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Sara Noel column Feb. 27, 2013

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Sara Noel column Feb. 27, 2013

No ‘knead’ to fret over baking bread

Dear Sara: I am looking for a recipe for no-knead bread that was printed in your column several years ago. — Russell M., email

Dear Russell: I’m not sure if it’s the one that was published previously, but here’s a popular one from one of my community members:

No-Knead Bread

6-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 packages instant dry yeast

3 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon salt

3 cups warm water

2 tablespoons shortening


No kneading necessary on this. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In large mixing bowl, combine 3-1/2 cups flour, yeast, sugar and salt. Mix well. Add warm water (125 degrees or so) and shortening to flour mixture. Blend at low speed until moistened; beat 3 minutes at medium speed. By hand, gradually stir in remaining flour to make a stiff batter. Cover and allow to rise in warm place until doubled (about 30 minutes). Stir down batter. Spread in greased 9-by-5 or 8-by-4 bread pans. Cover and allow to rise until batter reaches tops of pans, (about 20 to 30 minutes) Bake at 375 degrees F for 35 to 40 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the pans and brush with butter. Allow to cool.

Cook’s notes:

I did everything in my KitchenAid mixer and nothing by hand. Once I got to the stage of gradually adding the remaining 3 cups of flour, I noticed that I did not need all 3 cups and stopped after adding 2 cups. I only waited 15 minutes after baking before slicing, and it sliced very nicely! — Rosie, Canada

Dear Sara: Any ideas for what to do with five frozen bananas? I usually do banana muffins, but I’m kind of sick of them. — Sarah, Massachusetts

Dear Sarah: I’d make banana bread, cake, cookies, pancakes or smoothies. You can make a mock ice cream, too. Simply cut a frozen banana into four sections and blend with a splash of milk in your food processor until creamy. Then enjoy a frozen treat that’s lower in fat than ice cream, but doesn’t sacrifice taste. Here’s a banana bread recipe with a wonderful streusel topping:

Banana Bread

3/4 cup butter, softened

1 8-ounce package cream cheese

2 cups sugar

2 large eggs

3 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1-1/2 cups mashed bananas

1 cup chopped pecans, toasted

1/2 teaspoon vanilla


1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped

1 tablespoon flour

1 tablespoon melted butter

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 8-by-4 loaf pans. Using a mixer, beat butter and cream cheese together until creamy. Gradually, add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and beat until blended. Gradually add flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt to butter mixture. Beat at low speed until just blended. Stir in bananas, pecans and vanilla. Spoon batter into pans.

For streusel: Stir together brown sugar, toasted pecans, flour, melted butter and cinnamon. Sprinkle mixture evenly over batter in pans. Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool 30 more minutes before slicing. — Nancy, Virginia

Sara Noel is the owner of Frugal Village (www.frugalvillage.com), a website that offers practical, money-saving strategies for everyday living. To send tips, comments or questions, write to Sara Noel, c/o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut Street, Kansas City, MO, 64106, or email sara@frugalvillage.com.

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