Improving on a favorite: brown butter banana bread 焦化奶油香蕉麵包

I (optimistically) thought that there would be a temporary lull in work activity from July to August, but I was wrong.  It turns out my schedule is as packed as it was before but with different types of activities.  However, one of the best things about my work location is it operates on summer hours for the second part of July and most of August.  Summer hours means that the office closes earlier in the afternoons, and is closed on all day Fridays.   So my current plan is to work efficiently Monday-Thursdays from early in the mornings until 4:00, and then try to take a break from work-related activities on Fridays.  This Friday, I decided that I would bake~ and since my apartment’s temperature breaks 30C by 10:00 am, I try to do anything that involves turning on the oven early in the morning.  Bananas are really bountiful in Taiwan this time of year~ at really good prices, so I decided to take advantage of the situation and bake banana bread. I tried a new recipe this time, which involves using brown butter (also known as beurre noisette). Brown butter is  made by melting butter slowly over medium heat.  Once the butter begins to melt, it will foam, and the color will change from a sunny to golden yellow, until finally a toasty brown. (Note, I found it better to use a light bottomed pan to brown butter, because then you can easily observe the color changes~ also the butter will become very foamy~ make sure you push aside the foam with a spoon to check the color of the butter underneath!) Once you start to smell a slightly nutty, caramel-ly aroma, remove the pot from the stove and pour the butter into a bowl to cool.

最近工作時間有點小調整~事情雖然沒有少, 但內容有一些有趣的改變。 大概因為是夏天的關係吧, 最近都很早起。這段時間, 室內溫度沒有破 30 C 以前, 是一個烘培的好時機。 這一次, 我試著用焦化奶油做香蕉麵包。 焦化奶油會讓原本平凡的香蕉麵包味道多一個層次。

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Product Review: Le Creuset Butter Keeper|新廚具使用心得 Le Creuset 奶油皿

One of my favorite items that I brought back from my travels this year, is my Le Creuset Butter Keeper (sometimes also known as a butter bell).  As far as I know, it’s not available in Taiwan, so it’s definitely an object of curiosity in my kitchen.

According to the Crate and Barrel’s website, butter keepers keep the butter soft, but not melted.  This is accomplished by a bit of water at the bottom of the container, which helps to keeps the butter cool. 

這次從美國回來帶了一個 Le Creuset 奶油皿~ 這個奶油皿特別的地方, 是可以讓奶油保持剛剛好 spreadable 的狀態! 神奇的地方,奶油不放冰箱也不會酸掉。 這是怎麼辦到的,其實我也不太會用中文解釋~所以就只能讓圖片說故事了!

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English Recipe Translations Basic Bread for the Panasonic SD-BMS 105T Bread Maker

A few months ago, I wrote a review about my experience using the Panasonic SD-BMS 105T Bread Maker, and I am so surprised that it is one of the most read posts on this blog!  As you know, my main issue with the machine is that I couldn’t find the instruction manual in English. One helpful reader, Adam, found the pdf version from a similar machine released in Hong Kong, and thankfully it’s in English! The wording in the manual is a little grammatically incorrect and there is definitely some confusing word choice, but it’s enough for me to gain an even better understanding of the machine and the ingredients. I love this machine for its ease of use, and I thought I would provide some translations so more people can use and enjoy this bread maker.

In this post, I would like to share with you the basic bread recipe for white bread.  I make this the most often in my kitchen, and I just vary it by adding in dried fruits, such as raisins or cranberries, or nuts such as walnuts or flaked almonds or pumpkin seeds.

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I had one fairly adventurous run with chocolate bread, but I only tried it once because I realized that I liked chocolate cake better 😀

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