Category Archives: Bread

Chocolate Banana Bread

It’s Hump Day, and it definitely feels like it. I just started working at the pool again on Monday, teaching both morning and evening lessons, and lifeguarding in between. Even though I’ve only worked two days so far, I’m already exhausted. Only 38 more days of work to go!

Since I’ve been at work all day, I haven’t had time for baking. When I get home, all I want to do is eat and sleep! I’d love to bake a batch of snickerdoodle blondies or chocolate chip cookies to pack in my lunches (sweet treats are NECESSARY for long days at the pool), but I just don’t have the energy.

Luckily I made a few mini loaves of this awesome chocolate banana bread on Sunday, which I’ve been snacking on during my breaks at work. I altered the recipe to make the bread a bit lighter, and it was still so yummy!

Classic banana bread has always been one of my favorite quick breads (only second to pumpkin bread), but this version blows it out of the water! I mean, what isn’t better with chocolate? 🙂

Chocolate Banana Bread

Source: adapted from Savory Sweet Life

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 medium ripe bananas
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and spray a 9×5 inch loaf pan with cooking spray.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. 

3. In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg, bananas, vanilla, and yogurt until combined. Add in flour mixture and stir until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips.

4. Scrape batter into prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake in preheated oven for 50-60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center of loaf comes out clean.

5. Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack.

Advertisements

17 Comments

Filed under Bread, Dessert

Zucchini Bread

I’m one of those people who actually loves the taste of raw vegetables. This is probably going to make me sound really crazy, but I really enjoy their fresh, crispy bitterness, and I don’t like salad dressings because they just cover up the taste of the veggies! Some people gag at the thought of eating kale, beets, celery, or brussel sprouts, but I love them all! In fact, I can’t think of a single vegetable that Idislike.

Lately, I’ve been trying to incorporate even more fresh produce into my diet (as if I didn’t get enough already) because I just feel so much more energetic and healthy and clean when I eat this way. I’ve been doing this by having a green smoothie as part of my lunch every day. Smoothies are great because you don’t have to chew so much. 🙂 Usually I include a few handfuls of kale and/or spinach, a big hunk of cucumber, plain Greek yogurt or soy milk, and a half a frozen banana or apple for a little sweetness. My siblings say my smoothies taste like grass, but I think they’re delicious!

I even like vegetables in my dessert! Pumpkin, sweet potato, and carrots are some of my favorites, but I’m on a mission to incorporate a less common vegetable into a baked good. Leafy greens, perhaps? Kale cheesecake, anyone? Okay, I’m TOTALLY kidding about that one. It actually sounds really gross.

Anyways, I thought I’d start with something a little more familiar (and appetizing) – zucchini bread! This is my healthified version of a recipe I found on allrecipes. With a little less sugar, applesauce for half of the oil, and extra zucchini, it was great! I just wish that I could actually taste the squash! I love seeing all the little green flecks in the bread, so next time I think I’ll try to pack in even MORE zucchini. 🙂 

I’m off to a tea party with a mini loaf of the zucchini bread. Have a lovely weekend! 🙂

Zucchini Bread

Source: adapted from allrecipes

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 1/2 cups grated zucchini
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup raisins

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour two 8×4 inch loaf pans.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.

3. In a separate bowl, beat eggs until light and frothy. Whisk in oil, applesauce, and sugar until smooth. Add flour mixture and stir until just combined. Fold in zucchini, walnuts, and raisins.

4. Divide batter between prepared loaf pans and bake in preheated oven for 60-70 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center of bread comes out clean.

5 Comments

Filed under Bread, Breakfast, Dessert

Coconut Graham Cracker Bread

I’m graduated!! Although Ahra and Deborah have both moved out, and the apartment is practically empty, it hasn’t really hit me that my college years are over. Maybe I’ll start to feel it when things finally calm down. I haven’t had a free moment between spending time with my family, saying bye to friends, and cleaning out the apartment.

I’m moving out of my apartment (and leaving Cleveland) tomorrow afternoon! I packed up the majority of my stuff to put in storage in Charlottesville or take home with me for the summer to Portland, but there were still some baking ingredients left in the cupboards that needed to be used up.

I found half a bag of shredded coconut lying around, and decided that I wanted to incorporate it into a quick bread to give to my bosses on my last day at work. I actually didn’t start liking coconut until recently. Desserts like German chocolate cake or macaroons didn’t use to sound appealing to me at all, but now I LOVE them!

I also had a box of graham crackers lying around, so I decided to use those in my quick breads too. I wasn’t sure how well it would go with the coconut, but along with some cinnamon and honey, it turned out to be a yummy combo of flavors! I love it when throwing a bunch of random ingredients together turns into something delish!

This is one of the only recipes that I have ever de-healthified and de-veganized. Normally, I try to make recipes healthier by reducing fat and sugar, and using whole grains, but I had to make do with the ingredients that I had. Plus, I wasn’t sure how much my bosses would appreciate getting “health food” as a gift! 🙂

Coconut Graham Cracker Bread

Source: adapted from Sweet and Natural

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease an 8×4 inch loaf pan.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

3. In a separate bowl, mix together applesauce and graham cracker crumbs until well combined. Add egg and honey, then mix thoroughly. Alternatively stir in dry ingredients and milk until just combined, beginning and ending with flour. Fold in the shredded coconut.

4. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake in preheated oven for about 50 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center of loaf comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes before removing.

8 Comments

Filed under Bread, Breakfast

Cinnamon Rolls

I’m DONE!! As soon as I turned in my last final exam I rushed home with Deborah (we’re in the same class) and anxiously waited for Ahra to turn in her final paper. When she got home, all three of us proceeded to scream and jump up and down. Then we popped open a bottle of ice wine to celebrate!

It feels SO good to be done with undergrad. It has been quite an eventful semester, to put it mildly, so I’m glad that it’s finally over. We have lots more celebrating to do tonight, so I’ll just leave you with a recipe for the most ridiculously delicious homemade cinnamon rolls that I have ever eaten in my life. Soft, fluffy dough swirled with buttery cinnamon-sugar filling drizzled with sweet cream cheese icing = PERFECTION!

This was my first attempt at homemade cinnamon rolls because I always thought they were difficult and complicated to make for some reason. Not so at all! Although the process is a bit time consuming, the whole process is a breeze!

They’re almost too easy to make, which equals bad news for me. I can see myself making a batch of these cinnamon rolls for brunch every weekend and then devouring half of them by myself. Oh well, I guess that just means more time with the treadmill! 🙂

Cinnamon Rolls

Source: adapted from Savory Sweet Life

Ingredients

  • 1 cup warm milk (115 degrees F)
  • 1 egg (room temperature), slightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons (1 .25-ounce package) instant dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cinnamon

For the frosting:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 5-6 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions

1. In a large bowl, combine milk, egg, melted butter, oil, sugar, and salt. Add flour, and sprinkle yeast on top. Mix well with a wooden spoon until a dough forms.

2. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes, adding more flour as needed. Place dough in a greased bowl and cover with a damp towel. Allow dough to rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

3. In a small bowl, combine sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Set aside. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a rectangle slightly large than a 9×13 pan. Spread surface evenly with melted butter, and sprinkle sugar/cinnamon mixture on top. Use hands to make sure entire surface of dough is evenly coated.

4. Beginning with the long side, roll dough into a log, pinching seam to seal. Use dental floss to cut log into 12 equal slices and place them in a 9×13 inch baking pan. Cover with a damp towel and allow to rise for 30 minutes.

5. While rolls are rising, preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Beat cream cheese, milk, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer until smooth. Set aside.

6. Bake cinnamon rolls for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Drizzle with icing and serve warm.

3 Comments

Filed under Bread, Dessert

Sweet Potato Carrot Bread

One of my favorite activities is grocery shopping. It might sound crazy, but I actually think it’s quite relaxing and stress relieving! It’s just so much to fun wander up and down the aisles, inspecting every single item on the shelves. I could probably spend hours browsing the baking aisle! 🙂

Luckily, Deborah and Ahra both share my love of grocery shopping. Our Friday night actually included trips to two different grocery stores! People are always amazed that we find so much joy in grocery shopping. 🙂

In addition to the two grocery stores, Deborah and I spent the afternoon at the Westside Market with some friends. While the others went to grab some food, Deborah and I immediately headed toward the produce stands. We literally squealed in excitement upon seeing all the fresh fruits and vegetables!

We came home loaded with spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, bell peppers, carrots, beets, tomatoes, mushrooms, apples, oranges, bananas, and more! I also got an awesome deal on sweet potatoes – four large ones for a dollar!

I roasted two of them on Saturday morning for a carrot bread baking experiment. The orginial recipe called for bananas, but I felt that the banana flavor would be overpowering, so I used pureed sweet potatoes instead. The sweet potatoes, along with some pureed dates, added a subtle sweetness to the carrot bread, which turned out to be super yummy.

The bread was slightly underbaked (oops!), but I actually didn’t mind the slightly gooey center. The boyfriend was not a fan though, so I toasted slices of the bread on a pan over low heat for a few minutes. This was the best decision EVER. The toasted carrot bread slices were out of this world!!

I definitely ate way more than I should have, but at least this bread is healthy! Made with whole wheat flour, no added sugar, and two veggies (both great sources of vitamin A)! Just don’t mind the stick of butter in the ingredients list. 🙂

Sweet Potato Carrot Bread

Source: adapted from 101 Cookbooks

Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup pitted dates, finely chopped into a paste (I used my food processor)
  • 1 1/2 cups grated carrots
  • 1 1/4 cup sweet potato puree
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan and line it with parchment paper.

2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.

3. Stir dates into melted butter, breaking up the dates pieces.

4. In a large bowl, combine grated carrots and sweet potato puree. Stir in date/butter mixture, breaking up any date clumps. Whisk in yogurt and eggs. Add the flour mixture and stir until just combined.

5. Scrape batter into prepared pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean.

14 Comments

Filed under Bread, Breakfast, Dessert

Honey Oatmeal Bread

This weekend was full of bread baking. While I love bread (carbs!!), I’ve only made my own a handful of times. Probably because it can be pretty time-consuming, and most yeast breads aren’t dessert-like enough for me. I’d much rather bake (and eat) cookies or cake or muffins or quick bread. 🙂

Also, I haven’t had too much success with bread-baking in the past. Last summer, I attempted to make whole wheat bread a few times, and while tasty, the loaves were always too dry, too dense, too crumbly, etc. But this weekend, all three kinds of bread that I made turned out so well!

The favorite among my suitemates was the honey oatmeal bread, which smelled heavenly as it was baking. It definitely looked the prettiest out of the three loaves, and it sliced beautifully. Some of my  homemade breads have been rather hideous-looking, so I was super excited about how this loaf turned out!

Sadly, I couldn’t taste the bread for myself, since I’ve commited to eliminate all added sugars from my diet during  Lent. Ahra and Deborah have been raving about it nonstop though, so I’m DYING to try it. I’ll have to bake a whole loaf for myself when I can eat sugar again!

Honey Oat Bread

Source: adapted from allrecipes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons rolled oats, divided
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons (1 .25 ounce package) active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 4 cups bread flour (plus more, if needed)

Directions

1. In a large bowl, combine boiling water, 1 cup rolled oats, honey, butter, and salt. Let stand for 1 hour.

2. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until foamy, about 5-10 minutes.

3. Pour yeast mixture into oat mixture. Add 2 cups bread flour, and mix well with wooden spoon. Stir in remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition until dough has pulled together.

4. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 20 minutes. If dough is too sticky, add more bread flour, 1/4 cup at a time. (I added about 1/2 cup more bread flour).

5. Place dough in a lightly greased large bowl and turn to coat. Cover bowl with a damp cloth and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

6. Punch down dough and turn onto lightly floured surface. Divide dough into two equal pieces and form into loaves. Place loaves into two lightly greased 9×5 inch loaf pans. Cover loaves with a damp cloth and let rise until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes.

7. While loaves are rising, preheat oven to 375 degrees F. After loaves are doubled in volume, sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of rolled oats, and bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, until top is golden brown. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and place on wire rack to cool completely.

11 Comments

Filed under Bread

Carrot Pineapple Bread

Sometimes the smallest, simplest are the things that make me smile the most! 🙂

Things I’m loving right now:

Drinking tea in my adorable travel mug from dearest Angelina. 🙂

Dark chocolate pearls from Deborah! 🙂

Blueberry milk after a workout. 🙂 So sad that we ran out of frozen blueberries yesterday!

My mom’s homemade concord grape jam. 🙂 SO yummy on PB&J!

Sniffing my Danish Butter Cookie candle. 🙂 It smells good enough to eat!

Carrots! 🙂 I know some people would think I was crazy if I told them that eating a vegetable made me happy, but it’s true! They’re naturally sweet, crunchy, and bright orange. What’s not to love? And the best thing of all? You can bake with them! 🙂

As a child, I thought carrot cake was gross, but now I loveeee it! I REALLY wanted some carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, but I went with this healthy(er) carrot bread instead. Even after I health-ified the recipe, the carrot bread tasted just like cake! 🙂

And just because I can’t ever get enough of carrots, I made carrot pineapple oatmeal this morning, which was inspired by Kath Eats Real Food. I felt like I was eating dessert for breakfast. 🙂 Yum!

Sorry for the smiley face overload! Food just makes me happy. 🙂

Carrot Pineapple Bread

Source: adapted from Sugar Duchess, originally from Taste of Home Baking Book

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • half an 8-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 8×4 inch loaf pan.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.

3. In a separate bowl, lightly beat the egg and egg white. Add carrots, oil, pineapple, and vanilla. Mix thoroughly.

4. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir until just combined. The batter will be very thick. Fold in pecans.

5. Scrape batter into prepared loaf pan and bake in preheated oven for 50-60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center of loaf comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack, then remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack.

14 Comments

Filed under Bread, Breakfast, Dessert