In the immortal words of Monty Python: “And now for something completely different…” 🙂
To answer my question in the subject line, today I will consider baking as a craft. Hope you don’t mind. 🙂
I got a request for my banana bread recipe so, since I promised to post it if I got a request in my comments for the post Another round of TAG, I am obligated to do just that. I had hoped to post it on Monday but I was missing the most important ingredient – bananas. (Sorry, Matt!) Yesterday was 10% Tuesday at our local Garden Market IGA, which I never miss unless I’m deathly ill. On these days, I pick up the majority of my monthly groceries, so it is usually a MAJOR SHOP! By the time I was done, it was too late in the day (and I was too tired) to make the bread – and I wanted to have photos to enhance the instructions. That brings us to today. I know I normally post something crafty, but I think that baking takes a little skill, so I will treat it as such.
First, I’ll list the ingredients in the order I add them, then I’ll describe the process, complete with photos.
Sour Cream Banana Loaves (makes 2 large loaves, or one large loaf and one bundt-sized cake)
1 cup (225 grams/ml, if melted, or two bricks of hard margarine) butter or margarine, softened
2 cups (450 ml) white sugar
2 teaspoons (10 ml) vanilla extract
2 teaspoons (10 ml) lemon juice
1 cup (450 ml) sour cream
5 ripe bananas
3-1/2 cups (780 ml) flour
2 teaspoons (10 ml) baking powder
2 teaspoons (10 ml) baking soda
1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt
Here are the step by step instructions:
1. Set oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius) and allow to pre-heat. Prep pans by wiping them with oil (or spraying with PAM) & adding a bit of flour, shaking it around the pan until it’s all coated. Shake out excess.
2. If your butter/margarine is hard, soften it in the microwave, or leave it on the counter for awhile.
3. Cream butter/margarine and sugar.
4. Add eggs and mix well.
5. Add remaining wet ingredients (vanilla, lemon juice, sour cream)
6. Depending on the ripeness of your bananas, you might be able to skip this step. Today, my bananas were not nearly as ripe as when I usually make banana bread, so I chopped them before adding them to the batter. If their skins are black or nearly black, I don’t usually bother chopping them first, just drop them into the bowl and blend them well.
7. Beat batter until the banana chunks are ground down and blended into the batter.
8. Add measured flour into a sifter or sieve. On top of that, add the remaining dry ingredients and sift into batter.
10. Once the batter is well-blended, lift beaters and scrape the batter off of them, mixing in the scrapings.
11. Pour into pans, dividing batter so that it fills each pan to about the 1/2 to 3/4 mark.
12. Place on centre rack of oven, leaving a bit of space between the pans to allow air to circulate around them.
13. Bake for 60 minutes.
14. When timer goes off, stick a skewer in the centre of the loaf/cake. If it comes out clean, the bread is ready. If it contains batter, bake another 5-10 minutes. (Times will vary a little, depending on the oven)
And there you have it! You can always add a butter icing if you use a cake pan, or you can simply dust the top with icing sugar.
So, what do YOU think. Can baking be considered a craft?