Breads

Buttermilk Bread Loaf

Buttermilk Bread Loaf

If you’re anything like me, you have a few ingredients in your fridge that dictate your menu. As in, if I don’t use this within the next day or so, I’ll have to throw it out. Like wilting spinach or proteins that you may have prematurely defrosted.

For me, that often occurs with produce or dairy items—and almost always, buttermilk. Sure, some would say, “Why don’t you just freeze it?” or “Mix some whole milk with lemon juice instead of buying buttermilk?”. Now the latter would make sense if I ever had whole milk in the fridge (other than when I bake or make ice creams) and freezing an upwards of 2+ cups of buttermilk seems odd to me.

Buttermilk Bread Loaf

So when I do find myself with a quart of buttermilk, I’ll deter to my trusted favorite recipes that call for it. Such as Buttermilk Fried Chicken, Red Velvet Banana Pancakes, Blackberry Muffins, or Cheddar Cheese Biscuits.

And of course, this wonderfully quick and easy Buttermilk Bread Loaf. This is one of my go-to recipes for loaf bread as it’s no knead and doesn’t require anytime to bloom the yeast. Sure, it does take a couple of minutes to warm up the buttermilk but other than that, your stand mixer does all the work. And you don’t even need the dough hook!

It’s quite a forgiving dough–perfect for those who are freaked out about yeast recipes. But the end results in a wonderful exterior crust and light interior crumb. Plus, the buttermilk gives a slight tang to the bread.

Start to finish, you’ll have fresh bread in less than 1.5 hours–and that includes proofing time! Can’t beat that!

Recipe from Elinor Klivans via Leite’s Culinara

Breakfast/Brunch

I’ll Make You Red Velvet Banana Pancakes….

Red Velvet Banana Pancakes

 

Because it’s almost Valentine’s Day and because Jack Johnson is so darn dreamy, I’d like to give you all this yummy Valentine—

Red Velvet Banana Pancakes.

 

Red Velvet Banana Pancakes

I mean, c’mon now. Doesn’t this just scream L-O-V-E???? And the only thing that could possibly make this breakfast even better would be delish mimosas.

And maybe some Bacon. But that’s a whole different Valentine Story. 🙂

Red Velvet Banana Pancakes

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!!!!!!

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Red Velvet Banana Pancakes
Makes approximately 16 pancakes

Ingredients:

2 Cups All-purpose Flour
1 Tablespoon Cocoa Powder
3 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar
2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
½ Teaspoon Baking Soda
½ Teaspoon Salt
2 Cups Buttermilk
1 Egg
3 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, melted and cooled slightly
½ Tablespoon Red Food Color
2 Cups Sliced Bananas
Vegetable Oil
Maple Syrup

In a medium bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt together. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, buttermilk milk, melted butter, and food coloring. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and whisk gently just until combined.

Heat oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet set over medium heat. Once the oil starts shimmering, use paper towels to wipe the pan so only a thin, even coating of oil covers the bottom and sides. Use a ¼ cup measure to portion the batter into the pan. Top each pancake with a layer of sliced bananas, gently pressing them into the batter. Cook on the first side until the edges are set and bubbles form on the surface, about 2 minutes. Use a spatula to flip the pancakes and cook for 1-2 minutes on the second side, or until golden brown and cooked through. Repeat with remaining batter, adding the rest of the oil to the pan if necessary. Serve pancakes with additional banana slices and maple syrup.

 Adapted from Cooks Illustrated

Poultry

Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Some friends of ours decided to host a Waffle Dinner a few weeks ago to enjoy some breakfast goodness at supper time. And then it hit us—what goes better with waffles?? Fried Chicken, of course!!! (And yes, perhaps my old haunts of Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles might have influenced some things, too.)

Thus we were on the course to pull together the perfect fried chicken—juicy, crispy, just the right amount of breading, well seasoned, and not the least bit oily. I’ll admit, I was pretty intimidated–I had never tried to make fried chicken before. Between my mom’s deliciously seasoned fried chicken and Popeye’s (don’t hate!), I had no reason to venture out. But apathy in the kitchen leads to no where–so off we went!

We settled on Alton Brown’s recipe for Fried Chicken because we liked the general theory behind his madness—however, we did tweak it because this gal needs her spice and seasonings. I also prefer dark meat with chicken and thus substituted accordingly.

The results? Pretty darn good. Seriously! Because of the buttermilk the chicken was extremely juicy. I also like the fact that his recipe allows for just the right amount of breading/crunch—not too much but not too little. Next time we’ll add more seasoning and hot sauce to the buttermilk as it marinates overnight. We weren’t sure how much would actually soak into the chicken and thus, were pretty conservative on the spice. I’m thinking at least 1/2 cup of Frank’s Red Hot Sauce next time with the milk.  🙂 Word to the wise—and we learned this the hard way–Don’t add Paprika or Cayenne to your dredging flour. It burns! 😦

Chicken waiting to be fried (Post Buttermilk Soak, Seasoning, and Dredging)

Bubbling in the Fryer

Buttermilk Fried Chicken
Adapted from Alton Brown

Ingredients:
Chicken, with your preference of cut (we did 8 drumsticks and 8 thighs)
2 Tablespoons Kosher Salt
2 Tablespoons Paprika
2 Teaspoons Garlic Powder
1 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
Flour, for dredging
Peanut Oil, for frying
*Buttermilk Marinade

For Buttermilk Marinade:
2 Cups low fat buttermilk
2-3 Tablespoons Tabasco Sauce
1 Tablespoon Garlic Salt
1 Tablespoon Onion Powder
½ Tablespoon Black Pepper
½ Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

Place chicken pieces into a plastic container and cover with buttermilk marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours.

Fill deep fryer with peanut oil and raise heat to 325 degrees. Drain chicken in a colander. Combine salt, paprika, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. Liberally season chicken with this mixture. Dredge chicken in flour and shake off excess. Let chicken sit on racks for 10 minutes to allow the breading to set.

Place chicken skin side down into fryer. In batches, cook chicken until golden brown—about 15-18 minutes or when internal temperature reaches 170-175 degrees for dark meat (165 degrees for white meat).

Drain chicken on a rack over a sheet pan and serve after 10 minutes.

ENJOY! 🙂