The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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Naterob1111's picture

Banana Bread, with Chocolate Streusel Topping

I have been playing around with multiple Banana Bread recipes and I have ended up with my own recipe that I personally enjoy.  It's mildly easy to prepare and takes about an hour and ten to make.  This recipe makes two small loaves.

Nevans Banana Bread (with chocolate streusel)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In one bowl mix:

  • 1 1/2 cups of flour

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 tablespoon of cinnamon

  • 3-6 over-ripened bananas.  (this is a choice of taste, the more bananas, the more mushy your dough gets but the more flavor)

In another bowl mix:

  • 2 eggs

  • 1/2 a stick of butter

  • 1/3 cup of dark brown sugar

  • 1/4 cup of white sugar

Mix these two bowls into one and add a handful of chopped walnuts or pecans if you choose, and even a handful of chocolate chunks is always fun.  Grease your loaf pans with butter and pour the dough.

Streusel Topping:

Mix this in a saucepan on the stove in order.

  • 1/2 a stick of butter

  • 1/2 cup of flour

  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar

  • 1 1/2 tbsp of Cocoa

  • 2 tsp cinnamon

  • (optional) Handful of walnuts or pecans

  • (optional) 1/2 tsp of ginger

Mix this well until butter is well mixed so that there is a crumbly feel.  Add to the top of the loaves, this amount should cover both loaves entirely.

Bake for 40 minutes.  Check at 30, if streusel starts to burn, add alluminum foil, hasn't happened to me yet.  After 40 minutes, shake the loaf pan to make sure that the loaf isn't liquidy on the top, this is another ten minutes if it is.

Let sit for 10 minutes to cool and finish cooking itself. 

To extract from the pan I seperate the sides with a spatula and then surround the loaf pan with foil and flip.  The foil allows you to flip the loaf back on to its bottom after you take off the pan.

Voila!  Enjoy a good breakfast, or snack.

ericb's picture

cheese, anyone?

I know this is pretty far off topic, but I was wondering if anyone knows anything about making cheese? In a way, it seems similar to making sourdough bread: mix a bunch of raw ingredients together, put it in a warm place for a given amount of time, and let the bacteria work their magic.

Friends of ours buy a special kit that includes enzymes, but it's fairly expensive. I'm wondering if there is a way to produce these enzymes "naturally," like one cultivates a new starter.

Any thoughts on this?



SulaBlue's picture

Working a High-Hydration Sourdough

What I'm working with:

I just did the first fold. I don't have a long enough container, with a lid, that I can turn this out into so I'm keeping it in the mixing bowl (Which, like a dork, I forgot to oil - it's always something, isn't it?!) Anyway, I just gave it 2-3 good folds at the 50 minute mark and have to do the next fold in 100 minutes. I'm assuming that the dough is going to stiffen up some as it goes. It's very, very wet right now. Not sticky per se, but it's a bit like playing with that 'goo' stuff that we got out of the vending machines as kids.

This has all been hand mixed, no KA or other electric mixer. I assure you, you DEFINITELY know when things are 'just mixed' when mixing nearly 4 pounds of dough by hand. Holy moley, I'm going to need a sling :) Anyway, as I said, I just did the first fold. I grabbed as much as I could and gave it a slow tug vertically until it looked like it was about to tear (in one case it did, oops) and then folded it over, turned the bowl one-quarter turn and repeated. I made 2 1/2 turns of the bowl. It's practically running through my hands like the aforementioned 'goo.'

What should I look for when I do the next set of folds? What texture am I looking for to know that it's 'done' and ready for shaping, or if I need to give it a few more folds? I haven't worked with such a wet, stretchy dough before! I'm going to divide out half and immediately refrigerate to use for pizza dough. The rest I'm going to -attempt- to shape into two batards on my pastry cloth.

Any tips would be greatly appreciated. (Videos that show a good close-up of the proper texture of a completed folded dough would be a blessing)

gothicgirl's picture

Maple and Bacon Muffins

Posted on  4/8/2009

I am a bacon devotee.  I'm not sure if you have noticed, but I love the stuff!  That's why when I was challenged to create a sweet and savoury bacon muffin I jumped at the challenge!

Maple and Bacon Muffins 

But, this is a tale of sadness, regret, but eventual triumph! 

Two months ago, on a cold January evening, I was contemplating new ways to use bacon in my baking when my husband asked, "Can you make a bacon cupcake?"  A cupcake?  No, not that, never that.  However, a muffin I could do!  So, off to research.  I formulated a recipe with a brown sugar crumble and gave it a whirl.

Maple and Bacon Muffins 

They tasted great, but looked about as pretty as homemade soap.  Not a shining moment for me, but I moved on.  Next I tried no crumble and more maple.  They were far too sweet and had the texture of sticky cornbread.  BLEH!   Long story short (too late, right?), after a few more failures I struck the right balance of salty and sweet in a tender, bulging muffins!  It is this that I present to you, the perfect brunch bread. .. Maple and Bacon Muffins!   

Maple and Bacon Muffins   Yield 1 dozen

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup real maple syrup

Heat the oven to 400 F and line a 12 cup muffin pan with paper liners, or grease and flour the pan well.

Dry Ingredients 

Mix the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt well.  Mix in the crumbled bacon.

Wet Ingredients 

In a separate bowl mix the milk, eggs, oil, and maple syrup.

Complete Batter 

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into it.  Fold gently until the dry ingredients are wet.  It will be lumpy.

Scoop into the prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes.

 Maple and Bacon Muffins - Cooling

Serve warm.

Maple and Bacon Muffins

pjaj's picture

Malt flour

Does anyone know of a supply of malt flour in the UK?

I know about Wessex Mill's Malt Loaf Flour, but this is a mixture of 15% malt flour with white flour and it has sugar and "flour improver" as well.

Malt flours come in several grades ranging from pale lightly roasted with the enzymes still active to a dark roast with more flavour, but no enzyme activity left.

I've emailed two commercial suppliers a few days ago, but have received no replys, so I'm not hopeful there.

pjaj's picture

How to achieve a soft crust.

I am trying to duplicate a commercial loaf that is virtually crustless. It is a malt fruit loaf. I have tried baking it at a lower temperature for longer and with a pan of boiling water in the bottom of the oven. This is better, but it still comes out with a light, crisp crust. Any ideas how I could keep / make the crust softer? The recipe I'm using can be found in the discussion on this site here.

slothbear's picture

white spelt sourdough

white spelt sourdough bread

Eric's latest video masterpiece at Breadtopia is a whole spelt sourdough.  I was anxious to try it.  So anxious that I didn't notice that I had white spelt flour, not whole spelt.  No matter, the flexibleness that is bread took over, and it came out fine.

gijose's picture

Working Wet Doughs by Hand... kneading vs folding?

I know it's a topic that has been talked about quite often, and I have seen the tutorial on folding.


I have been working quite successfully with 80% hydration dough.  I'm using the Pain a L'Ancienne recipe in the BBA, and I now have a scale, so I can more accurately recreate my bread effectively :)  What I have been doing is... mixing the ingredients together for a minute or so, then put the dough in the refrigerator for an autolyse period (the recipe calls for cold fermentation, so I figured this made sense).  When I take the dough out it's much smoother, and I give it a few folds, and toss it back in the fridge to hang out.


I get bread that looks and tastes delicious, so I'm not really looking to change too much.  The recipe itself uses a kitchenaid mixer, and works the dough a lot harder than I do.  In the recipe the dough is basically kneaded for several minutes.  All I do is autolyse and fold for a minute or two.  What would working the dough more accomplish?  Would I have to knead the dough to effectively develop gluten?  Or does folding do the trick?  Next time I make the dough I'm going to try taking the bowl out and folding a few times every hour or so, just to see what happens.  Just wondering if I could expect any changes in the bread.



althetrainer's picture

Holy Oven Spring!

Just made two loaves of sourdough sandwich bread.  I usually use mostly wheat flour but today I wanted to see how big a difference white flour would make.   After six hours of rising (2 hours 1st then 4 hours 2nd rise) the breads only rose up to the rim of the pans.  I put them in a cold oven and turn it to 375F for 40 minutes.  Right before the oven reached its temperature of 375F I looked through the glass window.  Holy oven spring!  The two loaves shot up at least twice of their original height.  I knew I would get some oven sping, but never thought I would get that much.  I had to cover the loaves for the last 10 minutes because the tops were looking a bit brown.  Other than that, the two loaves turned out pretty.


The large loaf:


The smaller loaf:




chahira daoud's picture
chahira daoud

HELP!!! These little creatures are envading my kitchen !!!!

Hello dear friends , I really missed you all, but I did not want to show you my face untill I fulfill my promise to Minioven and other fellows, i promised that I will share my recipes for "Falafel & Egyptian beans dish" but till now I did not make it, I was so busy and I do not have any space in my freezer but I am thinking seriously to buy a deep freezer because my freezer is complaining. And I am used to prepare large batch and freeze it to be ready anytime, sorry guys and I will hurry up and make it as soon as possible.

Concerning the title of my blog entry, mmmmmm!!

That was my daughter birthday, I chose a savory dish beside the cake I made for her and her classmates, I baked these little hedgehogs, from 7 cups of flour, I got 69 cute hedgehogs.

I really liked it, I used it as sandwiches or canapes.

and as soon as they are out of my oven , they invaded my kitchen, there was a hedgehogs every where!!!!


There was even a battle.

But there was also a love story !!!

What do you think he is telling her????

My kids and the girls even all the adults like them from the first look.

Are'nt they cuuuute???

Thank you all and missed you all, and i'll be ready sooooon with my Falafel or "Taameea" & egyptian beans blog post.

Ah !! forgot to tell you about the birthday cake ,,, it was a hit!!

To watch it, please visit me on my blog

Bye Bye !! Love you all !!