Archive for Bread

Apple Cinnamon Bread

I find love in the little things.

It’s in little notes left on windshields, a small gesture to get hair out of a face, a snack ready-made when an arrival is imminent.

This year, as in every year we’ve been together, Boy declared that we don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. It’s commercial and too mushy for him. (He’s not super in-touch with his emotions. He’s known to crack jokes at the points in romantic comedies when I begin crying. I’ve been known to give him a solid punch in the side for doing so.)

So maybe it was the fact that I hadn’t seen him in days due to a snowboarding trip to Vermont, or maybe he decided we do kinda celebrate it, but he showed up last night with a plant. As in, a potted plant, “because you can watch a bouquet of flowers die, or you can watch the plant live!” (His words.)

That’s it. It’s huge. Beautiful, but huge. And kinda reminds me of the love fern from How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. But it was thoughtful of him and I love it.

What did I have in return for him?

A slice of this bread with a thin coating of peanut butter on top.

We had plans to make dinner together but on the phone prior to his arrival he noted his current state of starvation. I knew just what to do. I had made this bread over the weekend while he was gone and knew he would love it. The bread is faintly sweet, dotted with the chunks of Granny Smith apples, and finished with a sugary topping. With a bit of peanut butter spread on top, it’s a little slice of heaven. The perfect snack.

The perfect little thing to show him I was listening and I cared.

(He obviously scarfed it down, barely mumbled a Thank You, and we went about our business but I know somewhere in the depths of his mind he understood.)

Apple Cinnamon Bread
adapted from Brown Eyed Baker, originally on Two Peas and Their Pod

Makes 1 4×8″ loaf.


For loaf:

  • 1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 c vegetable oil
  • 1/4 c applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 c granulated sugar
  • 2 apples, peeled and chopped (Granny Smith recommended)

For topping:

  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 4×8″ loaf pan and line with parchment. Set aside.

For loaf, In a medium bowl, whisk flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer, beat eggs. Add in oil, applesauce, and vanilla and mix until smooth. Add sugar and mix until combined. On low, add in the flour mixture and, careful not to overmix, mix until just combined. Fold in the apples with a rubber spatula. Pour batter into prepared pan.

For topping, Mix sugars and cinnamon in a small bowl. Sprinkle evenly over batter in pan.

Bake 50-55 minutes or until tester comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan before turning the loaf out onto a cooling rack.

How was your Valentine’s Day?


Banana Bread – Take 2

Has it been long enough since I made my last banana bread? It’s just been a little over a month.

Not long enough, you say? In the words of Adrienne Maloof, “Well, whaddyou know?”

[Personal life aside: Is anyone else obsessed with all the Real Housewives like I am? Well, except Atlanta. I can’t seem to get into it for some reason. A friend told me how she saw Andy Cohen at a bar the night before the Superbowl and I was teeming with jealousy. Seriously. I have a problem. I’m a RH addict and I’m not afraid to show it. HOLLER!]

Anyhow, my home never seems to be without its share of overripe bananas and given my constant desire for baked breakfast goods, banana bread has been topping my list lately.

So banana bread version 2 was a go and I’m so glad it was because this recipe is super simple, requires one bowl, and doesn’t even need the help of electricity for mixing! Don’t get me wrong, I heart my KitchenAid like my own child but, like a child, sometimes you just want to do it on your own without an extra bowl or utensil to clean. The flavor of this banana bread was wonderful too. I wish there were still something of it left.. It got consumed too quick for my liking. Next time, I’ve made a mental note to double the recipe and get two loaves (one of which will be for me and me alone)!

Before I go sharing the recipe with you though, I’m a little behind on my posting of my daily eats. So..

This (Past Two) Week(s) I Ate:

  • Epicurious’ Apricot Glazed Chicken. Not a huge fan. Perhaps the chicken was a little bit dry but, for some reason, the flavor didn’t work for me either.
  • For Chinese New Year, I made Kevin’s dumplings with some adaptation (such as adding a bit of water chestnuts for crunch) using Jaden’s well-explained technique and sauce with the slurry and folding the dumplings. They came out super-cute, super-delicious, and Boy (and I) loved it! I also made some very quick bok choy. It was a wonderful way to start the new lunar year.
  • Mac & cheese that I adapted from the back of a Kraft shredded sharp cheddar package (I accidentally threw the package out before writing down the recipe). It had peas and bacon and was not as cheesy as I may usually like but probably healthier as a result so.. winning dish! Also, sometime in the leftover process I discovered the merits of adding just a bit of sour cream. Oh it was genius, forrealllll.
  • Our Superbowl extravaganza consisted of pizza from an unnamed pizza place, Buffalo Wild Wings (yummy), homemade chili from another friend, nachos, taquitos, lots of dips, salsa, guacamole, and finished with my (now-famous-in-my-group-of-friends) Mint Blueberry Cupcakes.
  • More Trader Joe’s and cafeteria food. Yum to the former. Ew to the latter.

In other news, I’m busy concocting February’s STO original recipe to follow up January’s success. A friend made a cupcake request so be on the lookout!

Banana Bread – Take 2
adapted from Simply Recipes

Makes 1 loaf.


  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 stick (4 tbsp) unsalted butter, melted
  • heaping 3/4 c granulated sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 c all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 4 x 8″ loaf pan.

Using a wooden spoon, combine bananas and butter in a large bowl. Add in the sugar, egg, and extract and mix. Add in the baking powder and salt and mix. Finally, add the flour and mix just until the flour disappears. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool however long you can and serve!

Is there a dish you make often for whatever reason? What is it? Do share!


Banana Bread

Happy Almost 2011!

I wish I had the time or the energy to really sit down and reflect on this past year at this moment but the past few days have been filled with snowboarding aka falling down a lot and being sore a lot. The good news, however, is that I think I finally have it down so I can at least reasonably go down a mountain with less than a dozen falls and less than half of those as actual falls. (I often sit down as a way of stopping but since this is purposeful I don’t see it as falling per se.. Go with it.) So it’s actually been good but my entire body hurts more at this point in time than it has ever hurt before. Is it strange that I’m proud of having beat up my body sufficiently enough to inflict such pain on myself?

In general though it’s been a great year. I started this blog and have met some wonderful people on it. I’ve pushed myself harder than ever before and I’m excited to see what the new year brings to Small Town Oven.

My blog resolution for 2011: Create a new recipe each month to share on STO.

Let’s hope I keep it!

In other reflections, I started my final year of medical school, began interviewing for residency positions (meaning a job), went to several weddings of people I love and adore, took a trip to Vegas, vacationed in London and Ireland, got a Kindle, and had some great times with some great people.

It was a good year but I’m ready for the new one to begin.

But not without my banana bread!!

This banana bread is a completely fantastic way to use up those bananas you have sitting on your counter getting older and darker by the minute. It’s soft, banana-y, and creates a wonderful crust (for your 93-year-old grandmothers who enjoy the burnt parts). It’s great for breakfast, mid-day snacks, or midnight munchies. Bring it to friends’ houses, family gatherings, or eat it all yourself and don’t tell a soul. I won’t tell. You have a little under 12 hours before that New Year’s Resolution hits. Just enough time to bake, eat, and hide the evidence!

Banana Bread
from Mary Sue Milliken & Susan Feniger via Food Network

Makes 1 9″ loaf (or an 8″ loaf with lots of crust).

2 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3 over-ripe bananas
1 tbsp milk
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 c (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 c granulated sugar
2 large eggs

Preheat oven to 325F. Grease loaf pan however which way you like (I used butter).

In a small bowl, mash the bananas with the milk and ground cinnamon. Set aside. In another medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

Using a stand or hand mixer, cream butter and sugar together until well combined. Add in eggs one at a time, mixing until incorporated. Then add in the banana mixture and combine. Stir in the flour mixture until the flour just disappears. Pour into loaf pan and bake 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes before turning out (or keep it in the pan which is what we do).

See you in the New Year!

B.Flay’s Pumpkin Bread Pudding and Giveaway Winner

Short post today because this recipe is a doozie!

First things first. Winner of the CSN gift certificate giveaway (generated by is…

Entry #3 Catherine! Congratulations! I’ll be emailing you shortly with the details.

Thank you to everyone who participated. Hopefully this will be the first of many giveaways!


Secondly, since I kicked off this giveaway with a recipe for Chocolate Pumpkin Bread adapted from Bobby Flay, I’m sharing with you our Thanksgiving dessert: Bobby Flay’s Pumpkin Bread Pudding. You may be sick of the pumpkin goods by now but I’m certainly not. My trusty bottle of cinnamon doesn’t leave my side from November to January!

Word of warning: This recipe has a lot of components and you end up with a lot of egg whites leftover (11 total). That being said, it’s totally worth it. Totally. I stretched it out over a few days and it was quite manageable: pumpkin bread on day 1, creme and caramel on day 2, and assembly on day 3. You could probably get away with buying pumpkin bread or using your own favorite recipe if you want to change it up. The bread pudding is also great on its own and you may opt to not make them but they both add something to the dish. The caramel cuts the thick creme and the creme balances out the sweet caramel. Both turn this dish into a real stunner. My five-person family ate the entire dish in one day.

If you’re looking for a showstopper for your next holiday party, this is it.

B.Flay’s Pumpkin Bread Pudding
adapted from B.Flay on Food Network

Makes 1 9×13″ pudding.

For Pumpkin Bread:

  • 1 3/4 c all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 4 tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 c sugar
  • 1/4 c vegetable oil
  • 1 c pumpkin puree
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 c water

For Creme Anglaise:

  • 2 c half-and-half
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1/3 c granulated sugar (pure cane)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (or 1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped)

For Spiced Caramel:

  • 1 c heavy cream
  • 1/2 c apple juice
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • heaping 1/4 tsp ground cloves (or 4 whole cloves)
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 c granulated sugar
  • 1/2 c water
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp butterscotch liquor (or 1 tbsp apple schnapps)

For Custard:

  • 2 c heavy cream
  • 1 c whole milk
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 c white granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 c pumpkin puree
  • 2 tbsp butterscotch liquor (or bourbon)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (or 1 vanilla bean with seeds scraped)

For Pumpkin Bread: Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9″ loaf pan.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Set aside.

With a stand or hand mixer, beat together the butter, sugar, and oil at high speed until light and fluffy. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add pumpkin puree and then the eggs one at a time until just combined. Then on low speed slowly add in the flour and water mixture, beating until just combined. Pour into prepared loaf pan and bake about 60-75 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool. (I left mine in the pan until the day I made the pudding.)

For Creme Anglaise: Bring half-and-half (and vanilla bean/seeds if using) to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Set a bowl with a strainer over an ice water bath.

While the half-and-half is heating, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until pale and ribbon-like when whisk is lifted. When the liquid is simmering, temper the eggs by pouring in about 1/4 c of the liquid, whisking constantly. Then slowly pour in the rest of the liquid while continuing to whisk. Pour the mixture back into the pot and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture coats the back of the spoon with a thick layer that does not run when a line is drawn through it. Strain the mixture into the bowl atop the ice bath and stir until chilled. Cover and refrigerate until service.

For Caramel Apple Sauce: In a small saucepan, combine cream, apple juice, ginger, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and nutmeg. Bring to a simmer, then remove from heat and let steep for at least 20 minutes. Strain into a clean saucepan and keep over low heat while making the caramel.

In a separate medium saucepan, combine sugar, water, and vinegar. Keep over high heat and allow to cook without stirring until it is a deep amber. This will take about 8 minutes but watch it very closely as it is prone to burning in a short period of time. Slowly whisk in the warmed cream a little at a time until smooth. Be careful as the mixture will bubble up. Continue whisking and remove from heat if necessary. Add liquor and cook for about 30 more seconds. Serve warm.

For Assembly: Preheat oven to 325F. Cut pumpkin bread into 1/2″ cubes and place on a lined baking sheet. Toast in oven, turning once, for 20 minutes. Let cool.

While toasting, make the custard by combining the cream, milk, and vanilla bean if using in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to simmer.

Meanwhile, whisk together egg yolks, sugar, maple syrup, and pumpkin in a large bowl. Once cream mixture is simmering, add about 1/4 c to the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Then, still whisking, add the rest of the cream. Whisk in vanilla extract and liquor. Strain into a clean bowl.

Scatter toasted pumpkin bread cubes into a 9×13″ baking dish. Pour custard over the bread, pressing them in so as to soak completely. Let soak for 15 minutes.

I just realized I did not do this but B.Flay then says to place the baking dish in a larger roaster pan and pour hot water into the larger pan until it is halfway up the sides of the baking dish. If you’re lazy, our bread pudding was delicious without the water bath. Bake for about 1 hour at 325F or until just slightly jiggly in the center.

To serve, spoon creme anglaise into a shallow bowl and place portion of bread pudding on top. Drizzle caramel over pudding. Serve with whipped cream if desired though the dessert is quite rich already (but hey, I’m not judging).

Are you sick of pumpkin yet?

Chocolate Pumpkin Bread + GIVEAWAY

See that? There’s no beautiful crust on the end of that sizable chunk  of pumpkin bread.

Why, you ask?

My grandma ate it. That’s right. She went around the entire perimeter of my beautiful chocolate pumpkin loaf and ate all the good parts.

Hence, no lovely pictures of the entire loaf. I apologize for that. So does my 93-year-old grandmother.


I somehow scored the week off since I have no interviews scheduled. That means lots of blog things happening! I haven’t gotten time off to really spend on this blog since it began (chalk that up to the perils of medical school) so I’m quite excited to try out a few new things in both the kitchen and here on the internets.

First up, this chocolate pumpkin bread. Ooooooh baby is this good! I’m making B.Flay’s Pumpkin Bread Pudding for Thanksgiving and started with making the pumpkin bread yesterday. But then I felt guilty that I made this wonderful pumpkin loaf and had to tell everyone that it was not for eating! So.. another pumpkin loaf was born with a few adaptations because why the heck not? I’ll be posting the regular recipe with all its glory soon but for now please please please try this recipe out. It’s fantastic. Half the loaf was gone in a matter of minutes. The other half will likely not make it through the day.

Secondly, I received a lovely email asking if I would like to be a part of a list of 100 blogs for students a few weeks ago. Of course, I said yes! My first little bit of press out there and I’m ecstatic about it. I’m featured at the wayyyy bottom of the page under Student Bloggers. Also featured are lots of other blogs I happen to read so please visit the website here and give some love!

I am holding my very first giveaway here at small town oven! Wooooooo!! Up for grabs is a $35 gift certificate from CSN Stores which features a ton of products including kitchen/dining things such as the apple peeler I reviewed last month, decorating items, and even little holiday gifting ideas for your loved ones (which may or may not be yourself I won’t tell)!

Here’s the deal.

1. You comment, you get an entry.

2. You subscribe to the RSS feed, you get an entry. (For Google Reader, you can click here.) Comment again for another entry.

3. Post about the contest on your blog, facebook, twitter or what have you. Comment with a link to the posted link for another entry.

Contest ends in one week: MIDNIGHT, NOVEMBER 30TH.

Chocolate Pumpkin Bread
adapted from Bobby Flay

Makes 1 9″ loaf.


  • 1 1/4 c all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp cocoa
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 4 tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 c sugar
  • 1/4 c vegetable oil
  • scant 1 c pumpkin puree
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 c water

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9″ loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray or extra butter.

Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger in a large bowl. Set aside.

Using a stand or hand mixer, cream together butter, sugar, and oil on high speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl often. Add pumpkin puree and blend well. Add eggs one at a time, mixing until incorporated. Then, on low speed slowly add the dry ingredients and the water. Mix until just combined. Pour mixture into prepared pan and bake for 60-75 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan before removing and eating!

Note: I also folded 4 oz of chopped white chocolate at the end but as you can tell by these pictures they melted away. If you want to add a handful of white chocolate chips I think they could go great but I might cut back a little bit on the sugar.

Look for updates including a longer blogroll and a new Facebook page coming soon!

Happy Turkey Day to you and yours. Sharing is caring so try not to eat all the “good parts” (ie the crust on this loaf) on your own!