I don’t even have to tell you about my love of bread, because I think it is one of those things that makes us human.
Today I am sharing three bread recipes with you that I have discovered from other bloggers, and consider some of the best I have come across. They are all delicious, of course, with accurate instructions and amazing, just-like-the-picture results. If you make these once, you’ll make them year round, and probably add them to your collection of favorites.
This Farmhouse White Sandwich Bread, from Melanie, at Gather for Bread is the perfect sandwich bread. I’ve made quite a few loaves of bread, but this is the only one that meets all my expectations for a nice PBJ or Turkey and Cheese sandwich. It’s light and fluffy, but sturdy enough to build ingredients on. It also makes wonderful toast, grilled cheese and patty melts.
I made these Steakhouse Sweet Brown Molasses Rolls, from Autumn, at It’s Always Autumn for company recently, and I had to contain my desire to twirl around my kitchen in delight. If you are a lover of the sweet brown bread some restaurants serve, then you will be as overjoyed as I was to get your hands on a recipe so good.
A tip when using yeast: Whatever liquid you add to activate the yeast should be luke-warm, but not hot. From experience I have learned that hot liquid scalds the yeast and renders it ineffective at rising your bread. The liquid coming in contact with yeast should be between 110°-115° F. When you keep in mind that your body temperature is around 98°F, then a 12-17 degree difference is going to feel small—just barely warm. Add your liquid and if your yeast produces a few bubbles after 5 minutes then your yeast has been activated.
This Banana Bread recipe is from Flour Bakery in Boston. It has been featured on both Ina Garten and Giada De Laurentis’ cooking shows, and in my opinion stands as the best banana bread I’ve ever tasted. I have made so many, and after this one, my search ended. It may not be a nutritional powerhouse of ingredients, but the fact is, when I want banana bread, I am looking for comfort food, not something that checks off dietary needs.
A tip on baking with bananas: Most recipes call for very ripe bananas, and you have probably been lead to believe that black bananas are ideal for baking, but this isn’t quite the case. There is a fine line between very ripe, and fermented. When a banana is too ripe, it has actually crossed over to being spoiled, and the banana will actually begin fermenting inside of the peel. This pungent flavor will permeate your entire recipe, and ruin your baked goods. So while some dark spots are ok, smell the banana once you have peeled it. You should be able to tell if it has begun fermenting. If so, throw it out.
Bananas freeze wonderfully, so if you don’t have time to bake before your bananas spoil, just peel them and throw them in a sealed plastic bag. I use frozen bananas for smoothies, or I thaw them for baking.