I am starting a new series of posts every Monday containing recipes I enjoy and have mentioned in previous postings. This first one involves a book I acquired, The Best Bread Machine Cookbook Ever by Madge Rosenberg, and a recipe I have enjoyed since I purchased the book in a used bookstore. My quest started with some overripe bananas and seeking a way to use them. I found the recipe in this cookbook (page 47) and thought I would try it. I generally make a 1-pound loaf so the recipe reflects this. For a 1.5-pound loaf, I put the quantities in parantheses next to item name.
1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (2 tsp)
2 cups bread flour (3 c)
2 tablespoons wheat germ (3 T)
2 tablespoons powdered milk (3 T)
1 tablespoon sugar (1.5 tsp)
1 teaspoon salt (1.5 tsp)
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg (3/4 tsp)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil (1.5 T)
3/4 cup mashed ripe banana (1 c + 2 T)
1/2 cup sour cream or plain yogurt (3/4 c)
1/4 cup water (1/4 c + 1 tsp)
1/2 cup raisins or chopped nuts--optional (3/4 c)
1. I generally omit the water unless the dough needs it. Once kneaded, the dough should be slightly tacky. Too tacky--add more flour. Not tacky--add some water. My dough tends to be more wet so I preemptively add an additional 1/2 cup bread flour.
2. I have made the bread with chopped walnuts with great results.
3. I substitute 2 tablespoons of whole wheat flour for wheat germ as I do not have the latter.
4. I have used both overripe bananas at room temperature and thawed frozen bananas. The latter have a lot of excess liquid and generally require more flour. The recipe requires at least a banana and a half to reach 3/4 cup.
1. Add all the ingredients except the optional raisins or nuts in the order suggested by your bread machine manual and process on the basic bread cycle according to the manufacturer's directions.
Frugal pursuit's usage notes: I have made this bread in a Toastmaster Bread Box bread machine model #TBR2, which bakes a horizontal loaf. My directions suggest adding the liquid ingredients first followed by the dry ingredients. I choose to bake the bread with a light crust on Basic program 1 so the cycle time is 2 hours 50 minutes.
2. At the beeper (or at the end of the first kneading in the Panasonic or National), add the raisins or nuts.
The finished product, once cooled, is placed in a reused plastic hot dog or hamburger bun bag. I find that standard bread bags are too small for the bread-maker loaves but have had good luck getting the 1-pound loaves in bun bags or 1-gallon-sized zip-sealed bags. If the loaf is too big for the bag, cutting the bread in half generally solves the issue. My mom keeps bun bags for me and I get a fresh infusion every month or so. Since I do not always finish bread I bake before mold appears, I can throw away the reused bags with few qualms after depositing the moldy bread into the composter.
I usually toast two slices of the Bananas and Cream Bread, butter them fresh from the toaster and sprinkle a mix of cinnamon and sugar on the melted butter. With a glass of milk, I have a very satisfying breakfast. Generally, one loaf lasts me at least five days depending on how thick my slices are. This is one loaf of bread I have never let reach the moldy point and I even eat the bread heels! It bakes up fairly dense and does not generate as many crumbs as other breads I have made.