Zucchini Bread

2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
3 eggs
2 cups shredded zucchini
1 tablespoon vanilla
3 cups flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¾ cup chopped nuts (Cashews are my favorite, Pecans are good too)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, oil, and eggs, mix until well combined. Add the shredded zucchini, and vanilla, mix together and set aside. In a separate bowl combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, baking powder and nuts. Add the dry ingredients into the wet. Mix until well combined. Pour batter into 2 well-greased, large loaf pans, bake for 55-60 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from oven, let stand in pans for 10 minutes then turn out onto cooling racks to cool completely. Enjoy!

Homeade French Bread

1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 ½ cups warm water
1 ½ tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 egg
4-6 cups flour
2 tablespoons cool water
I use a Kitchen Aid with the bread hook attachment but you can also use a large bowl and mixing spoon by hand. Combine the yeast, water and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Allow to stand 5 minutes or until the yeast has bubbled. Add the salt, oil, and egg yolk (set the white aside in a separate bowl for later), mix to combine (with my kitchen aid I use speed 2). Add 3 cups of flour and mix until well combined. Continue adding flour in ½ cup to make a soft dough that barely sticks to your finger. Knead for another 2-3 minutes either with the mixer or by hand. Cover and allow to rise for 1 hour and 45 minutes (anywhere from 1 ½-2 hours will work fine). Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray, punch the dough down and remove from bowl. Place on the cookie sheet and form into a loaf shape. Cover and allow to rise another 1 ½ hours (watch to make sure it’s not getting too large, you can always bake it earlier or let it go longer. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Mix the egg white with the remaining 2 tablespoons of water and brush over the loaf. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, brush a second coat of the egg wash over the loaf and return to the oven to bake for another 8-10 minutes or until nicely golden brown. Enjoy!

Banana Bread

5 large, ripe bananas
4 eggs, well beaten
1 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
Heat oven to 320*F.  In a medium bowl, mash bananas with a fork. Add beaten eggs and stir, set aside. In a large bowl combine the flour, baking soda and salt, mix, and set aside. Cream together the sugar and shortening. Add the banana mixture and stir until well combined. Add the dry ingredients and mix well. Divide into 2 large loaf pans. Bake for 60-75 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for ten minutes on a cooling rack and remove from the pans. Continue cooling the bread on the cooling racks until completely cooled. Slice and serve. Enjoy!
1 ½ cup chopped nuts. (Pecans are my favorite for banana bread)
1 cup mini chocolate chips
¾ cup chopped nuts + ½ cup mini chocolate chips
½ cup chopped nuts + ½ cup dried cranberries+ ½ cup white chocolate chips
1 ½ cups milk chocolate chips
1 cup raisins
Be creative and add whatever you like in any combination, just don’t add more than 1 ½ cups of mix-ins or it won’t work right. These measurements are for the whole recipe so both loaves, if you want to try two different kinds, divide the batter into two bowls and half the amounts given; don’t add more than ¾ cup mix-ins to half of the batter. Cooking times will remain the same; just check each with a toothpick to make sure.

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