Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Bread Recipes

I spent the summer after Brendon and I got married in California with him.  {Most people would assume that after getting married it is obvious that we'd live together, but we are a military family, so we've spent our fair share of time living apart.} Back to the story--- I was a new bride, staying home during the day, without a car, and lived across the continent from my friends and family. But, I was within walking distance of the grocery store. So each day, while Brendon was a work, I'd walk to Safeway and buy the ingredients for dinner.   I cooked lots of meals and not very many were worth making again. 

Even after making all those failed dinners, I wasn't going to give up on cooking altogether. I mean, we had to eat! Brendon choked down my oddly flavored, mis-cooked meals everyday.  Finally, I decided that I'd stick to easier meals and try a new angle of cooking... baking.  I might not be able to make a good dinner, but maybe I could make breakfast! 

Plus, I'd just received a brand new KitchenAid mixer as a wedding gift. And, I wasn't about to let it go to waste! So, I walked to the grocery store and bought all the ingredients to make a banana bread recipe that I'd found online.  Brendon came home from work (probably expecting to find dinner burning cooking on the stove, but instead he found a beautiful loaf of banana bread sitting on the cooling rack. I still remember the look on his face and what he said, "It looks like real bread!" 

I'd finally found something I was good at making! So, I tried tons of recipes until I found the best ones and then I added a little extra to fit our preferences.  My sister laughed at me because every time she'd call and ask what I was up to, I'd say "Baking Bread!" 

We fell in love with two recipes that summer, banana bread and pumpkin bread.  Lucky for you, I'll share the recipes! 

Banana Bread


1 1/3 Cups All Purpose Flour
¾ Teaspoon Salt
½ Teaspoon Baking Soda
¼ Teaspoon Baking Powder
5  Tablespoon Unsalted Butter
¾ Cup of Sugar
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
2 Large Eggs
3 Mashed Bananas
3/4 Cup Chopped Walnuts


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk together in a small bowl:
            1 1/3 cups flour
            ¾ teaspoon salt
            ½ teaspoon baking soda
            ¼ teaspoon baking powder

In the mixing bowl, beat on high speed:
            5 Tablespoons Butter
            ¾ cup Sugar
            1 Teaspoon Cinnamon

Beat in flour mixture until blended to the consistence of brown sugar.

Beat in 2 large eggs. (Crack in a small bowl and whisk together before adding to the batter)

Use a fork to cut and mash bananas. Then, quickly blend it into the mixture... less than 30 seconds. 

Blend in 3/4 cup of chopped walnuts. (Optional)

Scrape the batter into a (greased and floured) bread pan. Spread evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 50 –60 minutes.

Let cool in bread pan for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on the rack.

Pumpkin Bread


1 ½ Cups All Purpose Flour
1 ½ Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
½ Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
¼ Teaspoon Ground Cloves
¼ Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/3 Cup Milk
½ Teaspoon Vanilla
6 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
1 cup Sugar
1 cup Packed Brown Sugar
2 Large Eggs
1 Cup Pumpkin Puree

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Whisk together:
            1 ½ cups flour
            1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
            1 teaspoon baking soda
            1 teaspoon salt
            1 teaspoon ground ginger
            ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
            ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
            ¼ teaspoon baking powder

Combine in another bowl:
            1/3 cup water or milk
            ½ teaspoon vanilla

In the mixing bowl, beat until creamy:
            6 Tablespoons unsalted butter

Add and beat on high speed:
            1 cup sugar
            1 cup brown sugar

Beat in 2 large eggs. (Crack in a small bowl and whisk together before adding to the batter)

Add 1 cup pumpkin puree and beat on low speed just until blended:

Add the flour mixture in small parts, alternating with the milk mixture.

Scrape the batter into the (greased and floured) pan and spread evenly. Bake 1 hour, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Finish cooling on a rack. Store in a sealed container. Best after several hours in container. 


  1. I swear I remember blueberries in the mix somewhere too!

  2. Alicia, thanks for proving my point~ I made TONS of bread that summer! The blueberry bread is good, but a little tricky so I didn't include the recipe. If you mix it too long it ends up being a runny mess.

  3. I can smell the fresh bread all the way over here! :) I think I might just have to make some tomorrow now that my mouth is watering! And by the way, I am super jealous of your clear mixing bowl! :)