Sunday, March 16, 2008

Waste not, want not

This is my new favorite thing to use with overripe bananas to keep them from going bad, although with the second loaf I made of this bread this week, I actually defrosted banana puree that I had made in late December and it worked out great. I freeze pretty much any leftover ingredients I have now (even herbs now that I know that you can) and don't waste a thing.

Banana Walnut Loaf

1/2 c buttermilk at room temperature
10 Tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature and cut into small pieces
2 large eggs at room temperature, beaten
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 c mashed bananas
1 tsp salt
1 1/3 c sugar
2 2/3 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 c chopped walnuts

Place ingredients in order listed in bread pan. Select 2 lb. loaf, Quick Bread/Cake cycle (or sweet bread) and light crust. Use scraper to scrape the sides of the pan after batter has mixed for about four minutes to blend in all remaining ingredients. Let cool for one hour on wire rack before slicing.

What I like about this bread: It is so good for breakfast. Very tasty, very sweet, and fits in my cake server.
What I dislike about this bread: Because of the fact that it does not rise, it is pretty much just batter when I go in to remove the kneading paddle at the right time and it is disgusting reaching in there and getting the batter all over my hands.
Cool kitchen gadgets used: My food processor is very handy for this recipe both to puree the bananas and chop the walnuts. Fortunately I had both ready ahead of time for the second time I made this but the first time I made this recipe, it took a while.
Tastiness factor: It is heavenly. VERY sweet, very nutty, very banana-y and just perfect.

And since I still had some buttermilk left over after making the banana loaf twice, I made this for sandwiches and toast. Waste not, want not although I know you can freeze buttermilk.

Old-Fashioned Buttermilk White

1/3 c water
1 c buttermilk
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp dark brown sugar
4 c bread flour
1 Tbsp active dry yeast

Place all ingredients in bread pan, select 2 lb. loaf, standard cycle and light crust. Remove from machine at end of the cycle and cool on rack for one hour before slicing.

What I liked about this bread: The top is silky smooth and it smells fantastic while baking and after removing from machine.
What I disliked about this bread: Have you ever smelled buttermilk? Talk about gag when I have to pour it in.
Cool kitchen gadgets used: This isn't a kitchen gadget, but I am delighted to find how many uses I am finding for my dark brown sugar. I usually only keep light brown sugar in the house but bought some dark brown sugar a few weeks ago at Kroger on sale. I'm amazed at how many recipes I am making that call for it! Now I need a brown sugar keeper to go in my dark brown sugar bin...I have one of those terra cotta disks in my light brown sugar bin that if you soak it in water and place it in the sugar, it will keep your sugar from drying out. Note to self: must get another one.
This isn't what I have, but it's like what I have.
Tastiness factor: Very, VERY good. Nice and soft and tasty.


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