday, 10 June 2013

Food: banana muffins and my first white loaf

banana muffins
I had some over ripe bananas I wanted to use up, so I decided to make some banana muffins as they make a great on the run snack or breakfast. After perusing lots of recipes I eventually plumped for this All recipes one as it had pretty much all 5 star reviews. They're really easy to make and are ready to eat within 35 minutes. The resultant muffins were moist, light and very moreish. Next time, I would add less sugar as they were slightly too sweet for my liking. The recipe below adjusts for that. It's important to use over ripe bananas as otherwise they won't mash properly and won't taste 'bananary' enough.

Makes 12

200g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
3 large, over ripe bananas, mashed
110g caster sugar
1 egg
75 butter, melted

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.
2. In a medium sized bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
3. Combine in a large bowl the mashed bananas, sugar, egg and melted butter. Fold in the flour mixture until no unmixed flour remains. The key to a good, light muffin is not to over mix - just mix until all the flour mixture is incorporated.
4. Line a muffin tray with muffin cases and divide the mixture between the 12 cases.
5. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

I also decided to use my dough hook on my stand mixer for the first time and make some bread. I plumped for this plain white loaf as an introduction to my hopefully life long passion for bread making.
There was some discussion in the comments section as to whether sugar should be added or not as this 'feeds' the yeast, but as so many people had made the loaf successfully using the recipe as it was, I decided not to mess around. I was so pleased with the end result. For once, I added enough salt. Usually, I'm overly cautious and end up making a loaf which tastes truly dreadful. The bread itself had a lovely crust and a fluffy interior. Thank you kMix! My kneading by hand has always left a lot to be desired. I maintain it's because my hands are too small! Obviously, if you don't have a stand mixer or prefer to - simply knead by hand for 10-15 minutes.

my first loaf!
Easy white bread - makes 1 loaf

500g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
2 tsp salt
7g sachet of fast-action yeast
3 tbsp mild olive oil
300ml water
*a few ice cubes

1. Mix the flour, salt and yeast in the bowl of the stand mixer. Make a well in the centre, then add the oil and water, and mix well.
2. Using the dough hook, knead the dough for 10 minutes on a medium speed until it is satin smooth.
dough after the first knead
3. Cover with oiled cling film - I find an oiled hotel shower cap works particularly well. Unfortunately, I didn't have any left.
4. Leave to rise for 1 and half hours or until the dough's doubled in size.

5. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Punch the dough about 10 times and gently mould it into a ball.

6. Place it on the baking paper to prove for a further hour or until doubled in size

7. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees celsius. Dust the loaf with flour and cut a deep cross into the top of the loaf with a sharp knife. My cross wasn't deep enough, as you can see in the photo below.
8. *Add some ice cubes to the bottom of the oven - the resultant steam will help the crust develop.
9. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped underneath. Cool on a wire rack.

We ate the loaf fresh on the same day as a starter with balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil before our main of spaghetti carbonara.

freshly baked bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar in my bowls bought in Marrakesh

spaghetti carbonara

We also toasted it for breakfast the next day and ate it with a selection of conserves. As it was a Saturday, we even pushed the boat out and got the teapot out!

Have you ever made bread by hand? How did you get on? What's your favourite breakfast on the go?

1 comment:

  1. Glad you stopped by my blog! Love banana bread in any form.