Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Channeling inspiration from my mom

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Bailey Woodean
I have been a freelance writer for more than 4 years, a mom for more than 2 years, and a wife for just under a year. I am currently a student in a cooking and catering program with the intention of expanding my knowledge of the culinary business. I then plan to take this knowledge to properly write about and critique restaurants and food. Writing to you from Niagara Falls, NY, thanks for joining me on the ride!
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Recipes from my mom, to my childhood, to my family, and now to you!

My mom is not gone, (thank the higher power) and I shudder at the thought of the day that I have to live in a world without her in it. But, for now, I still have her and I will always have her recipes! Two of my favorites happen to be bread recipes which seem completely appropriate this time of year!

My Mama’s Banana Bread recipe 

  • ⅓ cup shortening (Crisco)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ¾ cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (3-4)
  • ½ cup chocolate chips (optional, my addition)
bananas

Begin by creaming the shortening and sugar together. Once combined, add in the eggs and beat ingredients together, well. Add in dry ingredients to creamed mixture alternately with the mashed banana. Blend together well after each addition. Once completely combined, pour the batter into a well-greased  9x5x3” loaf pan. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick is poked into the center-top of the loaf and comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan before removing it. Wrap and store. 

My Mama’s Zucchini Bread recipe

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • ½ cup chopped nuts (optional)
  • ½ cup chocolate chips (optional, my addition)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour the bottom of two 8×4 or 9×5 pans. Blend all of the ingredients together with the exception of the nuts, chips, and zucchini. Blend until moistened, about one minute. Stir in nuts, chips, and zucchini by hand into the mixture. Pour the entire mixture into the two pans and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick is poked into the center-top of the loaf and comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan before removing it. Wrap and store.

Notes:
bread

If you are using frozen zucchini, thaw it in a bowl, saving the juice. Squeeze most of the juice out of it and add the juice when you combine the first set of ingredients. Then stir in the nuts, chips, and zucchini by hand. Zucchini shreds will get tangled in a mixer. 

Friendship bread

Friendship bread is not a recipe my mom created but, it is a holiday tradition in my family. 

Amish Friendship Bread + Starter (thanks to www.crazyforcrust.com)  

Channeling inspiration from my mom
Ingredients

Starter

  • 1 package 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water 110°F
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk I used non-fat

Feedings (2)

  • 2 cups granulated sugar divided
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour divided
  • 2 cups milk divided (non-fat okay)

For the bread:

  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon divided
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup starter
  • 2/3 cup oil
  • 1 cup + 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Optional: 1 cup of chocolate chips or chopped nuts
Instructions for making the dough

DAY 1:

  • Make your starter: Stir yeast into warm water. Let sit for 10 minutes.
  • Whisk sugar and flour in a 2 Qt container (or I’ve heard you can use a Ziploc bag, but we always used a bowl). Whisk in milk. Be sure to stir the corners – the flour will get clumpy and stuck if you’re not careful.
  • Stir the yeast mixture into the flour mixture. Cover loosely and store on the counter.

DAYS 2-4:

  • Stir the mixture once per day

DAY 5:

  • Feed the mixture: Stir 1 cup each sugar, flour, and milk into the starter.
  • Cover loosely and store on the counter.

DAYS 6-9:

  • Stir the mixture once per day

DAY 10:

  • Feed the mixture: Stir 1 cup each sugar, flour, and milk into the starter. Cover loosely and store on the counter.
  • Remove 1 cup of starter to use in the Amish Friendship Bread Recipe (see directions below). Remove 2 cups of starter and give 1 cup each to two friends, with the recipe below attached.
  • There will be 1 cup of remaining starter. You can give this to a third friend, or you can seal and freeze this 1 cup to use in the future. Or continue the cycle of friendship bread. Since you have your starter, cover loosely and store at room temperature. Start with “Day 2” directions above tomorrow (day 11) and keep it going.
Instructions for baking bread
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease two 4×8” or 9×5” loaf pans with butter or shortening. Sprinkle a bit of sugar in the pan and “sugar” it (like you would flour a pan). Alternately, spray with cooking spray, but do not sugar pans if using cooking spray. (Note: you could make one large loaf with this but it will take longer to bake and you run the risk of a dark outside and a partially baked inside.)
  2. Whisk baking soda, baking powder, salt, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and flour in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  3. Stir starter, oil, and 1 cup sugar with a wooden spoon or spatula. Stir in eggs, 1 at a time, then stir in vanilla. Gently fold in dry ingredients. Stir in chocolate chips or nuts, if using.
  4. Divide batter between two loaf pans. Mix remaining 4 teaspoons sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Sprinkle on top of loaves.
  5. Bake for 25-35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool before removing from pan.

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