John Pamperin

Nurse Practitioner, Educator and Entrepreneur

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Baking Essentials: Learning How to Make Banana Bread

I've been an amateur home baker for a number of years.  I first learned under the tutelage of my mom, but didn't get back into baking until just a few years ago.  Armed with a baking cookbook, I make my first recipe for a wheat bread - and it was an absolute failure.  It looked nice on the outside, but the inside was an underbaked gloopy mess.  I didn't understand what I did wrong at first, and I was about to toss the book on the shelf to be forgotten, but I had just bought a $200 mixer for my new hobby, and I didn't want to incur the wrath of my wife for not using my expensive new toy.

After many more failures, I started to get better and better and received more and more compliments.  The trouble, I found, was that a recipe can help guide you through the steps, but it takes experience of looking, feeling, smelling and tasting your food that brings it all together.  Food shows and cookbooks do not take the time to help you with these, and the experience is hard won.

With this project, I am going to go through the process of making a banana bread with a recipe from a world renowned baker.  I plan to go through it step by step, actively showing what your bread should look like in a certain stage, instead of just writing down that the batter should look "light and airy".  I chose this recipe because it requires more than one skill to produce, and it has several points of possible failure that can frustrate a beginning baker.  I hope that you enjoy this project and that it inspires you to continue to learn with this great hobby.

FYI - I have also included a gluten free version of this recipe that tastes just as good as the original.  Really!  Wheat flour is only a very small part of this bread, and substituting rice flour has really no impact on the final result! 

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