BANANA BREAD – Dave’s family recipe from before the time of standardized measurements and oven temps
1 cup sugar
1 cup shortening
3 overripe bananas, mashed
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup chopped nuts, optional
Cream the sugar and shortening. Add the bananas and egg, mix just until blended. Add the remaining ingredients and blend again. Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake at 350 for 1 hour. Nothing could be so easy and yet so good.
SOURDOUGH ENGLISH MUFFINS – from “The Homestyle Amish Kitchen Cookbook”, compiled by Georgia Varozza. All sourdough recipes come from this one book. I highly recommend it.
2 ½ teaspoons (1 packet) active dry yeast
½ cup warm water
3 cups flour, approximately
1 cup Sourdough started – recipe follows
2 tablespoons oil
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water; let stand until bubbly, about 10 minutes. (I usually add a very small pinch of sugar to kickstart the bubbling process.) Add 2 cups of flour, sourdough starter, oil, sugar, and salt. By hand, stir until smooth. Gradually stir in enough remaining flour to make a firm dough.
Turn out dough onto a floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning to grease all surfaces. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
Punch down dough, let rest 5 minutes. On a surface that has been sprinkled with cornmeal, roll out dough to about ¼ inch (I go about ½ inch) thickness. With a round biscuit cutter, cut dough into circles and turn to coat top with cornmeal. Put onto a lightly greased cookie sheet and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.
Carefully lift each English muffin from the cookie sheet and place in a lightly greased griddle or frying pan. Cook for 10 minutes on each side or until deep golden brown.
NOTES: I didn’t feel like my biscuit cutters were big enough, so I use a tuna can to cut my muffins. Be sure to punch a hole in the bottom of the can to allow air to escape as you push down on it. Also, here is a great use for a cast iron skillet or griddle.
SOUR DOUGH STARTER – see credit above.
2 cups warm water
2 packages active dry yeast – 4 ½ teaspoons
2 cups flour
In a glass or ceramic – not metal – bowl, dissolve yeast in water and let set until bubbly, about 10 minutes. Stir in flour. Let set at room temperature, covered, at least 2 days before using. Stir occasionally. To store, stir it down and put into a jar. Cover and keep in the refrigerator. In order to keep started a long time, it’s necessary to replace some of the starter with fresh. You can do this by taking out 1 cup started and replenishing with 1 cup flour and 1 cup water; mix and let stand until bubbly, cover, and store in refrigerator.