Sunday, August 5, 2012

Kristen's Cranana Bread

     Before we begin baking this delicious bread, a couple of thanks are in order.  First, thank you to my lovely husband who allows me to guest-post on his blog. Second, to The Baking Bird, the creator of the recipe on which this recipe is based; I have modified it a bit over time by adding craisins and walnuts, as well as experimenting with the ingredients in accordance with my preferred flavoring and consistency desires.

So, here it is.  Cranana bread in 10 easy steps.

3 overly ripe bananas. The grosser, the better. 
1/3 cup applesauce
1/4 cup oil
1/2 cup raw sugar
2 tbsp molasses
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice (This is its own thing, not just a mixture of spices. Not that I ever thought that.)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 c craisins
Some walnuts

Step 1: Go bananas!  

     Usually I freeze the bananas in their peels in order to ripen them more quickly and to keep any household pests out of them as they do so.  The day I make the banana bread, I take them out and allow them to thaw so I can peel them.  Running hot water over them can help.  Don't worry, these bananas really can't get much slimier, so water won't hurt. 

     Step 2: Smmmmoooosh the bananas! 
This is the fun part. 
I like to leave them a little chunky.

Step 3: Make sure to give each ingredient their close-up. 
Some people say they can't bake. 
I say some people can't pay attention to their ingredients.

Step 4: Mix the wet ingredients

Step 5: Sift the dry ingredients together and stir them slowly into the wet mixture.

Step 6: Check the consistency

     I love whole wheat flour, but sometimes it can make baked goods too thick and dry.  The batter should be thicker than cake batter but more runny than a dough intended to roll into a ball (like pizza dough).  If the batter is too thick, I find adding a tablespoon of water thins it without changing the flavor.  If it is too thin, add (slowly) more flour.  If the batter seems way too thick or way too thin, double-check your recipe and make sure you didn't miss Step 3.  Think real hard. 

Step 7: Stir in cranberries and walnuts to taste. 

     Cranberries add a nice texture and complimentary flavor to the bananas.  Be careful, though! They are very tart and too many cranberries can overpower the bread.  Don't be afraid to dip your finger in and take a taste when no one's looking.  Here's how Matthew and my conversation went:

Matthew: You know, the good thing about vegan baking is that you can eat as much batter as you want and not care about the raw eggs making you sick.  *Licks the now emptied bowl*
Me: As opposed to normal baking...where I eat as much batter as I want and don't care about the raw eggs making me sick.

After years of eating raw cookie dough and licking cake battered whisks, I'm still alive. Just sayin'. 

Step 8:  Fill a lightly greased bread pan approximately 3/4 full and bake for 45-60 minutes at 375 degrees. 

     Depending on your oven and the size of your bread pan, the length of time to cook may vary.  Just use the clean fork test.  Going by the "golden brown edges" test doesn't work when the bread is already golden brown.  

Step 9: Make more puns.
Voila! The Grand Crananyon!

Step 10: Enjoy!

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