As a nod to the Irish, I’m posting a link to one of my favorite video channels, Hillbilly Kitchen and Becky’s demonstration of Irish Soda Bread. I haven’t tried this recipe but it looks good and fairly simple, so it’s on my list of things to do soon.https://rumble.com/vxp1nj-irish-soda-bread-heirloom-recipe-4-ingredient-no-yeast-bread-no-fail-the-hi.html
Category Archives: Baking
Happy St. Patrick’s Day
Filed under Baking, Food, Recipes, Saint Patrick's Day
Leefa Monica Wisner Hoag’s Banana Bread
This recipe is even older than Leefa, who was nearly 100 years old when she died; it was her mother’s and might date back to the mid 19th century. But from all accounts, Mary Jane was an unpleasant woman, so I’ll give the credit for this wonderful recipe to her daughter.
I’ve been making it since the 1970s and it has never failed me yet.
(Don’t be off-put by the buttermilk. I never have it on hand. If you don’t have any, make a substitute by adding about 1 T. vinegar to 1/2 c. whole milk (scant). Let it sit about 10 minutes until it clabbers. Do this first and it will be ready by the time you add it to the batter.)
Makes 2 loaves.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
1/2 c. shortening (I use vegetable oil and it works just fine)
1 c. white sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
After thoroughly creamed, add:
2 mashed bananas (no chunks, at all)
Then add remaining dry ingredients:
2 c. flour
1t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 c. buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
After thoroughly mixed, add:
1 c. chopped pecans or walnuts
Pour into 2 greased (Pammed) loaf pans.
Sprinkle tops lightly with sugar (and maybe cinnamon).
Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes on the middle rack in the oven.
Check with a toothpick or a slim knife. If toothpick doesn’t come out clean, turn down the oven temperature about 25 degrees, rotate pan and check again in 10 minutes. Keep checking until done.
When done, run a knife around the edge of the loaf pan to loosen, then remove the bread and place it on a rack to cool.
*To make muffins instead of loaves, add a little extra flour for a stiffer batter.
*The recipe calls for shortening. Years ago, I used a stick of butter or margarine, but now only use vegetable (canola) oil. It works fine.
*The recipe calls for 1 c. white sugar & 1/2 c. brown sugar. Sometimes I use 1 1/2 c. brown sugar (because I like a darker, richer loaf); other times I put in 1 1/4 c. white sugar and a couple of tablespoons of dark unsulphured molasses (Grandma’s brand).
*Cut off all the bad (dark) spots on the bananas.
*Mash bananas thoroughly. Any chunks can result in unpleasant pinkish colored lumps in the finished bread.
*If you dislike really, really ripe (over-ripe) bananas, don’t use them. Your bread will adopt the same wine-y flavor. I never eat bananas after they get any dark spots, but I will bake with them. However, I won’t use black bananas. Baking doesn’t improve them.
*I usually use 2 bananas, but if they’re small, 3. However, more than that will make a heavy batter and it might be difficult to get it completely done in the middle.
*Sometimes I use cinnamon, sometimes nutmeg. If I’m out of nutmeg, a bit of allspice. If you really just want the flavor of the bananas, omit all the spices.
*Nuts improve everything. Pecans or English walnuts both work fine.
*Sprinkling sugar on the tops helps keep the crust from becoming gummy and sticky after it cools. It also gives it a nice texture. I’ve tried sugar on the top of one loaf and none on the other – the sugared loaf always gets eaten first.
*Muffins take a much shorter cooking time. Check them after 20 minutes.
*On high humidity days, I’ve had to increase the cooking time. Just keep checking every 10 minutes or so.
*Is great served plain, with butter or softened cream cheese.
Does the Flour Make a Difference?
Frankly, I never thought so until a couple of months ago. I thought that flour was flour. Although I didn’t really trust the store brands (except for Sam’s Club), I honestly thought that the type or brand didn’t matter. Usually, we just buy the 25 pound sacks of the Baker’s Secret (store brand) all-purpose flour at Sam’s and use it for everything from bread to cake to cookies, and the results are usually pretty tasty. But then I started thinking …
The first time I’d ever heard of King Arthur was when looking through one of those dreamy-wish-book-kitchen-catalogs. I don’t remember how much it cost, but it was pretty pricey. Then a few weeks ago, I saw their bread flour on the shelf at Wal-Mart for about $3.15, so I decided to try it.
Using the same recipe that we’ve used for years, suddenly the crust was really good. I mean really good. In fact, it was the best pizza I’ve ever made. And I used it for my Country White Loaf and it was noticeably better.
This week I bought a box of Swan’s Down Cake Flour.
What I’m expecting is a really lovely cake.
Founded in 1790, King Arthur is America’s oldest bread company. In 1996, it became employee owned and is headquartered in New England.
For more information on King Arthur –
general information: go here,
company history: go here,
baking blogs: go here,
recipes (including gluten-free): go here.
Swans Down has been around since 1894. For recipes on their website, go here.
This page has a pdf link for “Six Steps for Baking Success.”
So, to answer my own query: Yes. It does.
This post is linked to Food on Fridays @ AnnKroeker.com
Filed under Baking, Food, Made in the U.S.A.
Country White Bread
This is the easiest and most dependable yeast bread I’ve ever made. The recipe came from a Country Living magazine almost 25 years ago. Lately I’ve baked some every few days.
COUNTRY WHITE BREAD
1 pkg. yeast
1/2 c. warm water
1 T. sugar
Dissolve yeast in sugar and water to prove.
1/1/4 t. salt
1/4 c. sugar
5 1/2 c. flour
1 c. water
3 T. oil
Mix together and knead for about 8 minutes.
Oil large mixing bowl, place dough in bowl and turn once.
Cover with a clean tea towel and put in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about an hour.
Place risen dough on floured board, punch down, work out the air pockets.
Shape into loaves, and place into greased pans.
Let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk.
Bake at 350 until done; depending on your oven this could be from 35 minutes to 1 hour.
*When I want a wheat loaf, I dissolve the tailings from a bag of Raisin Bran cereal in a little warm water or milk, then add it to the mixture. Years ago, I bought regular bran and wheat germ, but when I added them to the recipe my husband said it gave it an unpleasant texture. For some reason, the fine stuff at the bottom of the cereal bag works well, which is especially nice because I don’t want it floating in my cereal bowl and it seems like a waste to just compost it.
*Contrary to what I used to think, it is possible to over-oil the bowl.
*For taller loaves, I use two different sizes of pans – one large and one medium. When I use both large pans, the loaves are smaller.
*For a nicer crust, I butter the top about midway through the baking.
*I have discovered the Best Place for the dough to rise. Well, at least in the winter. Under our Vermont Castings wood stove. I couldn’t believe it. It rose twice as fast but wasn’t too hot. Perfect.
*Sometimes I just don’t get a good rising. Maybe it’s a humid day. I don’t know. But when that happens, it can be used for croûtons. This was my husbands idea and it was a really good one. The big puffy loaves don’t make nice croûtons but a dense loaf is just right.
*My hands just aren’t what they used to be and I can’t knead the dough, so I use my heavy duty mixer. It’s a Kenwood (an English product), not a Kitchen Aid, but it works every bit as good and cost a fraction. I bought it about 1994 and didn’t want a Whirlpool product, because at that time they were contributing to Planned Parenthood (but not anymore, as I understand it). Here‘s a more current list.
This post is linked to:
Food on Fridays @ Ann Kroeker.
Frugal Fridays@Life as Mom
Shirley Booth’s Chess Tarts Recipe
From Good Housekeeping, December 1964:
“Shirley Booth, like the generous person she is, gives Sally Edwards credit for these tarts.
l package piecrust mix or favorite pastry for 2 crust pie
1/4 c. butter or margarine
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup seedless raisins
1/2 cup snipped, pitted dates
1/2 cup chopped California walnuts
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup heavy or whipping cream
slivers of preserved orange peel
slivers of preserved citron
green seedless grapes
Make day before serving as follows:
1. Make up piecrust; then, on lightly floured board, roll it out 1/8-inch thick. For each petal tart shell, cut out 5) 2 1/4-inch fluted pastry rounds. Place 1 round in bottom of each of 6) 2 3/4’inch muffin-pan cups. Wet edges of rest of rounds, then press 4 of them to sides and to round in bottom of each cup, overlapping edges slightly.
2. Prick well with 4-tined fork. Refrigerate 30 minutes; bake at 450 degrees F. 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool; lift each carefully from cup; store at room temperature.
3. In saucepan beat eggs well; then add butter or margarine, salt sugar, raisins, dates. Cook, stirring constantly, until thick. Refrigerate this filling, covered with waxed paper.
~About an hour before serving:
1. Stir walnuts and vanilla into filling; then pile some filling in each tart shell. Whip cream; use to top tarts. In center of each mound of cream place a cherry; surround with orange peel and citron. Refrigerate.
2. Arrange tarts on pretty serving plate; pass, with tiny bunches of grapes. Makes 6.”
Jim Manago has written a book “Love Is The Reason For It All – The Shirley Booth Story”. You can read about it here. His site is very impressive with lots of photos of Shirley Booth as well as stories behind the scenes of “Hazel” and other celebrities like Whitney Blake, Karen Carpenter, and Joyce van Patten.
Don DeFore was one of my favorite actors and it was fun to read the interview with his son. It makes me like him even more to know that he was an active conservative.
For those interested in purchasing the book, Jim recommends that you go to bookfinder.com.
Filed under 1960's, Baking, Books, Christmas, Cooking, Internet links, Vintage Magazines
Celebrity Recipes – Good Housekeeping December 1964
Yesterday I posted photos from the December 1964 issue of Good Housekeeping. Carol from Old Glory Cottage asked for the celebrity recipes referred to in the photo. (Carol has some great vintage Christmas images in her sidebar.)
There are too many for me to type all of them and they’re posted in the back of the magazine all chopped up, a column or two on each page so too difficult to scan. But I tell you what I’ll do: since Carol asked for it, I’ll include Lucy’s today, and list each celebrity and the name of their recipe and if anyone wants one, please leave a comment and I’ll post as many of them as I can.
Here’s what it says:
“Lucille Ball, one of Hollywood’s most hospitable stars, often treats dinner guests to this ‘happy ending’.
Make about two hours before serving as follows:
1. Start heating oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 2-quart casserole. Fill it with 8 cups thinly sliced, pared, cooking apples, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel, 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 1/4 cup water; then toss together with a fork. Bake, covered, 1 hour or until apples are tender. Now turn oven heat up to 450 degrees.
2. In bowl combine 2 cups packaged biscuit mix and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar; quickly stir in 2 to 3 tablespoons melted butter or margarine and 1/2 cup milk. Then drop, by rounded tablespoonfuls, around top edge of casserole, also one in center of biscuit ring. Bake, uncovered, about 12 to 15 minutes or until biscuits are golden and done. Cool slightly.
3. Serve warm, with vanilla ice cream on top of each serving. Makes 9 servings.”
Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson: Pecan Pie
Julie Andrews: Striezel, Hot Mincemeat Pie with Rum Sauce
Doris Day: Green and Gold Salad
Bing Crosby: Wild Duck
Deborrah Kerr: Creamy Raspberry Cups
Patty Duke: Crunch Walnut Bread
Jack Benny: Superior Fried Chicken
Polly Bergen: Chili
Tony Curtis: Hungarian Kipfel
Shirley Booth: Chess Tarts
Fannie Hurst: Indienne Beef Stew
Peggy Lee: Hearts of Palm Salad
Johnny Carson: Christmas Waldorf
Eartha Kitt: Salade Nicoise
Danny Thomas: Homos Be Tahinee
Gina Lollobrigida: Christmas Wreath Cookies
Carol Channing: Golden Popcorn Balls
Rick Nelson: Beef Tartare, Stuffed Brussel Sprouts
Beatrice Lillie: Peel Fold Christmas Trifle
Raymond Burr: Grand Marnier Chocolate Mousse
Carol Burnett: Chicken Casserole
Inger Stevens: De Luxe Rice Pudding
Hugh Downs: Nut Filled Cakes
Blanche Thebom: Doppa I Grytan
Walter Cronkite: Harvard Beets
Eileen Farrell: Citrus Froth
Elke Sommer: Christmas Stollen
Dick Van Dyke: Brandied Sweet Potatoes
Filed under 1960's, Baking, Christmas, Cooking, Paper Dolls, Vintage Christmas, Vintage Magazines
Sour Cream Pound Cake with Chocolate Marble
My friend Merrily gave me this recipe over 35 years ago. It’s absolutely wonderful and would be perfect with either tea or coffee. My husband thinks that an icy glass of milk is the only suitable drink for cake, pie or cookies.
( Posted below this one is the half recipe which is just right for a loaf pan.)
Sour Cream Pound Cake with Chocolate Marble
(Full recipe – fits tube pan or bundt pan)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place oven rack to center.
2 3/4 c. sugar
1 c. butter
1 1/2 t. vanilla
3 c. flour
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. soda
1 c. sour cream
1/3 c. cocoa powder (not the drink mix)
1. Pour sugar into mixer.
2. Soften the butter, but do not melt. Add.
3. Break the eggs, 1 at a time into a separate bowl, then add to the mixture. It’s just too difficult to try to get chips of eggshell out of the mixer.
4. Cream together until light and fluffy.
5. Add vanilla. Mix thoroughly.
6. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, salt and soda.
7. Add about a c. of flour mixture to batter, beat until well mixed.
8. Add about 1/3 c. of sour cream, mixing well.
9. Keep alternating until all the ingredients (except cocoa) have been added.
10. Set aside 1 c. of batter into a small mixing bowl. Add cocoa & mix thoroughly.
11. Oil or Pam baking pan.
12. Spoon about 1/2 of batter into baking pan.
13. Spoon chocolate mixture on top.
14. Add remaining batter.
15. To marble, use a table knife and drag once around the batter.
16. Bake at 350 on middle rack. (This one took 1 1/2 hours.) Keep checking after 1 hour. Use toothpick test when it looks done.
17. Let cool slightly and turn over onto serving plate. Absolutely needs no icing.
1 1/3 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter
1 t. vanilla
1 1/2 c. flour
1/4 t. salt
1/8 t. soda
1/4 c. cocoa powder (not drink mix)
Directions same as above. Use loaf pan.
*updated January 18, 2012
Food on Fridays at annkroeker
Tempt My Tummy Tuesday at Blessed With Grace