Peach Pecan Bread

Hey all– I just can’t resist picking over the piles of peaches and nectarines every time I hit the market.  It’s one of the best parts of August (compensation for the heat??!).  We’ve been eating them every day.

Here’s a little loaf I baked, for friends who came to brunch this week.  And I found it it’s even yummier toasted in the toaster oven the next day–sweet and peachy ad crunchy around the edges!

1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
2 large peaches, peeled, pitted, cut to chunks
2/3 cups sugar
1/4 cup whole milk (or half & half)
1/4 cup canola oil
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 to 2 tab. whole milk or half & half

Peel and cut up the peaches.  Set aside.  Chop the pecans.  Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, stir together the sugar, milk, oil and eggs.  Then mix in the flour, salt and baking powder.  The batter will be a bit dry.  Then fold in the peaches and pecans until it is thoroughly blended.

Spoon the batter into a standard 9″x5″ loaf pan (or I used two smaller half size pans).  Pop them into a 350 degree oven for 50 to 60 minutes, until a sharp knife inserted comes out clean.

Let the bread cool 20 minutes (or more) and the whisk together the powdered sugar and milk for the glaze, and drizzle it over the bread.  Slice & eat!!


Sour Cream Coconut Banana Bread

IMG_6601Hi all–  I bought bananas.  Went to the store later in the week and bought bananas again, not even thinking.  So many bananas!  There was only one thing to do.  Banana bread.  My favorite form of eating bananas.  This one adds some coconut and a jolly cup of walnuts.  And my favorite part is the coconut on top that gets browned and crunchy–perfect.   Oh, and the super moist banana flavor inside.  I think you’ll love seeing it sit on your kitchen counter, ready to be eaten, too!

3 ripe medium bananas
2 eggs
3/4 cup sour cream
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla
1 3/4 cups flour
1 3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup walnuts chopped
1/2 cup coconut, plus more for sprinkling on top of the loaf.

Smoosh the bananas in the bottom of a mixing bowl with a fork until they are creamy.  Then mix in the eggs, sour cream, sugar, oil and vanilla.  Add the flour, baking powder and salt and mix it all up just until it’s completely blended.  Finally fold in the chopped nuts and 1/2 cup coconut.

Spoon the mixture into a standard loaf pan sprayed with cooking spray.  Top it with a healthy sprinkling of coconut and pop it into the oven at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes until the coconut is nicely browned and the bread is firm to the touch.  Enjoy!

Crusty Bread

IMG_8527Hello friends– The years we lived in Spain, I learned to love bread.  Not making it.  Eating it.  Those first years we lived in Andalusia, where each pueblo made their own unique style of bread. It was sturdy “mostachones” in our country pueblo of Utrera.  Then we moved into Seville.  There were 3 small grocers across from our apartment.  They received hot bread deliveries, morning, afternoon and evening.  It was bread heaven.

So I was excited today when this happy loaf came out of my oven– super crusty on the outside, softy and chewy in the center.  Just right with a steaming pot of soup.  And- it makes your house smell bakery good while it’s cooking!  I’m not a big bread baker, but this is so easy I’m sure I’ll make it again…

3 cups unbleached flour
1 3/4 tsp. salt
1 package of yeast (a scant tablespoon)
1 1/2 cups warm water*

In a big mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt and yeast.  Stir in the warm water until it makes a shaggy blob of dough.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set it in a warm place 12 to 18 hours (overnight is great).  That takes just 5 minutes!

IMG_8532Then, the next day,  heat the oven to 450 degrees (!)– When it’s hot, put an empty dutch oven (cast iron pot)  into the hot oven and let it heat up for 30 minutes.  While the oven is heating up, take the sticky dough out of the mixing bowl (a little flour on your hands may help) and wrap it in the piece of plastic wrap.  When the dutch oven has been heated 30 minutes, take it out of the oven and spray with cooking spray.  Then dump the bread dough into the pot and cover it with the lid.  Put it back into the 450 degree oven for 30 minutes.  Take off the lid and cook 15 minutes more.  Remove the bread carefully from the hot pan and let it cool on a cooling rack.

I baked it while Larry was off getting a hair cut.  I truly was going to wait and cut into it when he came home, but it smelled so good I couldn’t stop myself from sawing off a warm slab of bread.  Slathered with butter and orange marmalade– perfect!

*used water at the same temperature you’d use for a baby’s bath– not too hot!


Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Hello you all–  Here’s a recipe just like grandma used to make (almost).  She didn’t know the part about the mini chocolate chips.  But this is a moist, sweet, spongy treat–thanks to Grandma.

It’s a 4 generation favorite stand by.  Now Ani makes it.  When she gave some to a workman who was installing floors at her old apartment, he said that is was better than his wife’s banana bread, could he have the recipe?  Now that’s a recommendation!

2 smashed bananas
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1  1/4 cup flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips*

Smash those bananas and then stir in the oil, sugar and eggs.  Next mix in the flour, baking powder and salt.  Then add the walnuts and chocolate chips.  Spoon it into a 9″ square or round pan — or two smallish loaf pans sprayed with Pam.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes.

*Use the mini size chocolate chips.  The big ones will sink to the bottom of the pan and burn.  I know this from sad experience.

This is so delicious hot from the oven– or toasted till crispy around the edges the next day.  Hope you like it!