Pumpkin Bread

we are all settled in at our new (temporary) home in cleveland! finally, i’ve made time to do a little baking, and started with something seasonal. i had been craving pumpkin bread since the chill in the air hit a few weeks ago, and it seemed that everyone around me was indulging. i have been unable to avoid the sights of people eating their pumpkin whoopie pies, pumpkin spice lattes, and all other goodies that are a major “no-no” for me.

i took my loaf pan out of the cardboard box it was packed in and got to work.

i was so excited to find a recipe using no nut flour. i am trying to cut down a little on baking with nuts, since they can be inflammatory when heated. coconut flour is so easy to digest, and is really a health-bomb all the way around. i found this beautiful recipe that the lovely coconut mama had conjured up. since i wasn’t about to dig for my smaller loaf pans, i doubled the recipe and made a few adjustments.

i am thrilled to say that this recipe was a total win. this bread is unlike other gluten-free or grain free quick breads. the texture is much more like a wheat based bread than an eggy or crumbly loaf that sometimes results from coconut flour or almond flour. it is simply perfect. i think the amount of sweetener used here is just right, so i would wait until you try it as-is before adjusting the levels of sugar added.

this is my little ramekin tester.

TIPS:

*just follow the instructions. the step using tin foil to cover the loaf is essential, don’t even think about skipping it. you would end up with a hard-as-a-rock top on your bread.

*since i doubled the recipe, i was able to pour a little extra into a medium-sized ramekin. it took 1 hour to bake. i immediately poured whole milk over it and ate the whole thing.

*use parchment paper to line the bottom of your loaf pan. trust me, your loaf will rip in half if you don’t line the pan. i don’t care how much oil you use. coconut flour sticks.

*you may wish to sweeten with something other than coconut sugar. in that case, i would just use cane or turbanado sugar. don’t attempt a liquid sweetener here. it could be fun, however, to experiment with using a few drops of stevia in place of 1/4 of the sugar.

*yes, 14 eggs.

*yes, 315f.

*as always, i would love to encourage comments regarding substitutions, adjustments, failures, and success! this is a give and take blog, so please let the readers know what this bread is really about!

pumpkin bread

(adapted from the coconut mama)

approx 12 servings

ingredients

1 cup coconut flour, sifted

1/4 cup tapioca flour (tapioca starch)

1/4 cup flaxseed meal

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp sea salt

1 cup + 2 tbsp coconut sugar

3 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp ground ginger

14 eggs, separated

1 1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1/2 cup melted coconut oil

1 tbsp vanilla

method: grease up and line a standard loaf pan (8.5 x 3, roughly) with parchment to cover at least the bottom.

preheat oven to 315f.

begin with beating the egg whites in a large, dry bowl, until stiff peaks form. set aside while you complete the next steps.

combine the melted oil with the egg yolks, pumpkin, and vanilla. stir well.

mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

combine the dry with the wet. you will get a paste.

now fold in the egg whites.

pour into your loaf pan, then make a tent out of tinfoil to go over the loaf. this is where you may also wish to pour some batter into a ramekin, or a few muffin cups.

bake covered loaf (and other portion) for 45 minutes. remove ramekin portion, it is likely done.

remove tinfoil from loaf and continue to bake for 15 more minutes.

turn heat off after 15 minutes, and allow loaf to set up in oven, about 20 additional minutes.

loaf may now be cooled on countertop. allow a bit before removing from pan.

i love warm pumpkin bread served with cold milk poured over it. that, or a chunk of melty butter and sometimes a drizzle of maple syrup. this would be such a phenomenal treat with vanilla ice cream, also!

yes, this is a treat. enjoy a slice slowly and occasionally! the carbs, although high, are much less than most snacks are.. heck, lower than a large banana!

here are the facts per 1/12 of the loaf:

calories: 300g

carbs: 32g

protein: 9g

bacon, egg, and cheddar sandwich

everyone loves an eggy bacon breakfast sandwich.

even vegans.

even celiacs.

this gross generalization about breakfast sandwiches is not unfounded. it just isn’t.

my goal in making so much tapioca flat bread lately was intended around a deep desire for a good breakfast sandwich sans grain.

tapioca flat a is so perfect as sandwich bread. it is stretchy, soft, doughy and sturdy.

if you leave the herbs out of the dough, it would be equally as awesome as a peanut butter and jelly sandwich bread, or, heck… i’d even go so far as to spread some nutella on it. yumz.

cutting into large, long strips will facilitate a great wrap-style bread for lunch meats. i also like to eat it plain as a midnight snack when i am up late feeding little juniper.

just be sure to keep yourself from over baking. you want this to stay moist and stretchy. also, when you pull it out of the refrigerator, warm the bread by wrapping in foil and putting in the oven/toaster oven for a few minutes. warming it up will further moisten for a bready consistency and keep it sturdy.

here is a quick note on scrambling eggs: if you add the salt to them before they are cooked, they will become rubbery. i always wait until they are mostly set before i add salt to eggs, scrambled or dippy.

bacon, egg, and cheddar sandwich

ingredients

2 slices of flat bread, warmed, with or without the cheese

2 eggs

3 tbsp cream

2 slices bacon, cooked

a few chunks of sharp cheese

salt & pepper, to taste

method:

beat eggs with cream in small bowl. get a skillet medium hot, and cover with 1 tbsp butter.

once butter sizzles, pour egg onto skillet. after about 45 seconds, sprinkle with salt & pepper, then quickly use spatula to move egg around, keeping it thin on the skillet. remove from heat and let egg set on warm skillet.

place cheese on the egg so it melts slightly. fold egg into layers so it will fit onto your bread.

stack egg, cheese, & bacon onto your warmed flat bread and devour.

feel free to include something green, like basil or spinach, or any other tasty bits you can think up, onto your sandwich.

mushrooms, sausage, onions… the bread is your blank canvas!

cheesy tapioca flat bread

thanks to paleo hacks, i’ve found an AWESOME chebe cheat. i mentioned in my post on chebe pizza that i had a hack recipe so i wouldn’t have to buy the mix, and i must say that it worked charmingly.

i made this flat bread last night to go with our caesar salads because i wanted something to soak up all the extra dressing at the bottom of the plate. oh man, this bread is addictive.

i was craving it all night long after dinner, but managed to wait until morning to have with my greasy, dippy eggs and bacon. oh man. me likey.

i also made a cinnamon & sugar flat bread, which i dipped in coconut cream. i used the same recipe, omitting most of the salt, and stirring in 1 tsp vanilla, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 cup palm sugar, and spreading melty butter over the top to help more cinnamon and palm sugar stick. bake for 15 minutes, or until bread appears firm.

dear lord, tapioca has been my savior for the past few weeks while i’ve been craving starches.

if you’re like me, and have gone primal but still get starch cravings every few weeks, this is a pretty safe way to get your cinnamon bread, cheesy flat bread, pizza (or whatever you can dream up) fix out of the way without sacrificing what you’ve been working hard for! yeah, a little carb-heavy. but i pile on the protien and fat with it to even things out. this really tastes like a soft, stretchy english muffin. perfect for eggy sandwiches.

cheesy tapioca flat bread

2 cups tapioca flour, leveled

1 tsp salt

1/4 cup milk at room temp (coconut milk or cow milk)

1/4 cup butter or coconut oil melted

2 eggs, room temp, beaten

any herbs or seasonings you may want, fresh or dried

3 tbsp butter, melted

1/4 asiago, romano, parm, whatever hard cheese you so desire

method:

preheat oven to 450f. get a pizza sheet or cookie sheet out, no need to grease.

combine all dry ingredients together in a bowl.

separately, combine all wet ingredients together in a bowl.

combine both dry and wet. i find a rubber spatula works best for this.

knead dough until well combined. place onto cookie sheet, working onto surface as you would pizza dough. if dough seems too wet for this after it is well worked, add 1 tbsp more tapioca flour. if dough seems too dry and “squeaky” after working, add a touch more oil or butter.

press dough out as you would pizza, keeping it as even as you want. if you want lumpy bread, who am i to judge?!

use a pastry brush to brush butter over dough, then sprinkle cheese all over the top.

place into oven, baking for 10-15 minutes. don’t over cook it, don’t let it brown. it should stay light in color, otherwise it will become stiff and cracker-like.

remove from oven, slice, and serve. to store, place in a big baggie and keep in the fridge if storing longer than 2 days. to reheat, put in tin foil and into toaster oven for a few minutes. if you toast it without foil, it will become super hard.

enjoy with eggs, salads, or as a sandwich bread. i just can’t get over how good this bread is with bacon!

i slice this into 9 pieces, and here are the facts, per serving (without cheese): 166 cals, 25 carbs

banana coconut muffins

can you believe i managed to bake 12 muffins with a new-born baby?! and on the first day without daddy home?!

i am obviously quite impressed with myself. juniper and i have spent no time apart since she was born, aside from my shower times. i have been giving her all of her naps on my chest, but today i decided to try letting her nap alone. i waited until she was all drunk and sleepy after i fed her, then put her in her carrier.

shock.

it worked.

time to bake.

i have been pretty hungry at night during our 3am feedings. i think i just need excess calories right now. i got to feeling guilty for snacking on gluten-free pretzels and starchy store-bought items like this, and had been itching to bake anyhow. searching for a high protein recipe, i found this one from all day i dream about food. she uses raspberries, and glazes them with a coconut milk treat. i modified it using bananas instead of raspberries, and used coconut sugar in place of stevia and granulated erythritol. also, i used yogurt instead of cream cheese., because that’s all i had on hand. it all worked like a charm! i have also subbed the coconut milk out for more yogurt, just because i didn’t have any coconut milk.

this recipe is pretty darn guilt free, high in satiating, heart-healthy fats, high in protein, and pretty low in carbs for a muffin! nutrition info is at the bottom of the page.

these muffins are slightly sweet, full of banana coconut flavor, and really moist. the tops are a little crisp, which is my favorite part of the muffin.  and i love that they have me feeling filled up but not bloaty and sugared up!

this recipe makes 14 muffins

banana coconut muffins
2 cups almond flour
3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
2/3 cup palm sugar or other sweetener
1/4 cup vanilla whey protein powder
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
4 oz yogurt, room temp
3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
2 eggs, lightly beaten and room temp
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut milk
1 1/4 cups chopped ripe bananas

method:

preheat oven to 350f. line muffin tin with paper liners.

combine all dry ingredients in a bowl.

separately, combine all wet ingredients in a bowl.

mix the two together, then fold in bananas. scoop batter into lined tins.

bake for 25 minutes. allow to cool 10 minutes before you dig in.

nutrition per muffin: 229 cals, 18 grams carbs, 7 grams protein, 15 grams fat

grain free paleo bread

i saw this recipe for grain free bread on the paleo mom, and could not resist! i have some lot of tapioca flour lingering in the pantry, begging to be used up. i really love baking with tapioca flour but can’t seem to find many useful recipes for its use. if you have some up your sleeve, pass ‘em along!

anyhow, i had been baking elana amsterdam’s paleo bread for a while, using it for sandwiches and egg breakfasts. i love this bread. i did, however, owe my body a break from almond flour based baked goods. paleo mom’s tapioca and coconut flour recipe was a great stand in, though i’m not used to such a short loaf! i may get brave and try to double the recipe, decreasing the oven temp, and increasing the baking time.

the flavor was really great, especially for sweet applications. i used it to make mini almond butter and jam sandwiches for lunch, but my favorite use for it was for french toast sticks along with some sausages. how tasty! though i didn’t capture my french toast sticks, i’ll tell you that they were super easy to whip up. one egg whipped with a bit of milk, maple syrup, and cinnamon will yield 2 servings of french toast. simply dip slices and soak for a few minutes into your batter, and fry on medium heat in coconut oil until just brown. i ate 4 slices (they are small, remember) one morning, and reserved my batter for my second serving the next morning.

anyhow, it was such a delight to have an unsweetened, nut-free bread around the house, so i thought i would share the recipe!

enjoy!

paleo bread

original recipe can be found by clicking here.

Ingredients:

4 eggs

4 tbsp coconut oil

1/2 cup coconut flour

1/4 cup tapioca flour

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

1/2 tsp cream of tartar

1/4 tsp baking soda

method:

Preheat oven to 350F.

Line a 7 1/2″ x 3 1/2 ” loaf pan with parchment paper.  Grease the parchment paper with coconut oil.

Melt the coconut oil, and let cool slightly.
Beat eggs with mixer until frothy, about 30 seconds.  Add the remaining ingredients and mix again until smooth.  Let the batter sit for a minute to thicken.

Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.  Spread it out so that the surface is even.  Bake for 35 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean from the middle of the loaf.

Allow to cool in the pan for half an hour before gently removing and allowing to cool completely. Store this bread in the refrigerator.

Enjoy your bread as almond butter and jelly, french toasties, or whatever you please!

chocolate banana walnut muffins, vegan & grain free

chunky!

we’re licking the scraps of muffins off of the muffin papers as i write this. chocolate clings to every surface of my coffee mug.

chocolate for breakfast?

yeah. what do you want from me. i’ve been living off of sweet potatoes and sausage for weeks now, it was time for a change.

now i admit, chocolate is not typical in my home as a breakfast option. like, ever. i’m not sure if we’ve ever eaten chocolate before 1pm in our married lives, so this seemed like a fun step out of the safety box for us. not to mention, this was pretty healthy for chocolate ANYTHING, so i don’t feel too badly.

i’d been hunting for grain-free & egg-free baking recipes for weeks now, and it looks like i’ve finally found a great start. in fact, i’m thinking of making a pumpkin version by subbing bananas out for pumpkin puree next time, and tapioca flour for cocoa powder. we’ll see just how crazy things get.

these muffins set up perfectly once cooled, the coconut flour doing its job wonderfully at soaking up all of the wet. they are soft and moist, but not very gushy, which seems to turn most people off of coconut flour baking. this was also the first time i’ve ever used dates to sweeten any recipe, and they worked like a charm. their flavor was completely undetectable in the finished recipe, leaving only their sweetness behind. if you are afraid of dates, or just don’t have them, i think any liquid sweetener would suffice here as a switch-out, though i do recommend giving this method a whirl first.

many thanks to the ever inventive paleo parents for this recipe! click the link to see the recipe, including modifications to omit the cocoa from the muffins.

this recipe makes a baker’s dozen.

chocolate banana walnut muffins

2 large black bananas, chopped

1/2 cup creamy almond butter

1/2 cup coconut oil, melted

1 tsp vanilla

2 tbsp cocoa powder

1/2 cup coconut flour, sifted

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 cup dates

method:

preheat oven to 350f.

begin by boiling 2 cups or so of water. pour over dates, and let them steep for 10 minutes. drain.

sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl.

put dates and 1 banana in food processor with the oil and puree. add in almond butter and vanilla. puree briefly, just to mix in. add dry ingredients.

by hand, stir in the other chopped banana until well combined. i like to do this separately so i end up with a few banana chunks in my muffins.

scoop batter into paper lined muffin tin, top with nuts, chocolate chips, or both, and bake for 20 minutes.

allow muffins to cool for half an hour or so before removing from tin, and another few minutes before serving.

what a delicious mess!

fitday nutritional analysis per muffin, with chocolate and walnuts:

282 cals

27 carbs

3 grams protein

add a few strips of bacon and your breakfast is complete. this is why i’m not worried about the lack of protein. noms away!

pumpkin bread

pumpkin loaves

a few months ago, i attended an estate sale of a deceased great-uncle. in his home being sold was a treasure trove of baking and cooking tools. i restrained myself, and chose 3 practical items. -a potato ricer, a tart pan, and a set of bread pans that happen to be a really funky size. who in the world uses a 7 3/8 x 3 3/8 loaf pan?? i have no clue. i just knew that aunt willow marie would be proud of all of the baking that i do. she would want me to have these tools. her and my grandmother were the stars of the show with their cookies and cakes, and i remember very vividly helping to bake warm breads, gingersnap cookies, nut rolls, and amazing pies. i had been waiting to use these special pans until i found something i was super confident would turn out on the first try.

this is one of the easiest and most delicious recipes i have ever whipped together. i knew exactly what i wanted the result to be, and actually ended up with exactly that.

i used whey protein powder here not only for extra protein, but also to soak up some extra water from the pumpkin puree, though coconut flour could be subbed into its place. this is a fairly healthy recipe, as all of the ingredients fit into the primal blueprint that i try to follow. it is packed with protein, and the sweetness level can be adjusted to individual taste. add chopped, toasted pecans for even more of a protein fix if you so wish.

as you can see, i like a nice tall loaf. many times quick breads are short in the loaf pan, never exceeding half of the height of the pan. not here. i like nice, full slices.

the bread turns out perfectly moist, without feeling soggy or wet. i think the sweetness is perfect. -just enough for a dessert, not too much for midday snacking. i even think it would make a great breakfast slice.

it tastes just like it should, full of pumpkin flavor and a little bite of spice. i hear people say often that pumpkin breads using wheat flour doesn’t taste much like pumpkin, rather like pumpkin spices. i don’t do that. pumpkin should taste like pumpkin as the main ingredient, not a component. just as apple based recipes should taste like apples, not like apple spices.

substitution reminders:

coconut flour may be subbed in for whey protein.

honey may be subbed in for maple syrup, if you must.

9×5 standard loaf pan would be a fine stand in here if you don’t have funky loaf pans like i do. also, i’m sure this recipe translates very well into muffin, just be sure to shorten the baking time.

this could be given a cream cheese frosting, but i really like it without. it is totally sweet enough to stand alone.

slices perfectly

pumpkin bread

1 cup pumpkin puree

2 eggs

1 cup maple syrup

1/2 tsp allspice

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

2/3 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

2 packed cups almond meal

1/2 cup whey protein powder or coconut flour, measure, then sift

optional stir-ins: handful of toasted, chopped pecans, chopped crystalized ginger

method:

preheat oven to 350f. grease 2 small (7 3/8x 3 3/8) or 1 regular (9×5) loaf pan. i like to cut a large strip of parchment paper for easy removal.

combine all ingredients, beating well with handmixer. pour into loaf pans.

bake for 45 minutes, until toothpick comes clean when inserted in the middle.

remove from oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes or so before using knife to separate edges from pan. gently remove loaf. i like to slice when it is still pretty warm. place on a wire rack to allow it to cool completely. the crisp edges of the end piece is my favorite.

try to allow 20 good minutes to cool before removing from pan.

grain free tortilla

wraps or tortillas are one of tough things you give up when you say good-bye to grains. i really enjoy having something to wrap a bunch of goodies up into. these really hit the spot.

they tasted wonderful, had a great consistency, and held up really well for a grain free tortilla. they actually didn’t really tear until the last bite of my second tortilla, which was packed tightly with drippy and greasy goodies. they soaked up the juices really well without shredding. they are not, however, sticky and doughy as a flour tortilla. that is something i really don’t miss. don’t expect these to stick to your teeth. do expect them to hold up nicely and settle lightly.

these wraps are gluten-free, grain free, vegetarian, dairy free, vegan, and lots of other stuff i am sure. i love how few ingredients this recipe requires.

it is best to let these cool and dry a little before using to make them even sturdier. i placed them on cooling racks as they came out of the skillet to let the steam out.

you could double the batch to make extra for a breakfast burrito in the morning, save for a wrap for lunch.. the possibilities go on. i think it would be really fun to leave out the cumin and salt and sub in some sweet flavors, like cinnamon and sugar, and wrap in some pb&j for a lunch box treat.

this serves 2 people 2 tortillas each.

grain free wraps

1 tbsp flax meal

3 tbsp warm water

1/2 cup garbanzo bean flour

1/3 cup warm water

pinch of salt

1/2 tsp cumin

method: make a flax egg by combining the flax meal with the 3 tbsp warm water. whisk briefly and let sit for 5 minutes.

meanwhile, combine garbanzo flour with spices. slowly whisk in water, being sure to get all the lumps out. stir in flax egg. let batter sit for half an hour or so. it will thicken slightly and bubble during this time.

now is a good time to prep your fillings. you don’t want to have to do this while you are frying up your wraps.

just before you use the batter, check it to see if it is thin enough. it should be thinner than pancake batter. you want it to run all over the pan, so thin is good here.

heat skillet over medium heat with some oil. once oil is hot, pour about 1/4 of the batter into the hot skillet. it will take about 4 minutes to cook on the first side. carefully slip spatula under skillet to loosen from bottom. gently flip to cook off extra moisture. it should only take a few seconds to finish.

carefully slide cooked wrap onto cooling rack, continue with the rest of the batter.

fill your wraps with all sorts of goodies.

we used up some leftover steak, salsa, cheese, avocado, cilantro, and fried onions and peppers in some chili powder.

challah

 

this post obviously has nothing to do with my grain-restricted diet or belief that wheat is evil.

i simply longed to labor over a very traditional food and serve it to my family.

challah is a slight labor of love. you have to really want to make it to have any success with the bread, especially when it comes to the braiding. challah is a pain, but it is sweet, beautiful, and symbolic.

i sought out an explanation of the tradition and history of challah, but none seemed worthy to reference. get a good book on food history and look for the story on this tasty bread.

brian and i made this 3 times before we had success. maybe it had something to do with reading directions. -that was a sarcastic implication. of course it had something to do with reading directions. it had to do with forgetting half a cup of sugar. and the salt. we waited for the bread to raise. it wouldn’t. the bread was dead. it was useless. what happened the second time is indescribable, and finally the third time was perfect. -oh, except for when the kitten found the covered dough, raising in a warm place… “what a nice bed”, she must have been thinking as she lay down to take her cute little nap on our bread. -this is why i cover everything with plastic wrap. the loaves continue to grow in the oven. the egg lacquer on the top makes them appear to stretch beyond their means, threatening to explode at the next degree of heat.

this recipe seems to be a very common one. i found it at smitten kitten and in the new york times.

i don’t have many tips for this one. just read the ingredients and instructions carefully before you even get the flour out of the pantry. take your rings off before you start this so you can quickly knead as soon as you are inclined. do not overwork the dough or it will result a dense and dusty loaf. add too much flour and your dough will be flaky and dry. too little flour and your dough will melt into itself, rendering the braiding task impossible. make it in the morning and plan on eating a fluffy chunk of warm, sweet bread with your dinner.

send half of a loaf with dinner guests, and put the other huge loaf in the freezer to use as a thank you gift later on in the week. -don’t forget that this makes an excellent french toast with a little jam and cream cheese to top!

this sweet, pillowy loaf was enough to tempt me into grabbing a hand sized chunk and slowly enjoying something i rarely get to do. this alone could have been my meal, and i would have been satisfied by the silky texture and the light sugar taste that the salt brings out.

mom, you can do this one.

this recipe makes 2 huge loaves

ingredients:

1 1/2 tbsp active dry yeast

1 tbsp + 1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup olive oil

5 large eggs

1 tbsp salt

8-8 1/2 cups flour

method: in a large bowl, combine yeast and 1 tbsp sugar with 1 3/4 cup lukewarm water. stir gently and allow yeast to dissolve bloom for a 2 or 3 minutes. now is a good time to prepare and pre-measure the rest of your ingredients.

whisk oil into yeast, stirring quickly, then whisk eggs in one at a time, and finally whisk in the salt and remaining half cup of sugar.

gradually sift in flour, maybe a cup or so at a time. once dough begins to hold shape (after 7 or so cups of flour are added), turn out on a clean floured surface to work with your hands and continue to add flour. knead until a firm ball of dough is formed. dough should be firm and bounce back whence poked with a finger. if outside of the ball is sticky, knead in a little more flour. do not overwork it, though. you don’t want a tough or dusty loaf. you want to keep things stretchy and gooey in there.

place ball of dough into a clean, oiled large bowl and cover with plastic wrap. stick it somewhere kinda warm. might i suggest on top of the dryer, in a water bath, and in front of a heater. let it rise for an hour or so. it will double in size in this time.

after raising for an hour, punch air out of dough. just give it a few good squishes and twists for 2 minutes or so. place cover back on and allow to rise for another half an hour or so. *this second raising can also be done slowly in the refrigerator overnight.

after second raising, prepare to braid loaves by lightly flouring clean counter top and tearing off a large sheet of parchment to place braided loaves onto.

to form loaves, remove half the dough from the bowl and gently squish out any major bubbles. separate dough into 6 similarly sized balls. roll dough balls into strands about a foot long. try keeping them at even width. place the strands in a row and gently pinch the tops together.

to braid, take the far right strand and place it two spaces to the left of it. now take the second strand from the left and move it all the way to the far right. take the outside left strand and move it 2 over. move second strand from right to the far left. start over with the far right strand and continue until loaf is braided.

or you can do what i did. use my improvisational skills and wing it. yeah, maybe that is why my loaves look a little wonky, but no one knew. i truly used some free-form weaving technique that i made up and it worked really well.

 

try to braid quickly so dough doesn’t stick to counter top. once loaf is braided, gently move to parchment paper and braid other loaf. place it 3 inches or so from other loaf.

brush both loaves with a well whisked egg. save this egg wash to use once more before baking. allow to rise for an hour or so. they are gonna grow.

preheat oven to 375f. place racks in center of oven.

brush loaves with egg once more before you gently move loaves to oven, keeping them on parchment.

bake for half an hour.

remove from oven and cool for half an hour before serving. my husband noted that this bread is best torn right off the loaf instead of being cut. this bread is so moist that it does not require butter or oil for serving, however a good dip into oil and sprinkling of salt makes this unbeatable.

nutty banana bread

 can you guess what i’ve been into lately? it’s banana bread! yay! i was making this in mini loaves a while back, but a few weeks back, i got to thinkin’, “hey, i want regular sized bread. i deserve it.”

this was around the same time i bought a jar of nutella and decided, “hey, i want nutella on my banana bread. i deserve it.”

and so i did. i made the heck out of it, and i ate the heck out of it. i really like this recipe. i like how moist and sweet it is despite the low oil and sweetener content. this is the same recipe i’ve posted before for banana bread, but i did make slight adjustments so i’ll rewrite it.

this is lightly sweetened, and as always, depends on the blackness of your bananas. i use pretty black ones, (-not the same as photographed) borderline rotten, so mine doesn’t need much sweetener. feel free to add chocolate chips for something a little more “desserty”, or a different kind of nuts if you’re a walnut hater. i thought it would be nice to use almonds and a little almond extract, but mr. hare didn’t sound very interested in that.

this bread is wonderful on its own, with a cup of coffee, or in a nutella sandwich. what? don’t be a square.

nutty banana bread

dry ingredients:

2 cups almond meal

1 cup arrowroot powder

1/3 cup flaxseed meal

1 tbsp cinnamon

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

wet ingredients:

1/4 cup oil

1/3 cup honey (more if you like)

3 eggs

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp vanilla

4 rotten bananas

stir ins:

1/2 cup or more chopped walnuts

1/2 cup chocolate chips

method: preheat oven to 350f. prep a full-sized loaf pan by buttering it, then lining with parchment paper for easy removal.

combine all dry ingredients in large bowl, breaking up all the clumps. i mash them against the side of the bowl with a spoon.

separately, combine all wet ingredients together. i use a stand mixer for this, throwing the bananas in whole and letting the mixer break them up. you could simply cut them up and stir them into the wet ingredients.

combine the wet with the dry ingredients. grab a spoon, dip it in, and take a good taste. add more honey, vanilla, cinnamon, whatever you think it may need. just keep in mind that the bread will sweeten once the bananas cook, so don’t go overboard with the sweeteners.

by hand, stir in your nuts and optional chocolate.

pour into loaf pan. if it seems like it’s a little full, you can pour off some batter into a few muffin cups.

bake for one hour. the muffins should only take 25 minutes or so.

let loaf cool at room temp for an hour before trying to remove from pan. slice it up and enjoy this bread!

i would really be interested in making french toast with this banana bread, but i’m a little indulgent.