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Posts Tagged ‘quick bread’

My Uncle David likes to cook. He enjoys tinkering and tweeking recipes until they taste just right to him. Best of all, he shares. And does so seemingly without a bit of jealous, guarding, MY secret recipe behavior that often accompanies a finally perfect recipe. Now me, I have to fight off my grandmother’s little devil voice encouraging me to pretend I just didn’t hear the request at all, or leave an ingredient out so it won’t taste as good as mine. I do admit that there have been a few times that I have grudgingly turned over a recipe, and once that I just flat-out refused to give it to anyone for years. Now I have this blog, where I give out all (almost) my recipes and encourage others to do so as well. Anyway, back to Uncle David. He has long been a foodie, well before the term was even coined, searching out and celebrating great cooking and food wherever it could be found. He loves the small Mom & Pop businesses that have none of the flash and splash of the big celebrity restaurants preferring the smile of the cook in the back and a plate of simple, fabulously good food. Once when visiting him, he took me to a place for lunch (I can’t remember her name) that was basically a camp. Stoves set up outside and plastic tables set up under a tarp to keep the sun off your head. The food? Pork chops and greens, skillet cornbread, gravies, sweet tea, heaven. I don’t think I had much to say that lunch, I was too busy stuffing food in my face and watching everybody else do the same. The man definitely finds the best places to eat. Like my Mom, his cooking is intuitive and fearless, substituting, adding, and combining ingredients until it all fits just right.

This is his breakfast bread recipe.  One he’s been playing with for a bit and one that’s he’s now happy with.  That doesn’t mean I won’t get a revised version at some point, but for now, this is the one. This is most certainly a sweet bread recipe, with a hearty crumb and sturdier texture than the loaf cake it resembles. There is one unusual twist, and I’m telling now so you don’t get to that part and think you can skip it. You can’t eat this right out of the oven, well, you could, but it’s better if you don’t. You let it cool and then wrap it tightly in foil and let it sit at least 6 hours, preferably overnight.  The cake kind of settles into itself. The texture improves and the flavor intensifies. Yes, I tried it both ways and he’s right. So plan ahead and do it his way. It’s a perfect vehicle for cream cheese or jam as he advises, and I think it’s perfect on its own as an afternoon snack with tea.  I had a sneaking suspicion that there was another way this would be perfect for. Now you know me, I have a compulsion to turn anything bread or baked into bread pudding. I don’t know why, but I do. I try very hard not to have leftover baked goods of any kind in my house because I know what will happen. Now, I actually didn’t think this would be good bread pudding on its own, but I thought maybe bread puddings distant cousin, French toast (come on, bread soaked in eggs and fried, bread soaked in egg custard and baked, cousins) would be perfect. I also love to make French toast out of anything other than regular bread. Oh boy, was I right! Slice thickly, let it dry out just a bit, usual french toast method, and ta da! A little bite of heaven on a plate. See if you don’t agree.

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There they sat.  In their bowl on the counter, reproaching me with every glance at them.  Slowly losing their vibrant color, bruises and marks deepening, growing smaller perceptibly every day.  Bananas.  Happy George of the Jungle yellow ‘naners making me anxious and sad with each passing day.  I am not one of those people who relish the brown banana.  Ever since I was a kid and peeled one open on the advice of an adult that it was “perfectly good” and found a soft, slightly slimy, beige-ish, most definitely not my idea of a banana inside, brown bananas make me shiver. Most assuredly I am not the “throw it in the freezer until you want to make bread with it” person either.  Those almost black, withered things lying in the freezer horrify me and make me slam the door and hold it shut with both hands so it can’t possible every escape to terrify me in the dark.  So….I almost never buy more than two bananas at a time.  I delight in perfectly yellow, just lost the touch of green, firm bananas.  But you have to be diligent because they turn into the banana zombies almost overnight. So two, only two, at a time.  I’ve started to get organic fruit and veggies delivered to the house every week, from Door to Door Organics, and last week, in my bitty box (the smallest one) were 5 bananas.  5.  I thought I’d be okay as I had family here for a few days, and surely, the bananas would get eaten.  But there they were, so I decided this time I was going to use them even if it was technically (according to the banana bread fanatics) too early to use them.  Bah! They worked fine.  They were soft enough that the mixer could smash and mush them up, but still not to the zombie stage.  I had a bit of dark chocolate that I thought I thought would be lovely in the bread, just a hint, to complement and give the bread some depth and texture.  I have to tell you, it worked out perfectly. I went looking for recipes out on the ‘net and ended up combining several to get what I wanted.  No more banana monsters for this girl.

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