Archive | Breads RSS feed for this section

Rustic Banana Bread (vegan)

21 Mar

Today, I had a sudden craving for banana bread. I am a strong believer in feeding cravings and not ignoring them… so… I made my way to the kitchen and made myself some banana bread! As I organized my baking canvas and began assembling the typical baking ingredients, I paused…. I thought, “no… I want to do this with as few base ingredients as possible.” … so I put away the sugar, egg, vanilla…  and began mashing the bananas.  Seriously simple is no joke for this bread… I had it in the oven in less than 5 minutes. And in 30, I was satisfying my craving!!  Vegan, sugar free, oil free, and perfectly moist… this bread is a-mazing.



Makes one loaf

  • 2 medium bananas (preferably overripe)
  • 1/2 cup apple sauce
  • 1 flax “egg” (1 tbsp flaxseed meal + 3 tbsp water)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • scant 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Mix together your flax “egg” and set aside.
  3. Mash bananas and applesauce together (should amount to about 1 cup combined).
  4. Mix together all dry ingredients plus walnuts and raisins.  Add flax “egg” and mashed banana/applesauce, mix until well combined, pour into prepared lightly greased loaf pan and sprinkle lightly with oats, sesame seeds, or sunflower seeds for looks (totally optional).  Bake for about 30 minutes (or until knife inserted comes out clean), let cool slightly before cutting – Enjoy!!!



No-Knead Roasted Garlic Olive Bread

3 Mar

One of my favorite parts of bread making is getting your hands dirty (and by dirty, I mean covered in doughy goodness).  BUT, there comes a time when you want to just mix some ingredients together with a spoon, forget about them, come back a day later and put the bowl in the oven. BAM. Bread.  This, my friend, is where no-knead bread comes in handy! Not to mention it’s delicious, and has great texture. Like most breads, make sure you think ahead… this bread needs to rest for at least 14 hours, but I let mine rest for about 20.  You can keep the bread plain and simple by not adding olives or roasted garlic, but I just love olive bread… and add roasted garlic to the mix? yum.

After it’s been resting/rising for about 15 hours (now you have to touch it for the first time.. oooooo ahhhh)

 Fresh out of the oven!

crunchy crisp crust, soft fluffy insides!


  • 3 Cups Bread Flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 Cup Kalamata Olives, pitted, drained, roughly chopped
  • 1 or 2 heads of garlic (depending how garlicky you like things)
  • Olive oil for the garlic roasting
  • 3/4 Teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 Cups cool water

Note: It really helps to have a cast iron pot (about 9″-12″ diameter, at least 10″ tall), with a lid.  …if you don’t, you can bake your loaf on a baking sheet BUT, you will need to create steam in your oven – you can do this by adding a cup of water to a baking pan and putting it on the floor of your oven, right as you put your bread in the oven.


  1. Break up the heads of garlic and peal the cloves. Toss them with olive oil in a bowl and make sure they are each thoroughly coated, then put the cloves in a baking pan and into the oven at 375 F for about 20-30 minutes, or until slightly browned (not burnt) and soft but not super mushy. Remove the garlic from the oven when done and set it aside to cool.
  2. Roughly chop the olives and make sure none of them have pits (If you’re using canned olives, drain them and lightly pat them dry first).
  3. Mix the yeast, flour and salt together in a large bowl.  Toss in the olives and garlic (make sure it’s cooled a bit), then the water and mix it all together using a large spoon (I used my hands).  After a minute or so of mixing, you should have a fairly wet but thoroughly combined dough.
  4. Leaving it in the mixing bowl, cover the bowl with a cloth or towel and let it sit at room temperature for 14-18 hours (more won’t hurt, though). After it’s sat, it should have expanded quite a bit and look a little bubbly.
  5. Now, scrape your dough out of the bowl onto a well floured surface and fold it just a few times, adding more flour to the surface if it gets sticky. Don’t fold it too much, and don’t add too much flour… you want to add just enough that you can pick it up without it sticking to your hands.
  6. Form the dough into a ball (doesn’t have to be perfect), and place it seam side down onto a large piece of parchment paper and place it back into the mixing bowl.  Cover it again, and let it sit for 2 – 6 hours to let it proof. The longer it sits, the bigger it gets! It’s allliiiiiiiveee!  The parchment paper isn’t mandatory, but I find that it helps..
  7. After your bread has been resting and proofing for at least 2 hours, preheat your oven to 500 F (yes, HOT!).  Transfer the dough to the pot, by picking up the four corners of the parchment paper and placing it in the pot (don’t worry, the paper won’t burn, and it will ensure the bread doesn’t stick in the pot).
  8. Place the pot into the oven and make sure you PLACE THE LID on the pot.  Cook with the lid on for 30 minutes, then remove the lid (be careful of escaping steam! it will burn you!) and cook for another 20 or so minutes without the lid on until the crust is a deep brown color. You can tap the bread with your fingernail to test it, it should make a hollow sound when it’s done.
  9. Lift it out of the pot by grabbing the parchment paper corners, let it cool, and then slice and enjoy!!

Sweet Cornbread

1 Mar

It’s been almost a year since my last post… I guess you could say I got lazy… I’ve still been a baking/cooking machine, but I just haven’t posted anything on ChowVida. Sad.  Needless to say – I missed it.  So I’m welcoming myself back :)  I will try to be better about keeping up with my postings, but to start… a year off blogging means a year of backlogged recipes I need to post!! Ahhh!!! I definitely didn’t keep track of them all, but I will start by posting the winners that stick out in my mind…. and will kick off with a delicious (yet slightly altered) staple – CORNBREAD! yum yum yum.

How can you not like cornbread? Whether it’s slightly savory with a hearty veggie chili, or on the sweeter side slathered with honey… it’s just mouthwatering.  These fluffy muffins have fresh sweet white corn in them, which really makes them stand out. I also decided to add a little more cornmeal than usual, because I prefer my cornbread to have that very soft grittyness of the cornmeal, rather than tasting like it’s just flour based.  I always use grapeseed oil instead of vegetable oil because it has a mild flavor, but is much healthier than the latter… and high in omegas! The best part? these muffins are SUPER easy to make… throw all the ingredients in just one bowl??  yes please!!!  Also, you could easily make them in bread form, rather than muffin, or reduce the sugar and add some chives or dill to make them more savory.  Yum.


(yields ~12 muffins, or one 9″ cake pan)

  • 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1-1/4 cup yellow cornmeal (medium grind)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk (I used soy milk)
  • 1/3 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1 ear of fresh white corn


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray or lightly grease a 9 inch cake pan or muffin tin.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt and baking powder. Stir in egg, milk and grapeseed oil until well combined. Shave kernels off the raw ear of white corn with a sharp knife and gently but thoroughly mix into the batter (no need to cook the corn!).  Pour batter into prepared pan.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, (less if making muffins, 10-15 mins) or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. It won’t brown much at all on top, so keep an eye on them and make sure you take them out before they start to brown too much.  Let cool, and enjoy!

Beer Bread

16 Feb

Traditionally done with fontina cheese, I thought this recipe was lost to me until I discovered a sheep cheese (pecorino primosale) that I enjoyed in its stead. Guinness stout is my beer of choice, but an amber ale might also be nice! ~ Paula


  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 3 cup flour (all-purpose is fine)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sale
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • 1 (12 oz) bottle of beer
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter


  1. Preheat oven to 375; grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan
  2. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat, add onions and saute until tender (about 6 minutes); set aside and cool
  3. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in bowl, making a well in the center
  4. Add cooled onions, cheese and beer; stir until moist
  5. Spoon batter into prepared pan
  6. Drizzle with half the butter, bake 35 minutes
  7. Drizzle with remaining butter and return to oven for 20 minutes (this is a good time to rotate the pan for even baking) or until a toothpick comes out clean
  8. Cool on a wire rack for five minutes; remove from pan to complete cooling

Banana Bread

1 Mar

As always, I try to find healthy alternatives to traditional recipes, and this banana bread is no exception.  It is deliciously dense and quite nutritious.  You won’t need to say no to another piece!  ~Caydie


4 1/2 cups whole wheat or oat flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

3 egg whites and 2 whole eggs

2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce

8 ripe bananas, mashed

2 tablespoons vanilla extract

2 cups chopped walnuts

1 1/2 cup minced dried blueberries or raisins

1 Tbsp canola oil


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Lightly grease and flour two 9×5″ loaf pans.

2. In a large bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Stir in eggs, applesauce, bananas and vanilla extract.  Fold in blueberries (or raisins) and nuts.  Pour batter into the prepared pans.

3.  Bake for 45-60 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.


2 loaves.

Plum Apricot Raisin Bread

19 Jan

Quick, easy & delicious. This bread is a great way to make use of fresh fruits in season, or mix with dried fruit. Here, I used fresh golden plums and dried apricots, (which proved to be a winning combination!) but any fruit can be substituted in this bread. Use your favorite seasonals!   —Alex


  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons apple sauce
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1-1/3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup wheat bran
  • 1/4 cup flax seed meal
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup nonfat buttermilk (can be substitued for plain, nonfat yogurt)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 cup pitted, chopped plums
  • 1/3 cup dried apricots
  • 1/3 cup raisins


  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the sugar, apple sauce, egg and lemon peel; mix well.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt.
  3. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture alternately with buttermilk (or yogurt). Mix well.
  4. Stir in the fruit.
  5. Pour into two greased 8-in. x 4-in. loaf pans.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
  7. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans. Place on wire racks to cool completely.

makes 2 8″ x 4″ loaves