Sunday, January 24, 2010

Tile Stoned

I (we) have spent a big part of weekend planning out the color, material and space schemes for future bathroom. After hours of staring on every possible tile in the 20 mile perimeter, after mild disagreements and compromising, after finding exactly the right colors

only to learn that the materials are inappropriate and the desired shapes unavailable, the decision was (preliminary) made.

To relax a little, to get the tiles from my head for a while, and to have something sweet ready for our friend R. (the great wizard of his craft) who is creating for us the perfect new space, I have made the banana - cranberry -walnut bread. I tried the recipe from R.L. Beranbaum's Bread Bible, but I (somehow) completely messed up the prescribed sequence. I mixed flour, sugar and baking soda first, than added sour cream, realized the mistake - the sour cream was supposed to be whisked with butter and sugar together, than with eggs and the solids were supposed to be add as the last. Oh well, I contemplated a fresh start for a second, than voted against it, added butter and eggs to whatever I already had instead, followed by mashed banana, cranberries and toasted nuts, scraped the mass to the greased form and waited without any expectation to see what will come up from the oven. And the miracle happened, the bread is actually very good.

The edges are a bit on the crunchy side, partly because of fancy silicon form shape I am using in place of simple loaf, but since the recipe calls for a lot of sugar and a whole stick of butter, the brownish crust tastes a lot like caramel. I used forgotten fresh cranberries i got originally for Thanksgiving sauce I never made and surprisingly they survived the two months in fridge quite fine, I had to discard just a small amount and the remaining ones were not even dried as I would expect. I as well toasted the walnuts for required 7 minutes, I have never tried that before and I have to say it made the bread more fragrant and it definitely enhanced the flavor.

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