Big News: Doug Bakes … from Scratch

Last night, Doug mentioned that he wanted to make banana bread. Now this is major.

So, after dinner, he and Naomi headed out to the neighbors to get 1/2 cup of shortening. He tried a few homes before getting some. The only thing I had to do was put out the ingredients, and he and Naomi did the rest.

The finished product looked great and tasted great. I was very impressed. I told him, “This is just the beginning, just think of all of the things you can start making.” He wasn’t all that keen on that idea, but this morning he mentioned to Naomi that they can make more this weekend.

Doug’s teaching techniques are quite unique, too. I found him telling Naomi, “You have to let go your aggression on the bananas … feel the hate,” when they needed to be mashed. Waaaaay too much Star Wars influence here. She had a lot of fun, and Doug commented that it was fun working with her, too. Naomi also likes to help me cook, so she now gets the teaching from both of us. Which is of course helpful for her to be well rounded.

11 Replies to “Big News: Doug Bakes … from Scratch”

  1. Nichelle didn’t have to get out the ingredients; I only wanted her to point out what cabinets they were in. It’s usually painful for her to move around, especially in the evenings, so I didn’t want her to exert herself unnecessarily—naturally, there was no stopping her.

    Isaac and John’s reactions were the most doubtful. “You’re going to bake something?” they snickered. They have heard hand-me-down tales of the “bricklike” brownies I made when I was in high school. Weasels! I was tempted to forbid them from having any.

    The whole thing was inspired by my consumption of bananas, and purchase of prodigious quantities thereof, now that I’m doing the grocery shopping. I noticed the ones I’ve been eating all week were very ripe, and remembered that those are good for banana bread. (Although I will eat bananas in virtually any condition, the rest of the family is too spoiled.) Nichelle also informed me that she’s been freezing the ones that were past the state of normal consumption, so I know I can make more banana bread this weekend.

    I spent this morning trying to figure the most optimized way to make a number of batches of banana bread. If I serialize the preparation of everything, I’d have to repeatedly measure things, and that would be inefficient. (Although it would work well if we had multiple people helping and could set up an assembly-line process.) I think if I just multiply the recipe quantities for the ingredients (mostly bananas) at hand, I’ll be okay. The KitchenAid can handle a lot bigger batch than we ran last night.

    One puzzlement: No one wanted to lick the mixing attachment. That was one of the treats of having Mom bake at home when I was a kid.

  2. My advice is to wait until the mixing attachment stops moving before you lick it!

    Also, kudos on the first BLOG post in a while that didn’t depress me!

    Finally, is this the same penicillin banana bread Nichelle made me all those years ago??? LOL

  3. Congrats on the banana bread. I regularly multiply the recipe I started with by four to use a dozen bananas. This optimizes the use of oven heat, as well. i also use oil intead of shortening, cutting the quantity in half–one quater cup of oil instead of a half cup shortening. No shortening in Brazil! I also use half whole wheat flour and add lots of other stuff. Options are nuts (but not sunflower seeds–no one approved of green spotted banana bread!), raisens, orange peel finely shredded, candied mixed fruits.

    I mix the wet ingredients in the Kitchen aid, then add the dry by hand to prevent overmixing. also, that’s all I can get in my bowl. I have a huge salad bowl that gets used for the mix of wet and dry.

    have fun! Fran

  4. PS if you had ever been in the tropics, you’d NEVER lick anything with raw eggs ever again in any country! Love, Fran

  5. I hadn’t considered salmonella. Bad of me! How big a risk is it for us Wal*Mart types?

    Wheat flour sounds like a good idea. I may try 100% whole-wheat; that’s all we eat, anyway. I didn’t realize overmixing was a possibility. That was one of the things that destroyed my now-infamous brownies. How careful does one have to be with bananna bread and overmixing?

  6. Over mixing caused a lovely looking but very tough loaf, I’ve found my recipe too sensitive to use the mixer for the final mix. I like oat bran flour, too. Nutmeg is also a nice addition.

    i don’t trust anyones eggs at this point. Though probably even Walmart is safer than Brazilian eggs!

  7. I’m glad someone suggested adjusting quantities of ingredients for multiple loaves. Doubling shouldn’t be a problem, but I know when you get into really big batches you have to adjust ingredients. It’s not a pure mathematical progression. Maybe it doesn’t make a difference with banana bread. (I thought ANYONE could make a loaf of banana bread! 😉 Beth used to make it a lot when she was in HS and then one day she made cookies and automatically set the timer for 1 hour, the same as banana bread! It’s interesting how quickly cookies can burn… (of course, this WAS in her PRE-scientific days…I’m sure she NEVER makes mistakes like that in the lab…)

  8. We haven’t had a chance to bake more bread, although I have thawed some of the old bananas, providing clear evidence that cryogenic preservation without replacing the water in cells is not a good idea.

    I did buy some whole wheat flour, but probably won’t have time to use it until Friday or Saturday. So, we’ll be experimenting with that, plus the well-fermented bananas, and see what happens.

    I think that the avoidance of overmixing problems was due to using the KitchAid on its slowest setting to do the mixing. I definitely let it mix for quite a while—approximately 10 minutes. I could sacrifice a loaf and let it mix for an hour or more to see what happens.

  9. Thanks for the cryogenic warning! I think the neighbors heard me howling over that one. It’s as good a line as “down wid’ it in a DAR kind of way”!

    PS How’s LOST coming? We’re counting on you to have the freshest memory for Season one!

  10. The whole-wheat flour provides excellent flavor. We haven’t looked back. My only failure so far was several months ago, when I added butterscotch chips; that batch came out mushy—I think it needed to bake slightly longer.

    We made another two loaves on Monday night, and NaNi went around saying, “Feel the hate … ha ha ha ha ha ha … The Dark Side!” She did the laugh in a classic “evil laughter” tone and with a deep voice. What a kid!

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