Monday, August 01, 2011

If you can't stand the heat...

...bake in your crock pot. Really! Whether you are skeptical or intrigued, read on...

Here's the scenario that confronted me today: Two brown speckled bananas hanging on the banana tree. Ninety-one degrees outside. Eighty-four degrees inside, even after running the (ancient) living room AC unit and 3 fans all morning.

Those bananas were just asking to be mashed and folded into some banana bread (and my stomach thought that sounded like a great idea), but there was no way I was going to turn on the oven today. To the rescue: CrockPot Lady Stephanie O'Dea and my own trusty crock pot. It's so crazy simple you'll be amazed:

1. Follow your favorite banana bread recipe (see link to mine below) and pour the batter into a greased loaf pan. (I used an 8"x4" metal nonstick loaf pan, which fits perfectly into my 6 qt oval crock pot. Stephanie advises that if all you have is a round crock pot, you can use a round baking dish that fits snugly into the stoneware. Be sure to test out the fit before you fill a pan or dish with batter. Learned that one the hard way.)

2. Prop the lid open just a tad to let out some of the steam. (I used a clean ballpoint pen. You could also use a chopstick or anything with similar circumference.)

3. "Bake" on high for 4 hours or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Carefully remove the hot pan from the stoneware. Let cool 5 minutes in pan, and then remove loaf to wire rack and let cool completely.

Full Disclosure: Your bread may not get that nice peaked crown it would get in the oven. But come on, you just baked bread in your crock pot! Cut it some slack. And then cut yourself a slice, 'cause it's gonna be tasty.

That's all there is to it! No sweat. (Yep, pun intended). And as an added bonus, you get to enjoy the scrumptious smell of bread baking for 4 hours instead of just one!

This Mix & Match Quick Bread guide from Food Network Magazine has become my go-to recipe for banana bread (and many other quick bread varieties). Today's loaf was banana chocolate chip.

1 comment:

Kristin said...

Hi Suz! Good to see this recipe from you! Since people usually get kinda sporadic about posting in the summer, I've gotten sporadic about reading, and last I checked, I thought you had signed off for good! So imagine my delight to see you back at it :-). I've been intrigued by baking in the crockpot, although I've never tried it. Btw, you're the one that turned me on to the Crockpot 365 website, and I've tried several of her great recipes - so thanks! - Hope you had a wonderful vacation to Vail. Pictures? Talk with you soon dear, ~Kristin (used to be from Windy Poplars, now from Kristin's Veranda)