Best Baking Recipes

Chef John's Sourdough Bread

https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/260540/chef-johns-sourdough-bread/
By Chef Jon

Making your own sourdough bread does take a while, but the amount of actual work is minimal--and the bread you'll get is spectacular! See the footnote link to how to make the sourdough starter.
Fresh Sourdough Bread
Fresh Sourdough Bread (above)

Ingredients

  • 100 grams sourdough starter
  • 250 grams water
  • 8 grams kosher salt
  • 394 grams bread flour
  • rice flour for bread form (banneton)
  • 1 10-inch banneton (proofing basket)

Directions

  • Step 1

    Measure out starter into a bowl. Add water, salt, and bread flour. Mix until ingredients are well blended into a very sticky dough. Cover with aluminum foil; let rest 4 hours at 70 to 75 degrees F (22 degrees C).

  • Step 2

    With wet hands, fold dough over on itself 3 or 4 times. Cover with foil and allow dough to ferment for 2 more hours.

  • Step 3

    Generously dust a bread form with rice flour (see Chef's Note for banneton substitution).

  • Step 4

    Scrape dough out onto a lightly floured work surface (you can use bread flour or all-purpose flour). Shape into a ball with a smooth, unbroken surface, using just enough flour on the surface to keep it from sticking. Transfer smooth-side down to banneton. Pinch together the rougher edges of the surface toward the center to smooth them and maintain the round ball shape.

  • Step 5

    Cover and refrigerate 12 hours to slow the fermentation process.

  • Step 6

    Remove loaf from the refrigerator and let it rise in a warm spot until the dough springs slowly back and retains a slight indentation when poked gently with a finger, about 3 to 5 hours.

  • Step 7

    Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

  • Step 8

    Dust surface of dough with flour. Gently invert banneton over the baking sheet and transfer dough onto parchment paper. Gently brush off excess rice flour. Score the top of the dough about 1/8-inch deep with a sharp knife to create a shallow slit running across the center. Mist entire surface lightly with water.

  • Step 9

    Bake in the center of preheated oven until beautifully browned, 25 to 30 minutes.

  • Step 10

    Transfer to a rack to cool completely (do not slice loaf while it is still warm).

Chef's Notes

If you don't have a banneton, you can simply line a similarly sized bowl with a tightly woven cotton kitchen towel and generously coat it with rice flour. I've done that before, and it works exactly the same. The only difference is the wooden basket "breathes," unlike a metal bowl, but I don't think that's a huge deal.

Creamy Banana Bread

https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/7154/creamy-banana-bread/
By Pam Hall

I have been using this recipe for a few years now, and it remains my family's favorite for banana bread! The combination of bananas and cream cheese make this a very moist bread.
Fresh Banana Bread
Fresh Bananaa Bread (above)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup margarine, softened
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup mashed bananas
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Directions

  • Step 1

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two 8x4-inch loaf pans.

  • Step 2

    Cream the margarine and cream cheese together. Gradually add the white sugar, and continue beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the mashed bananas and vanilla. Add flour, baking powder, and baking soda; mix until batter is just moist.

  • Step 3

    In a small bowl, mix together chopped pecans, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, and cinnamon.

  • Step 4

    Divide half the batter between the two prepared loaf pans. Sprinkle pecan mixture over the batter in the pans, and top with remaining batter.

  • Step 5

    Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center of each loaf comes out clean, about 45 minutes.