Raspberry Banana Bread2

 

For many of you, baking can be quite overwhelming at first. A lot of beginners will burn a few (or a lot) of cookies, flatten some cakes or over bake brownies.  So when Elson asked me if I could do a post on baking basics, I was anxious (this kind of post is my first attempt!) and excited!!

I am reproducing that guest post ~ ‘Baking 101’ and the recipe of Raspberry Banana Bread for my readers here but hop onto The Tummy Tale blog for some good reading. While you’re at it, don’t forget to check out Elson’s fabulous recipes. Elson believes in using simple ingredients to create special dishes and his forte is Mangalorean cuisine. Also, do check out his ‘The world on my plate‘ series.

If you spend enough time in the kitchen baking, you quickly begin to pick up the dos and don’ts. I am far from a professional pastry chef or even an expert baker but with these tips and tricks, I’m hoping to make baking an easier, more enjoyable experience for you all. So, here it is – baker’s dozen tips & tricks!

  1. Take your time and read the recipe thoroughly from beginning to end before you start. Many baking failures come from not reading and understanding the recipe, not from poor recipes! Remember, cookbook authors and bloggers REALLY want to help you bake masterpieces. They know and understand the limitations of home kitchens. So have faith in the recipe and read the notes.
  2. Get your mise en place started. Measure out all the ingredients mentioned in the recipe to exact amounts first before you proceed further. There is nothing worse than reaching halfway and realizing you’re out of an important ingredient. Prepping is very very important.
  3. Unless otherwise stated, use room temperature ingredients. If something is meant to be used cold then a recipe should state that, otherwise make sure your eggs, butter, yogurt etc. are at room temperature.
  4. Buy salted butter for your toast but unsalted butter is what you need for all the baking you plan on doing. You want to control the amount of salt going in your baked goods. So unsalted is a way to go!
  5. Always preheat the oven. This might sound amusing to some of you but this step is of utmost importance.
  6. Preparing baking pan – Grease and/or line your baking tin. Use paper liners for muffin tins (unless stated otherwise). Always grease a Bundt pan with butter and dust the insides with flour. Do not grease the cookie sheet unless the recipe states you should; just line it with parchment paper.
  7. It is always better to sift the dry ingredients to avoid lumps. This step will ensure that baking powder, baking soda or salt are equally dispersed among flour. Also, measure the flour after it’s been fluffed up a bit with the help of a fork. Lightly spoon it into the measuring cup and level it off (weighing flour is of course more accurate but I’m more accustomed to cup-method).
  8. Use baking powder and baking soda no more than 5-6 months old. Dud ingredients will make your recipe dud. Also, baking powder and baking soda are different ingredients and not interchangeable! So pay attention. They serve the same purpose but do not react the same way in baked goods. Read here for more info.
  9. When baking cakes, cupcakes and cookies, take your time creaming the butter. Beat/cream for at least 3-5 minutes (preferably with the electric mixer’s paddle attachment) to aerate the butter.
    Check if the recipe calls for any herb or fruit zest. If so then rub the herb/fruit zest into the sugar which will release the essential oils and then add this sugar to butter and beat/cream really well again. A trick I have learnt recently from Joy The Baker is beating the spices along with the butter and sugar to enhance the flavor much more.
  10. When mixing the batter, gently fold the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients – you don’t want to lose all the air. Over-mixing will especially ruin your muffins and make them tough and rubbery.
  11. Keep in mind that all ovens are different. Do not rely on the time in the recipe to work for your oven. It is usually provided by a time range which is just an estimate for you. Set your timer for several minutes before it says it will be done just to make sure you don’t overcook. Check the doneness by inserting toothpick in the center of the baked goods. Trust the process and trust yourself.
  12. Make it your own! Just because baking is all about science doesn’t mean you can’t get creative with the ingredients that only affect the flavor. Change up the extracts, spices, and other add-ins that only affect the flavor of the baked goods to make it your own. Have fun in the kitchen and it will all turn out amazing!

 

The more you bake, the better you will become. But remember… “When baking, follow directions. When cooking, go by your own taste.” – Laiko Bahrs J 🙂

 

Raspberry Banana Bread3

 

*Recipe*

This recipe is a no fuss, too easy even for beginners sort. So after reading the tips and tricks mentioned above, get your baking mojo on and try this basic, classic banana bread made a tad bit healthier. Vegetarians and vegans are going to be much much happy.

This recipe is eggfree and oil/butterfree. Yes! Can you believe?!! For sweetness, I have used date syrup in part which lends a beautiful depth of flavor to the bread. The other part comprises of brown sugar. Brown sugar + banana = a match made in heaven! Brown sugar gives a caramelized flavor but you can make the bread refined sugar-free too by using coconut sugar in place of the brown sugar. It would be wonderful too! The bread is light, airy and moist (in a good way). Yes! Not a crumb in sight, my friends. Perfect for toasting and if you’re not skinny-minny types then slathering it with some butter. If you are not into healthy baking then feel free to use all-purpose flour completely. Don’t have date syrup? Use liquid jaggery or maple syrup or honey. All works brilliantly. Don’t have raspberries? Use strawberries or may be toasted walnuts or chocolate chips! Change the ingredients as per your convenience and make the recipe yours. Add a dash of cinnamon if you like. Just have fun! So brew yourself a cup of coffee, preheat the oven and get baking. Your quest for that perfect banana bread ends here.

Enjoy!

Healthier Raspberry Banana Bread – Eggfree & Oil/Butterfree {can be made refined sugar-free too!}

Yields: 1 8×4-inch loaf, about 10 slices | Prep time: 10 minutes | Bake time: 60 minutes | Total time: 70 minutes

Ingredients:

• 1 cup whole wheat flour
• 1/2 cup all purpose flour
• 1 tsp baking soda
• 1 tsp salt
• 1/3 cup yogurt
• 1/3 cup date syrup (or liquid jaggery or maple syrup or honey)
• 1/3 cup brown sugar (to make it refined sugar-free use coconut sugar)
• 3 large over-ripe bananas, mashed (I used heaping 1 & 1/2 cups purée)
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 1 cup chopped raspberries (fresh or frozen)

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven at 170°C/350°F. Grease the 8×4-inch loaf pan with oil and set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together yogurt, date syrup and brown sugar until completely incorporated. Whisk in banana purée and vanilla extract.
4. Make a well in the center of dry ingredients and slowly stir in wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Stir until no flour pockets remain. Do not over-mix. Fold in chopped raspberries.
5. Pour the batter in your prepared loaf pan and bake for 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with few moist crumbs. Let the bread rest in the loaf pan for about 10 minutes before inverting it on a cooling rack. Let cool completely before slicing. Serve warm as is or slathered with butter. You may toast the slices too. Store the bread in an airtight container up to 1 week in refrigerator. It freezes well for up to 3 months.

*For a more classic twist, substitute raspberries with toasted walnuts. For chocolate lovers, I would suggest replacing raspberries with dark chocolate chips. I’ve tried and it is dee-vine!

Tomorrow is ‘Banana Bread Day’ and you might wanna bake one to celebrate!

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9 comments on “Baking 101 & Raspberry Banana Bread ~ A Guest Post on The Tummy Tale”

    • I haven’t tried replacing myself but you should be able to. You may need to add more liquid though as the extra whole wheat flour would need it so substitute 1/3 cup yogurt mentioned in the recipe for 1/2 cup buttermilk. And let us all know how it goes. Good luck!

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