Babka Bread w/ Cinnamon Walnut filling

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Babka Bread w/ Cinnamon Walnut Filling

  • Servings: Makes 1 9x5 loaf pan
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Ingredients:

For the dough:

  • 1/2 cup (118 ml) whole milk
  • 1/4 cup (85 grams) honey
  • 1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter
  • 3 cups (360 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 envelope (2 1/4 teaspoons, 7 grams) active-dry yeast
  • 2 large eggs

For the filling:

  • 1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (160 grams) light or dark brown sugar, packed
  • 2 cups (226 grams) Diamond of California Chopped Walnuts, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions:

  1. To prepare the dough: Combine the milk, honey and butter in a small saucepan set over medium heat. Warm just until butter is melted. Remove from heat and let cool 5 minutes, or until it is between 120-130 degrees F.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook (you can also use a large bowl and mix by hand), combine 2 cups of the flour, the salt, cinnamon and yeast. Add the milk mixture and mix until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each.
  3. Add the remaining flour a few tablespoons at a time, letting it incorporate into the dough before adding more. When all the flour has been added, the dough should be very soft, but still clear the sides of the bowl. If necessary, add a few more tablespoons of flour. Continue to knead the dough for about 5 more minutes until it’s smooth and elastic.
  4. Carefully place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Gently punch down the dough to release gases and knead a few more times by hand.

To assemble the stuffed challah:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a handheld mixer, combine the butter, brown sugar, walnuts and cinnamon and mix until smooth. Mixture should be crumbly. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, line an 8½ by 4½-inch loaf pan with parchment paper, allowing the excess to hang over the edges.
  3. Punch down the dough on a lightly floured work surface. Roll out the dough to a 20 by 14-inch rectangle. Spread filling over the dough, leaving a ½-inch border around the edges. Working from the short side, roll the dough into a cylinder and pinch along the seam to seal.
  4. Position the cylinder seam side up and roll back and forth until stretched to 18 inches long.
  5. Gently twist the double cylinder twice to form a double figure eight. Place the shaped dough seam side down in the prepared pan, cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until it doubles in size, about 1 hour.
  6. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Make an egg wash with 1 large egg and a teaspoon of water and brush on the loaf. Bake until golden, about 35-40 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes before transferring from sheet pan. Bread is best the day it is baked, but will keep in an airtight container for a few days.

Recipe inspired by Bon Appetit

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Peaches n’ Cream Danish Pastry

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Dessert for breakfast? Yes please. Who would ever turn down that kind of offer? Not me of course haha. This danish bread came out perfectly golden brown and the warm aroma filled my house with the sweet smells of bread. The warm, soft, and delectable bread must be eaten after two days or else the danish will lose it’s soft and chewy texture. You are more than welcome to use any other kind of filling besides peach jam and cream cheese such as nutella, jellies, or something unique like sweet potato or anko (sweet red bean paste)

Peaches n' Cream Danish Pastry

  • Servings: makes two braided danish
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Ingredients:

For the Dough:

  • 1/4 cup (60ml) warm water, 105F-115F degrees
  • 2 and 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 standard package)
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) milk, at room temperature*
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 and 1/2 cups (315g) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 14 Tablespoons (210g) unsalted butter, cold

For the Filling:

  • 1/2 cup Jam of choice (i uded peach jam)
  • 8 oz  full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the egg wash:

  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) milk

Directions:

  1. Whisk the yeast and warm water together in a large bowl. Allow to sit for 3 minutes until foamy. Add milk, egg, granulated sugar, and salt. Once these wet ingredients are mixed together, set the bowl aside and make your butter/flour mixture.
  2. Cut butter into 1/4 inch slices and add to a food processor or blender. Top with flour. Pulse the mixture 10-12 times, until butter is fairly crumbled.
  3. Pour the flour mixture into the wet ingredients. Very gently fold the two mixtures together. Do not be angry with the dough! You want to be very, very, very gentle when you are folding the two together. Fold *just until* the dry ingredients are moistened. The butter must remain in pieces, which creates a flaky pastry. Turn the dough out onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Wrap the dough up tightly and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  4. After 4-12 hours, take the dough out of the refrigerator to begin the “rolling and folding” process. Flour a work surface. The dough will be sticky, so make sure you have flour nearby as you roll and fold. Using the palm of your hands, gently flatten the dough into a small square. From there, roll out into a 15 inch long rectangle using your rolling pin. You may have to continue to lightly flour the counter as you are rolling.
  5. Fold the dough together as if it were a business letter. And roll it out into a 15 inch long rectangle again. Then, fold again into a business letter. You’ll repeat rolling and folding 1 more time for a total of 3 times.
    Fold the dough up tightly, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 day.
  6. While the dough is chilling, make your cream cheese filling. In a medium bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and egg yolk together on medium speed until smooth. Add the sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla. Beat until smooth.  Set aside.
  7. After at least 30 minutes, take the dough from the refrigerator and cut it in half. Wrap 1 half up and keep chilled as you work with the first half. Roll out your dough to make a 12×6 inch rectangle. I rolled this dough out onto a floured work surface, but I suggest you roll it out onto a lined baking sheet. (Lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.) It is tough to transfer the braided dough from the counter to the baking sheet, unless you are very careful! Refer to the picture below.How-to-Make-Blueberries-Cream-Danish-Pastry-Braid
  8. Cut off two corners of the dough and then two small triangles at the other end. 
  9. Spread 1/2 of the filling (I used both peach jam and cream cheese) down the length of the center of the strip. Cut slanting strips (3/4 inch – 1 inch each) along both sides. I used a very sharp knife, but a pastry wheel or pizza cutter will work just fine. Fold the bottom end up to “seal” the filling in and allow the braid to rest for 15-20 minutes as you preheat your oven. Repeat with the second half of the dough and the rest of the filling.
  10. Preheat oven to 400F. Beat the egg wash ingredients together. Brush the top of the pastry with egg wash. There will be enough egg wash for both braids. The egg wash gives your pastry that beautiful sheen.
    Bake each braid for 15-16 minutes or until golden brown. Make sure to rotate the pan at least two times to ensure the braid is browning evenly.
  11. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes. Drizzle with glaze, slice, and enjoy!

Additional Notes:

*I tested this dough with 1% and skim milk. Would also work with 2% or whole. Avoid nondairy milk.

Make Ahead: prepare the dough through step 3. The dough at this point can be chilled overnight and up to 3 days. OR prepare the dough through step 5. Fold the dough up tightly, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator for up to 1 day. During this second chilling time, you could actually keep the dough frozen for up to 1 month. Then thaw overnight in the refrigerator when you are ready to shape in step 6.

Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

Coconut Date Cinnamon Rolls w/ Rose Water Glaze

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Tweaked up this simple cinnamon roll recipe from Joy the Baker and it came out to be a success! The tropical taste of the coconut is nicely paired with a tangy and unique flavor of rose water. Not only is it delicious, but the name “rose water” makes the title sound even more fancy. Haha. Need a little something to fancy up your morning breakfast? This recipe is just for you! Happy eating~ 🙂IMG_0767 IMG_0769

 

Coconut Date Cinnamon Rolls w/ Rose Water Glaze

  • Servings: 8-12 rolls, depending on how thick you want them to be
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For the Dough:

  • 1 – 1/4oz package active dry yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon, plus 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk at room temperature
  • 2 Tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted, plus more for kneading
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 Tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pan

For the Filling:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 9 dates, pitted and roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup sweetened coconut
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened

For the Icing:

  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 teaspoon rose water extract

Making the Dough:

In the bowl of a stand mixer combine yeast, 1/2 teaspoon sugar and 1/4 cup water heated to 115 degrees F.  Stir to combine and let sit until frothy and foamy, about 10 minutes.

Add remaining sugar, milk, light brown sugar, vanilla, egg, and egg yolk.  Beat with a wire whisk until well combined.  Fit the bowl onto the mixer, fitting with the dough hook attachment.  Add the flour and salt and mix on medium speed until the dough just begins to come together.  Turn the machine on medium-high and knead the dough for 4 minutes.

Add the butter and continue to knead for about 6 minutes.  The dough will the wet and sticky.  Place the dough on a well floured work surface, and knead about 1/3 cup all-purpose flour into the dough.  Don’t worry, the dough still might be a little sticky.  It’s ok.  Just set the dough to rest in a large greased bowl.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and allow to rise in a warm place for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until doubled in size.

While the dough rises, make the filling.  Combine the sugar, dark brown sugar, dates, cinnamon, coconut, and salt in a large bowl.  Stir to combine.  Set aside.

When the dough has doubled in size, dump if from the bowl onto a heavily floured work surface.  Gently knead the dough until it is no longer sticky, adding more flour as needed.  I think I added about 3 Tablespoons of flour.  Work the dough for about 1 or 2 minutes.  Once it’s no longer sticky, place a kitchen towel over the dough and let rest for 5 minutes before you roll it out.

Using a floured rolling pin, gently roll it into a 10 x 20-inch rectangle.  Be as gently as possible with the dough, but continue to work it until you reach the size you need.

Turn the dough so that the short sides are parallel to you.  You’re going to roll from the short sides of the dough.

Brush the top of the dough with the butter.

Pour all of the filling onto the dough.  Spread evenly, leaving a 1-inch boarder at one of the short edges of the dough so the roll can be properly sealed.  Lightly press the filling into the dough.

Using your hands, lift up the bottom edge of the dough and roll it forward into a tight cylinder.  Place dough cylinder seam side down on a cutting board.  Using a sharp, thin knife, trim off the uneven edges.

Cut cylinder into 8 equal slices.  Nestle the slices, cut side up and evenly spaced in a butter 9 x 13-inch (light colored) metal baking dish.  Cover pan with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place to let rise for 2 hours.  You may also refrigerate rolls overnight.

Heat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Uncover the rolls.  If you refrigerated the rolls, let them sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before baking.  Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes.

Make the icing:  While the rolls are baking, whisk together the sugar, buttermilk, and rose water in a small bowl until smooth.

Transfer the pan of cinnamon rolls to a cooling rack.  Brush with remaining butter.  Let cool for 5 minutes.  Dip the tines of a fork into the icing and drizzle over the rolls.  Sprinkle with more coconut and serve immediately.

Olive and Herb Foccacia Bread

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The perfect appetizer before a family dinner. This recipe tastes exactly, if not, better than the bread that you get at your favorite Italian restaurant. I have been craving bread like this ever since . . . well . . . forever! I sprinkled some garlic powder on top of the focaccia bread before I baked it off. Happy Eating~ 🙂IMG_0447 IMG_0453

Olive and Herb Focaccia

  • Servings: Makes 1 large focaccia
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Dough:

  • 3 cups + 1 tablespoon (430g) all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano or thyme
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons (7g) dried yeast
  • 2 teaspoons table salt
  • 1 teaspoon superfine sugar
  • 1 ¼ cups (300ml) warm water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Topping:

  • 12-15 black olives, pitted and roughly chopped (optional)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons fresh oregano or thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt – I used Maldon

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine flour, oregano, yeast, salt and sugar. Stir to combine. Drizzle with the water and the olive oil and stir with a wooden spoon until a shaggy dough forms. Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and no longer sticky, about 10 minutes – resist the urge to add more flour; the dough is really soft so I preferred to use my Kitchen Aid with the dough hook to knead the dough.
  2. Shape the dough into a ball and place into a lightly oiled large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
  3. Lightly oil a heavy cookie sheet. Turn the dough onto it and press gently to deflate. Shape into an oval about 2cm thick – the oval will be about 25cm (10in) long. Lightly brush the dough with olive oil and loosely cover the surface directly with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise again in a warm spot until puffed and almost double, about 20 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 220°C/428°F. Remove the plastic wrap from the dough. Lightly coat your middle 3 fingertips with flour and press into the dough down (but not through) the bottom. Repeat this dimpling all over the dough. Scatter the olive pieces over the surface, pressing them into the dimples. Drizzle the dough evenly with 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with the oregano and the coarse salt.
  5. Bake until the top of the focaccia is golden and browned, 25-30 minutes. Remove from the pan and, using a large metal spatula, transfer the focaccia to a wire rack, drizzle with the remaining ½ tablespoon of olive oil. Serve warm (I found it delicious cold, too).

Adapted from Technicolor Kitchen

Zucchini Walnut Bread

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This is one of my favorite quick breads ever! Moist, soft, fluffy, and a bit crunchy from the walnuts, this bread is perfect for Sunday mornings with hot coffee on the side. Breakfast anyone? Get Ready. Happy Eating~ 🙂

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Zucchini Walnut Bread

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest (optional)
  • 3 cups zucchini, grated
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped (or use pecans or chocolate chips…why not both??)
Directions:
  1. Grease and flour two 9 x 5 inch loaf pans. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon together and mix until combined with a whisk.
  3. In another large bow, beat together the eggs, oil, apple sauce, sugars, vanilla, and orange zest until fully incorpated and smooth. Slowly add in the flour into the wet ingredients until combined. Gently stir in the zucchini and nuts with a rubber spatula.
  4. Pour into prepared pans and bake for 40-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean. Cool on rack completely before cutting and serving.

Challah Bread

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What is yeast? Yeast is a living single-celled organism that when added to the dough, it feeds on glucose (sugar), which allows the dough to release the trapped carbon dioxide, causing it to rise and expand in its shape. The production of alcohol (yeast’s by-product) and acids reacting to proteins, are another factor that causes the dough to expand. The process of mixing the dough with a dough hook, or kneading the dough by hand, creates friction, which allows the dough temperature to rise (beginning of fermentation). Also, during the mixing of the dough, gluten is created which helps the dough obtain structure and strength. After the dough has been mixed and kneaded, it is ready for bench proofing or floor time (also known as fermentation). The mixed dough is removed from the bowl and transferred to another large bowl that has been sprayed with vegetable oil to prevent the dough from sticking. It is then plastic wrapped or covered with a cloth to retain the dough temperature and preventing the dough from being dried. After the dough had been risen to double it’s size, it is ready for creating many different products of your choice.

Believe it or not, just one gram of yeast contains about 20-30 billion yeast cells! Amazing right? IMG_0360

If you are using fresh yeast, also known as cake yeast, you can simply substitute every .6 ounces of dry yeast with 1 ounce of fresh yeast. For example, if a recipe calls for 3 ounces of cake yeast, that is equivalent to 1.8 ounces of dry yeast. How? Well I simply did my math by multiplying .6 x 3, which got me the answer 1.8.

Here is the formula of fermentation:

C6H12O6 → 2C2H5OH + 2CO2 + energyglucose → ethyl alcohol + carbon dioxide + energy

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Challah Bread

  • Servings: 2 braided loaves
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  • 1/2 cup plus 2/3 cup warm water (105°F. to 115°F.)
  • 2 tablespoons dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoons plus 3/4 cup sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 7 1/2 cups (about) all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg
  1. Combine 1/2 cup warm water, yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar in large glass measuring cup and stir until yeast dissolves. Let yeast mixture stand at room temperature until foamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. In large bowl of heavy-duty mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat 5 eggs until blended. Add oil, salt and 3/4 cup sugar and beat until pale yellow and slightly thickened, about 4 minutes. Beat in 2/3 cup warm water. Add yeast mixture and beat until blended. Remove whisk and fit mixer with dough hook. Add enough flour 1 cup at a time to form smooth dough, beating well after each addition. Beat on medium speed until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes, adding flour by tablespoonfuls if sticky. Turn out onto floured surface and knead 2 minutes.
  3. Lightly oil large bowl. Add dough, turning to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap, then with clean kitchen towel. Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 1 hour (or about 1 hour and 30 minutes if you are using regular active dry yeast instead of rapid rising dry yeast). Or leave in the refrigerator to prepare for the next day. Make sure to leave it out to room temperature for about 30 minutes before continuing.
  4. Punch down dough. Cover with plastic and clean kitchen towel and let rise 30 minutes.
  5. Grease 2 large baking sheets. Turn out dough onto lightly floured surface. Divide dough into 2 equal portions. Divide each portion into 3 equal pieces. Roll each piece into 9-inch-long rope. Braid 3 ropes together; pinch ends together to seal. Repeat with remaining dough pieces, forming 2 braids. Place each braid on baking sheet. Cover with towel . Let rise in warm area until almost doubled, about 20-30 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 400°F. Whisk egg in a small bowl and begin to brush the braided dough with the whisked egg wash. Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Bake until bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on bottom, about 35 minutes. Make sure that you rotate the pan halfway through the baking process. Transfer loaves to rack and serve warm or cool completely before wrapping. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Wrap tightly in plastic and store at room temperature.)

Peanut Butter Pecan Banana Bread

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Have you ever seen a simply banana read look THIS delicious?? Just wow. The combination of peanut butter and banana is one of my favorites! It’s unfortunate to know that some people are allergic to peanuts . . . it is just so upsetting to think about. Peanut butter is my love. Aside from cinnamon. Lol. Anyways. This moist and flavorful banana bread is perfect for breakfast or a light snack during the day. Serve with a cup of coffee or milk and you are ready to go! Happy Eating~ 🙂1525566_753774751318221_1640669103_n

Make sure you have VERY ripe bananas to ensure bold flavors of banana in your recipe. If you are in a rush and do not have ripe bananas, just put your regular yellow bananas on a baking sheet and bake for 30-40 minutes on 300 degrees Fahrenheit in the oven. Take it out of the oven and let it cool for 30 minutes so the sugars are able to come out, causing the banana to nicely brown.1460217_753774894651540_672348447_n

As you read the recipe below, you will notice a strange ingredient that makes you wonder, “What the heck is that?” Well. Let’s see. What exactly IS ground flaxseed? Flaxseed meal is simply just ground up whole flaxseeds (also called linseed), which provides more nutrients since it is easier to digest. The seeds are from the flax plant that are used to make the linen of our clothes. This antioxidant-rich seed is very high in lignens (chemical compound with antioxidant qualities), omega-3 (the “good fats” that our body can not produce on its own), fiber, vitamin B1, good carbohydrates, and phytochemicals. There are many benefits to eating flaxmeal such as lowering cholesterol, improve blood sugar, prevent against cancer, prevent hot flashes, and flushing out the bad chemicals in the body. How can you add this to your diet? You can simply replace 1 egg with 1 tablespoon of flaxmeal+3 tablespoons of water to a recipe such as pancakes, muffins, cookies, breads, bars, casseroles, pizza crusts, dinner rolls…you name it! Just be reminded that flaxmeal can add a little of a nutty flavor whenever you add it to a recipe.

Peanut Butter Pecan Banana Bread

  • Servings: one 9x5 inch loaf pan
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For the Bread:

  • 1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana
  • 1/3 cup plain fat-free yogurt
  • 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 6.75 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 cup pecan, chopped

For the Peanut Butter Glaze:

  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon 1% low-fat milk
  • 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons toasted pecan, roughly chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease bottom and sides of a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan; dust with flour, tapping out excess.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the bananas, yogurt, peanut butter, butter and eggs at medium speed until combined. Add sugars and beat until blended.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, flaxseed, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and allspice. Add flour mixture to banana mixture; beat just until blended. Stir in pecans. Scrape batter into prepared loaf pan and smooth surface with a rubber spatula.
  4. Bake until top is golden and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour 5 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and cool completely.
  5. To make the peanut butter glaze, in a small bowl whisk together powdered sugar, milk and peanut butter until smooth. Drizzle glaze over bread and sprinkle toasted pecans.

Adapted from Sweet Pea’s Kitchen