Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Random Recipe Wednesday: Banana-Raisin Brown Bread

Once again I fell for a deal.  I really need to stop checking the kitchen section of the thrift store every time I get groceries.  But they're right next to each other and you just never know what someone might get rid of.  I've always got my eye out for All-Clad pans, vintage Pyrex bowls, cute props and cookbooks.  Thankfully I don't find what I'm looking for most of the time.  This time, however, I couldn't pass up these shimmering measuring spoons and a miniature ceramic loaf pan.  I literally stood there for 5 minutes trying to decide if I was really going to buy them.  Then I walked around another 10 minutes hoping to change my mind.  As you can see that strategy didn't work.

I'm also guilty of buying things and then not using them.  So to make sure that didn't happen I decided to put my purchases to use right away.  Enter this bread.  In college my favorite class was our basic food science preparation lab.  Working alone or in pairs we made small batches of everything from salsa to steak to doughnuts.  Students put their finished products up front for tasting as we discussed the principles at work in our food.  Baking days were always my favorite, especially the unit on bread.  I've been meaning to make this quick brown bread again for quite some time.

That impulsively purchased mini loaf pan is just the right size for our scaled-down lab recipes.  This dense quick loaf is similar to Boston brown bread but without the steaming.  Whole wheat flour and cornmeal provide a hearty texture.  Raisins and rich molasses lend sweetness along with the nontraditional addition of mashed banana.  We used buttermilk in lab but I decided to go with plain yogurt this time around.  I might have to dig out some more small batch recipes to put these props to use.  But if you see me gawking in the kitchen section please catch me before I fall for a deal.

Banana-Raisin Brown Bread
adapted from Iowa State University, FSHN 214 Lab Manual

1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup mashed banana
3 Tbsp molasses
1/4 cup plain yogurt (or buttermilk)

* Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 3-x-5-x-2-inch loaf pan (or slightly larger, pan should hold approximately 2 cups).
* In a medium bowl combine flour, cornmeal, baking soda, salt and raisins.  In a small bowl combine mashed banana, molasses and yogurt.  Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients just until moistened.  Spread batter into prepared pan and bake 38-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean.  Remove from pan and let cool on wire rack.

Food for Thought: "Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it." -Mahatma Gandhi 

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