Category Archives: Breads

Favorite Banana Bread

I settled on this recipe in my search for “the best” banana bread.  All the others I tried were good, but this one scores high on taste as well as appearance, with a toasty-brown top that rises high from the pan.  The clincher was when someone told me “it was one of the best banana breads” she’d ever eaten. Score!

I started with the Sour Cream Banana Bread at Genius Kitchen and made a few modifications to make it my own. It doubles very easily, and I always freeze at least 1 loaf to save or give away.  I hope you’ll like it as much as we do!

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 cup mashed very ripe banana (about 3 small to medium bananas)
  • 1/2 cup chopped toasted nuts (optional)
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1-1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar


Preheat oven to 350F. Grease 1 large 9×5″ loaf pan.  Bring all ingredients to room temperature.

Combine the apple cider vinegar and milk and allow to sit while preparing the remaining ingredients.  Mash and measure the bananas.

Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl; blend well with a fork or whisk.

Cream the butter, sugars, eggs, and vanilla.  Add the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated.  Add the banana, nuts, and milk-vinegar mixture.  Mix well.

Pour into greased pan.  Bake for 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.


  • I double the recipe and bake it in either 2 large loaf pans or 4 small pans + 1 loaf pan.
  • To freeze baked loaf:  Wrap tightly in foil or parchment paper, then wrap in plastic wrap to completely seal out the air.  Place in a ziploc freezer bag, squeeze out as much air as possible, label it with a date, and store in freezer for 1-3 months.
  • To use frozen loaf:  Remove from freezer and allow to come to room temperature inside the wrapping.  Remove plastic wrap and place foil-wrapped bread in a 275-300F oven for about 1 hour to reheat.  Allow to cool before slicing.
  • To serve:  I like to cut smaller pieces by cutting it lengthwise down the middle, then cut each half crosswise into 12 pieces, yielding a total of 24 pieces.  If you want large gargantuan pieces smothered with peanut butter or Nutella, then go for it! 🙂

Cast Iron Skillet Cornbread

I found this recipe while hunting for a good cornbread made from scratch that contains butter (not oil).  I chose this one on the basis of the reviews and I trust Alex’s recipes.  I adjusted the ratio of cornmeal to flour, and reduced the sugar a bit so it’s not quite as sweet and cake-like as some. We loved it and now it’s our family go-to cornbread recipe. In fact, my sister-in-law makes it every single day and keeps it out to snack on throughout the day!

Adapted from:

Yield:  8-10 servings

  • 1-1/2 cups coursely ground cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 T granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 tsp. BP
  • 1/2 tsp. BS
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup buttermilk (substitute: combine 1 cup milk + 1 Tbsp. vinegar, let sit 5 minutes)
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 8 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 425F and place a 9-inch cast iron skillet inside to heat while you make the batter.

In a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt, BP, and BS.  Whisk in the milk, buttermilk, and eggs.  Whisk in almost all of the melted butter, reserving about 1 Tbsp. for the skillet later on.

Carefully(!) remove the hot skillet from the oven.  Reduce oven temperature to 375F.  Coat the bottom and sides of the hot skillet with the remaining butter.  Pour the batter into the skillet and place it in the center of the oven.  Bake until the center is firm and a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.  Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes and serve.


  • In our [48-year-old small] oven, it baked 20 minutes to done.  Then, I place it under the broiler for 2-3 minutes to brown the top.  KEEP AN EYE ON IT, or your masterpiece will burn!

Special Herb Bread

This recipe was published in the Food section of the Los Angeles Times in the mid-1980’s. I’ve made it many times and it’s always a hit. It’s an excellent bread to serve at a BBQ — try heating it, wrapped in foil, on the grill. The spread could also be served on the side for any bread or rolls, or to add on top of steak, fish, potatoes, or anything on which you want a dollop of herb butter.
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Green Chile and Cheese Cornbread

I found this recipe at Saucy Sally’s Site. I’ve served it at two baby shower luncheons where it was a big hit. Original source:  Bon Appetit, July 1989, page 78; posted here with Sally’s permission.
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Flaky Baking Powder Biscuits

These delicious biscuits melt in your mouth! The recipe comes from Farm Journal’s Country Fair Cookbook, one of the many cookbooks in Rita’s collection.
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