If you had to go to a desert island and could only bring one food with you, what would it be? Mine would be pizza...and I would secretly hope that someone else who had to go was bringing chocolate because together we'd be unstoppable...and happy.
Today I want to tell you what's cooking in my bread machine right now as Superbowl Sunday rolls in and we get ready to cheer on the New England Patriots. Yes, you can use this recipe if you're an Eagles fan but I hope you're ready for the Pats and our man Tom Brady tonight because we're gonna bring it. Back to the food. Years ago (as in well over ten years ago), I got a lovely gift of a bread machine from my in laws and it's still going strong. I actually don't use it often for bread, but I use it weekly for fresh, homemade pizza dough. I found a recipe online when I got the machine but I don't remember where I got it. I've made it so many times and modified it so much that I just know it by heart. I've made whole wheat versions and white flour versions, depending on what we're going for that week. We've used countless combinations of toppings, cheeses, herbs and spices (my favorites include a lot of garlic and basil). I think homemade pizza beats any delivery services, it's kinder to the wallet, and it's really really easy! I can set the ingredients in the bread machine in the morning before heading out the door and there's a pizza dough waiting for me that evening when we get home.
Bread Machine Pizza Dough (Adapted)
-1 cup + 2 TBS water- luke warm
-2 TBS olive oil
-3 cups flour (this can be all white flour, half whole wheat or other combinations to suit your preferences)
-1 tsp sugar
-1/2 tsp salt
-2 1/2 tsp bread machine yeast
Measure all of your ingredients carefully. This is where my "little bit of this, little bit of that" baking style can cause problems because bread machines are very precise. Place the ingredients in the bread machine in the order listed. Once the salt has been added, make a well using your finger or the back of the spoon on top of the flour and put the yeast into that well. Put the machine on dough cycle (mine takes 1 1/2 hours) and press start. Once the machine is done, place the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll out or toss until it is shaped for your pizza pan. Add your sauce, cheese and toppings. Place into a 400 degree oven for approximately 20 minutes. Slice and enjoy!
January continues to roll on and for many that means looking for healthier options after the indulgence of the holiday season. I look at three primary things when I look to create healthier versions of recipes: 1) sweetener; 2) fat/oil; 3) flour/grain/starch. Banana bread is one of my favorite things to bake and modify for all sorts of tastes and preferences. The beauty of banana bread is that over ripe bananas provide a natural sweetness so it's a great recipe to use less sugar or go refined sugar free, as I did in this recipe. The bananas also keep the recipe moist and bring a naturally fudgy texture when combined with chocolate so the recipe doesn't need a ton of fat. And finally, the options for types of flours are practically endless and a super easy way to increase the nutritional value of a recipe by using something other than regular white flour. Beware that I'm not knocking white flour because I love baking from scratch with it, but reducing its use and adding more balance with more nutrient dense options on occasion is something I like to do to create a healthier lifestyle, and I promise that these changes are not sacrificing flavor or texture.
This week's recipe is also kind to your dishes because you can complete it start to finish with one bowl. No mixer required. I just used some good old fashioned elbow grease to mix it up, pour, bake and done! The little Sunday Bakers loved it and I'd be completely comfortable using this for breakfast for them (if there was any left) because it's refined sugar free (minus any sugar in the chocolate chips), uses spelt flour to add a nutritional boost, and low fat yogurt instead of oil. A quick loaf of this whipped up on a Sunday could solve our breakfast problems for the school week.
One Bowl Fudgy Chocolate Banana Bread
-3 ripe bananas
-1 tsp vanilla
-1/4 cup maple syrup
-2 TBS + 4 tsp Truvia (using the conversion guide on the back of the container)
-3/4 cup low fat vanilla yogurt
-2 cups spelt flour
-1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
-2 tsp baking powder
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 cup chocolate chips + a small handful for sprinkling
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9" loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray. In a large bowl, mix together the bananas, eggs, vanilla, maple syrup, Truvia and yogurt until all combined and smooth. Add in the remainder of the dry ingredients, except the chocolate chips, and mix by hand until fully incorporated. Make sure to get your spoon or spatula to the bottom of the bowl and bring up and mix any batter on the bottom of the bowl. When batter is fully mixed together, add in 1 cup of chocolate chips and fold into the batter. Pour the batter into the 9" loaf pan, sprinkle a few chocolate chips on top and bake for 60-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted to the middle of the load comes out clean (oven times may vary). Allow to cool in the pan for 20-30 minutes, remove from the pan, slice and enjoy!
I know that we are just getting to know each other so you may not yet know that pumpkin season is my absolute favorite....hands down. FAVORITE. I love fall. I love the leaves, the colors, the crisp mornings and nights, the sounds of a football game on TV in the background, fall fashion, that back to school feeling, the sweater and rosy cheek weather...and the pumpkins. I don't know that I could live anywhere where there isn't fall.
Today's recipe is a reflection of this love for pumpkin season. I know we are all gearing up for Thanksgiving this week and I'm going to take the holiday a little bit further into the late breakfast the morning after. Whether you're a black Friday shopaholic who is going to return home without any sleep or you're hosting the family over night, this pumpkin bread is an easy and delicious option to go with everyone's morning coffee. You can also make this ahead of time and store it in the freezer, take it out on Thanksgiving night before you go to bed and leave it on the counter in the ziploc freezer bag to thaw out. Done! Who wants to cook on the morning after turkey day, right?
This recipe isn't one of my lighter creations but everything in moderation, right? This is also one of Mr. Sunday Bakers' favorites. So grab a couple bowls, your mixer (you can mix this one by hand if you prefer too!) and let's get baking!
-3/4 cup brown sugar
-3/4 cup vegetable oil
-1 tsp vanilla
-1 cup pumpkin puree
-1 1/2 cups flour
-1 tsp baking powder
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 tbs cinnamon
-1-2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease a loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside. In one bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. In another bowl, mix the eggs and brown sugar. Add in the vanilla and mix further. Add in the pumpkin puree and mix until blended. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix thoroughly. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake in the oven for approximately 40 minutes (oven times may vary) or until a toothpick can be inserted and comes out clean. Let it cool in the pan for at least 20-30 minutes and then take the bread out of the loaf pan and let it cool on a wire rack for another 20-30 minutes. Slice and enjoy! (If you are freezing this recipe, let the loaf cool completely before putting it into a freezer bag and placing in the freezer).
New England wife and mom. Faith, fitness, yoga, baking, cooking and constantly cleaning my kitchen.