Sweet Corn Bread

cornbread9

Ok. So I know corn bread is not the MOST exciting thing in life, but it is if you find a good recipe for it. When I was at my sister-in-laws for a family gathering, she had made THIS corn bread.

Now, I’m a little picky when it comes to corn bread. For the most part, I’m a simple girl. I don’t ask for much in life (well, actually, it depends on the day), but I do ask that if you make me corn bread, do make it moist and a little sweet. This recipe that my sister-in-law uses does stand up to the plate (or is it on the plate), and delivers.

Let’s begin, shall we.

 

cornbread1

 

This isn’t a hard recipe at all. Just take all your dry ingredients and mix. Flour, salt, sugar and cornmeal. With this recipe, you definitely need the cornmeal. It’s not one of those items that you can say “it should be fine without it.” Trust me. Don’t do it. Go get some cornmeal if you don’t have any. Come borrow some from me if you like.

I digress.

 

cornbread2

 

Some recipes have you mix your wet ingredients first in a separate container, and then add to your dry mix, but we don’t have time or the dishes for that around here. After my dry ingredients are mixed, I add my wet ingredients and combine them all in the same bowl. My Tongan side doesn’t see how two separate containers is going to make the difference. It probably does, but I haven’t noticed.

I digress again.

 

Pour your batter into a greased 9×13 inch pan and bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. While that’s baking, whip up some good chili for your kids and hubby. It complements the corn bread ; )

 

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This corn bread is so good, it should almost be a dessert.

Happy Eating!!

 

Sweet Corn Bread

1 1/2 cups flour                                           2/3 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup corn meal                                      1 Tbsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt                                                   1 1/4 cups milk

2 large eggs                                                  1/3 cup vegetable oil

3 Tbsp butter or margarine (melted)

Mix all your dry ingredients first and then add in your wet ingredients and combine.

Get your oven nice and hot to 350 degrees. Pour your batter into an 8×8 inch baking pan. I usually double mine to fit a 9×13 inch pan and bake for the same amount of time, 35 minutes.

Orange-Raisin Brunch Bread

I love foods that are specifically for holidays. Easter is coming up and I wanted to do something special. So I made some bread. This bread was for Easter. Easter brunch to be exact. This year, my family is not doing brunch. They’re doing lunch instead. I’m still going to bring the bread. I’m sure it will go with whatever else everyone is bringing. I’m an Easter rebel. What can I say?

Now usually, I go step by step with you explaining how to do a recipe. When I began making the bread, I realized that my battery for my camera wasn’t fully charged. Don’t be like me. This is where I was at when my camera was charged enough to use. Instead of throwing in the towel, I decided to still share the recipe. I hope that’s okay with you.

I adapted this recipe from Better Homes and Garden’s special money saving issue. Making this bread was not difficult. It did take some time though. Mainly from waiting in between the rising and rolling and baking. You know. The usual bread making stuff. But it turned out so pretty.

I had to put it on a pedestal to make it look even prettier. See. And with the orange zest fragrance, and raisins throughout, this was definitely a bread meant for Spring. I know, I sound so cheesy. LOL!

It was quite tasty as well. A little butter, a little marmalade, and oh my Gorgonzola, it was hard to only have just one slice. Which leads me to my current problem for Sunday brunch (clearing throat), I mean lunch. The bread. Or lack thereof. Excuse me while I go make more.

While I make more bread, you can find the recipe below to try. It will go great with any Easter meal.

 

ORANGE-RAISIN BRUNCH BREAD

Difficulty: takes some patience                            Cooking Time: 30 minutes                       Prep Time: 2 hours                        Servings: 10 slices

Ingredients

2 3/4  to 3 1/3 cups flour                           1 package yeast

1/2 cup butter                                              1/4 cup milk, plus more to brush bread

2 Tbsp sugar                                                 1/2 tsp salt

2 eggs                                                            1 Tbsp finely shredded orange peel

3/4 cup raisins

 

First you’re going to make you’re yeast mixture by putting together only 1 1/2 cups of flour with yeast. Leave that on the side for now. In another bowl, throw together your butter, milk, 1/4 cup water, sugar and salt in a heated sauce pan. Mix together over medium high heat, until it’s warm and your butter is melted. Grab you flour-yeast mixture out, and add in your butter mixture, eggs, and grated orange peel. Mix it together until it’s really combined. Grab your raisins and add them in, along with as much flour as you can add that you have left over. Be gentle now and knead your dough for about 3 to 5 minutes, then let it rest. Put a film of plastic wrap over the surface, find it warm spot and let it sit for about an hour. This is where you take a 3 mile run, you know, to prep for all those carbs you’ll eat later.

After it has risen and doubled up in size, use your aggression now and punch it down. Don’t make it cry though. Let it take a break for 5 minutes. Now if you’re into hair and stuff, this part should be fun. Divide your dough into three equal parts, rolling each section into a long roll. About 24 inches long should be good. Then take each roll and braid it together. Form your braid into a circle, connecting the two ends, and let it rise again for about 45 more minutes. Once it’s risen, brush some milk on the top, place it on a greased baking sheet and bake in the oven @ 350 degrees for 30 minutes. The original recipe I adapted this from suggesting putting a rolled up ball of foil and place it in the middle of your ring to help keep it’s shape. I followed that suggestion and my bread came out quite circular. Once it’s cooled, bust out the butter and jam. Heck, you don’t even have to wait till it cools. I didn’t.

 

 

 

Homemade Bread

Here’s the recipe for the homemade bread that Facebook made me make. Because I made homemade bread, I had to get out the butter and slather it on a slice. Because I had a slice of bread with butter on it, I had to have some hot chocolate to drink and dip it in . . . that’s right. You read correctly. I dip my bread and butter in my hot chocolate. It’s a cultural thing I’ll explain later.

I was first introduced to this recipe at a church function by Sister Donette Tew. We womenfolk were learning to be self-reliant by making our own bread. Did you know that it only costs 61 cents to make a loaf of bread? When I heard that, I vowed right then there that I would be making homemade bread from now on and save my family thousands of dollars. When my family of 7 ate three loaves of bread in one afternoon, I decided we’ll just use coupons to buy our bread.

With that said, I do make this bread once in while.

Let’s start with the basics. Warm water, sugar and yeast. Mix them all together and let it proof for about 10 minutes.

Proofing done!

Once you have your proofed yeast mixture, we’re going to add some salt and only 3 cups of flour at this time. Don’t worry, there will be more to come.

Get a big spoon, or fork, or whatever is handy and stir it up until you have a good dough-y mixture.

So this is what your mixture will look like.

Next stage,  we throw in one egg, oil, and three more cups of flour. Mix these all together and pretty soon it will start to take the shape of a doughy blob. Use your hands to knead just a little. You don’t want to man-handle it too much and make the dough tough. Your going to have to play this part by ear. Not with your ear, but by your ear. If your dough is too sticky, don’t be afraid to add a little more flour.

Let your dough sit in nice warm place, free from any crazy breezes, and let it rise. It will take about 30 to 45 minutes to double in size.

Once they’ve risen, cut your dough into even thirds. Take each portion and shape it into an oblong shape, you know to fit in your bread pan.

Before you place your dough in the bread pan, just make sure you’ve sprayed each pan with pam. Or you could grease it the old fashioned way. Place your dough in each bread pan and let it sit and rise so more. Go fold laundry or catch up with the latest episode of Vampire Diaries or whatever TV show you’re into.

When the dough is done rising, they will look just like they do in the photo above. Be careful not to let it over-rise. I’ve done that a few times. The dough just gets out of control and then just looks like a blob of bread, instead of something you find at Grandma’s house.

Put your dough in the oven and let it cook between 25 and 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Voila! Home made bread. Your house will smell so good! You’re kids, as well as yourself will be cutting a slice before the bread even has a chance to cool. This bread may only cost 61 cents to make, but with the amount of bodies I am legally responsible to feed, the number of breads I’d have to make would probably equal to the amount I already buy at the store.

That’s ok. At least when I do make it, it’s considered a treat and is very appreciated.

 

HOMEMADE BREAD

Difficulty: somewhat easy                    Prep Time: 1 hour 45 minutes                  Cook Time: 25-30 minutes             Servings: 3 loaves of bread

Ingredients

2 cups warm water                                              2 Tbsp yeast

1/2 cup sugar                                                        2 1/2 tsp salt

6 cups white flour                                                1 egg

1/4 cup oil

 

Mix together the warm water, yeast and sugar in a bowl. Once they’re combined, let the mixture sit and proof for 10 minutes. Once that is done, add your salt and only 3 cups of flour at this point and mix well. The dough will be sticky.  Add in your egg, oil and the rest of your flour. Stir it together. When it’s mixed, use your hands to continue mixing until it begins to take on dough form. Place it in a bowl and let it rest for 30 to 45 minutes. Once it’s risen, cut the dough into thirds, shaping them into oblong shapes. Place each dough into a greased bread pan and let it rise for another 30 to 45 minutes. Once your dough has doubled in size, pop them in the oven at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. Your house will smell yummy and your bread will start to look a nice golden brown.

When it’s done, have your butter and hot chocolate on standby. It’s a Tongan thing.

Banana Bread – A Classic

Banana bread is just a classic crowd pleaser. This recipe that I have been using for years never fails me. The banana bread always turns out so moist and yummy. It’s always hard to eat only one slice.  Throw in some chocolate chips and it’s over the top. Do you see my dilemma with losing weight? My solution to this problem is to just give it away. That is, if you have the strength to part with it. I never do. What’s great about this recipe is that the ingredients are usually stuff you have around: FLOUR, SUGAR, BAKING SODA, SALT, CINNAMON, EGGS, OIL AND BANANAS.

Start with the flour.

A little baking soda.

Add in some cinnamon. I love the smell. I’m already deciding right now that I can’t part with it.

Put in a little salt.

Add some sugar into the mixing bowl. If you do this recipe while you’re sleep deprived like I did, you end up making messes. This is what you should NOT do.

This is what you SHOULD do with the sugar.

Mix those dry ingredients well.

Next you pour in some oil. I know, it looks like a lot of oil and it is. That’s what gives it it’s moistness. Just close your eyes and pour, and maybe it won’t seem as bad.

Pour in a little vanilla. More yummy flavor.

Three eggs. Just keep your eyes closed I said.

These are my bananas in the ziplock bag. My banana tree that I have is a little different than most. They grow prepackaged mash bananas ready to cook with. Just kidding. When my bananas get to that overripe stage, I mush them up, throw them in a ziplock bag and freeze them. I once was given a case of probably 100 bananas (true story). My 7 y.o. and I got to work. We peeled them, mashed them and bagged them in 3 cup measurements. I had 11 bags of mashed bananas in my freezer – that’s 33 cups of bananas. It took us 1 year to use them all. Anyway, just defrost your bananas (if you do decide to store your bananas this way, they will be very liquidy), or mash about 2 cups worth and throw them in the bowl to mix.

It’s ready to go for a spin.

Look at ‘em go.

I happened to have chocolate chips and just had to have it in my banana bread. It’s just yummier that way. I have some people in my family that don’t like chocolate chips in their bread. Me, well I like living on the edge. I coat the chips in a little flour. Keeps them afloat so to speak. Without it, they tend to sink straight to the bottom.

Dump them in.

Pour into two prepared bread pans and bake. They take a while to bake, so I usually do laundry, check my email, vacuum the floor or all of the above.

So good!! Now, how can you depart with that? It’s almost impossible. You do need to think of your family. You don’t want them to starve. For that reason, you shouldn’t share.

Here’s a closer look in case you’re not convinced. Actually, it’s so yummy that you have to share this goodness. Your neighbors will appreciate it and volunteer to clean your yard for you.

 

BANANA BREAD

Difficulty: Easy-Peasy                          Prep Time: 15 mins.                        Cook Time: 50 – 60 mins.

Servings: Makes 2 loaves

2 cups flour                                                      1 cup vegetable oil

2 tsp baking soda                                            1 tsp vanilla

2 tsp cinnamon                                                2 cups mashed bananas

1/2 tsp salt                                                        3 eggs

1 1/2 cups sugar                                              1 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Mix together the dry ingredients first. Throw in the wet ingredients and combine. If you want to add chocolate chips, this is where you throw those in and mix the batter well. Divide the batter into two, pouring them into two prepared 4 x 8″ loaf pans. Have your oven turned onto 350 degrees F. Let them bake for 50 to 60 minutes. When you stick a knife in it and it comes out clean, the bread is done. If you can control yourself, let it cool before eating, uh, I meant sharing. Right, sharing ; )