Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Little Mice

On Saturday, I found myself with a few hours to kill, quite unexpectedly. Our friends had planned to come over for dinner, but she was feeling ill at the last moment and they canceled. Of course we missed them!

Since the I had some bananas that had turned the corner, I made some banana nut bread. I used a very simple recipe, which I can't recall where it came from. :| I also made a batch of bread. Oh, this bread is so good! It's the honey, I am convinced.

Aren't they pretty there, all lined up and perfect? And the smell! My goodness, it makes me want to dig right in. Oh, but they're so perfect! I couldn't bring myself to cut into any one of the loaves.

Then I got to the other side. Some little mice did not feel quite as strongly as I did about the untouchable perfection of our little loaves. And, well, since they had already started the job, who am I to stand on ceremony?

Pretty generic banana bread recipe, but I'll share it here because it was moist and yummy and it was the first banana bread I've made in a while that I didn't get a maw full of baking soda for some reason. The hell? And really, even though it's pretty close to every other banana bread recipe I've seen, I do wish I could credit the person....Sor-rreeee!

2 c flour

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

½ c oil

1 c sugar

2 eggs, beaten

4 ripe bananas, mashed

½ tsp vanilla extract

2 T milk

walnuts (the original recipe didn't call for them, but, hello, who makes banana bread without walnuts?)

Preheat oven to 350° F. Stir flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in one bowl. Combine oil and sugar in another bowl; beat in eggs, banana, vanilla, and milk. Add flour mixture and throw in a bunch of walnuts, beat on medium for a minute. I didn't even chop the walnuts or anything, because I figured the mixer would break them down. It worked out. Pour into greased loaf pan (I spray with cooking spray) and bake 1 hour and 15 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes and transfer to wire rack.

Here is the bread recipe. I've never used a bread machine, but my mom always did until I showed her how to make this bread. She gave the bread machine to my brother. Need I say more? This recipe, I do remember, came from Beauty That Moves. But she's a lovely crunchy hippie from...back east somewhere, I believe, like Vermont or Maine?..so she uses ingredients like 'wheat germ' and 'agave'. So I'm writing it the way I do it, but I'm 100% certain her way is even better, if you're feeling that way inclined.

2 cups warm water (I throw the glass measuring cup in the microwave for 1 minute 40 and it's perfectly warm)
1/2 cup honey
1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup light vegetable oil
4 cups all purpose white flour
2 cups whole wheat bread flour

(I am just as likely to use 6 cups of white flour, which is what you see in the picture above, but it's just wonderful both ways.)

1. Pour the warm water, the yeast, and the honey into a bowl. Proof 10 minutes. (I'm nutty, and I like to whisk it all together to dissolve the honey a bit. I did it once for some reason, and because I'm such a novice baker, I've never been able to completely convince myself that it's not an integral part of the process. OCD much?)

2. Add salt and oil into the yeast mixture. Pour this into a large bowl with all the flour. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Place in well oiled bowl, turning the dough so it's covered in oil. Cover the bowl with a warm, damp cloth. Allow to rise for one hour. Unless I'm already cooking something else, I always put my oven on the lowest temp (for me that's 135 degrees f) and pop the bowl in there for rising. Our house can be quite cool on it's own, and this gives me the best rise.

3. Punch dough down. Knead for a few minutes, and divide in half. Shape into loaves and place into two well oiled 9x5 loaf pans. Allow to rise for 30 minutes.

4. Bake in a 350F oven for 25 minutes. When you thump the top of the bread it should sound hollow. After I pull it from the oven, I let it cool for a few minutes and then I remove it from the pan and let it cool on a wire rack.

These recipes come with a Little Mice guarantee!


  1. Yo Susie Homemaker,
    Where's my sample?!

  2. Ha! You've got to be faster than that, Sally! But I promise to get some more made for your visit. Is Christine as handy with a shovel as you are?? :P