Last weekend S and I had been to Pier 39, San Francisco's major Bay attraction. The place is so colorful and entertaining with more than 100 stores for shopping, almost a dozen restaurants to dine-in. Sea-lions, street performers, terrific rocket boats,ferry rides and carousel - This place has something or the other to offer any age group.
For the cook in me, the demonstration bakery at Bistro Boudin sounded more exciting than anyother attractions. This bakery has a 30-foot observation window which lets us see the bakers craft batches of bread by hand. We saw a young baker sculpting turtles, crabs, teddy bears in no time. We could also talk to her while she makes them! Isnt that great?
I need to share a brief history about the bakery. The story begins back in the California Gold Rush, where Boudins, French family bakers developed a tangy "sour" dough which is now called as San Francisco Sourdough French Bread. It has a dark-golden crunchy crust with a typical tanginess in it. To maintain the consistency in taste and texture, the bakers use the "mother dough", a combination of yeast and lactobacillus cultivated in the water-flour mixture. This dough mixture has been divided and replished everyday since the beginning of Boudin's bakery (since 1849).
Note: On a cold January morning of 1848, James Marshall found tiny gold nuggets along the shores of American River at Coloma, near Sacramento. From then on, there were more than half-million people from around the world migrating to California in search of this wealth. This period is referred in the history as "The California Gold Rush".
After all these baking visual treats, bread making , sour dough stories from SFO, I decided to bake some bread. Baking has always fascinated me but all these days, I have not really found enough time and patience to do them. Now I am determined to bake something easy.
EASY BAKING = BANANA NUT BREAD.
All one has to do for making a wonderful flavorful lovely banana bread is to pour in all the ingredients and mix and bake. So simple right!!!!!!
I used Duram whole wheat and wheat bran flour instead of all purpose flour. The bread had a more crusty outside. I liked its taste and was way happy to eat extra slices since it was a healthier option but S complained about the crust being hard and that it didnt taste like the one he eats in a bakery. So friends you can decide on the kind of flour to use.
- 2 cups all purpose flour/ whole wheat flour
- 3 ripen bananas
- 1/2 melted butter
- 1 well beaten egg
- 1cup sugar
- 1tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
- Preheat the oven to 375' F.
- In a large bowl, first mix all the dry ingredients without lumps: Flour, sugar, salt, baking soda.
- Now add in the mashed bananas, butter, vanilla extract and egg. Mix them thoroughly to form a batter.
- Then add in the walnuts and give it a complete mix.
- Pour the batter into a greased bread loaf pan and smooth out the top with a spoon.
- Bake at 375' F for 1 hr. Always keep an eye on the bread while baking.
- After 1 hr, allow the bread to stand inside the oven for 5-10min. Remove and let it cool.
- Slice them and serve.