Traveling the last 19 months, it’s a luxury to have my own kitchen to cook from. Hopping from hostel to hostel and couch to couch doesn’t always present you with this opportunity and when it does, sometimes the kitchens are either too basic or uninspiring.
Ever had that experience where you consistently cook in one kitchen, master the materials, and getting a groove so your dishes are amazing? And then you try to recreate that same dish in another / new kitchen but it just wasn’t the same? No? Okay, fine maybe this is just me but I’m sure some of you out there have experienced this before too.
But factors like the kind of stove you use and getting to know how the heat settings work can really affect your cooking. I’m really used to gas stoves so when I’m made to cook with induction or electric stoves, I’m definitely going to ruin my recipes. It’s like when I drive a new motorbike, it’s going to be different from the last one, considering each motorbike has its own quirks like the gear shifts or the brakes are different, or it’s a lot smaller or heavier than the last motorbike. I’ll need a couple of hours to get to know it before I can ride it well. And this is the same for me with kitchens!
Traveling around and experiencing different kitchens with different materials and ingredients can also be equally fun. But today, I’m happy to consistently have a kitchen with all the possible essentials I could think of. Except for maybe a food processor, which is something I’m really considering traveling with. BUT GUESS WHAT. I HAVE AN OVEN!!!
About a month ago, I really started missing my sister’s baking. She’s so good at it that I wanted to bake with her on a video call. I wanted to make banana bread and she assisted me online, along with her daughter while a couple of our close friends cheered us on! We used a recipe from a baking class we attended way back when in high school so about 15 years ago? And the recipe is bomb. Hope you guys have equally amazing results!
As a general rule in baking, mix dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately then slowly combine. It’s quite the consistent pattern in a lot of recipes.
Banana (Oatmeal) Bread
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup quick cook oats (if you don’t want to put oats in it, just replace this with AP flour)
- 1/4 tsp salt (but I really always just put a pinch of salt or a bit more whenever I bake haha)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 cup soft butter
- 2/3 cup packed brown sugar (this means that when you measure, press down until the cup is full)
- 2 whole eggs
- 1 cup mashed bananas
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (but I didn’t have any and it’s still really good)
- 6 tbsp oats
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp melted butter
- And whatever you want like cinnamon, nuts, rosemary
Preheat over to 180°C or 350°F.
Mix all the dry ingredients together. Mix all the wet ingredients together but in a bigger bowl. Slowly incorporate the dry mix into the wet mix using a wooden spoon or even just a normal spoon. Avoid over-mixing.
For the toppings, really just mix everything together. Get creative with toppings like nuts or other herbs. I didn’t have cinnamon at the time so I used rosemary and it was amazing.
For the bread/loaf pan (a small one, around 5″ x 3″), coat everything with butter and dust with flour OR coat with oil and cover in parchment paper. Anything to make sure the bread doesn’t stick to the pan when it’s done.
Put the mixture in the bread pan from the center so you can spread it evenly. If you decided to add toppings, add them now. Spread evenly.
Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes but check 5 minutes before as every oven is different. How to know when it’s ready? Poke a toothpick through the bread and if it comes out clean, it’s ready to go. Meaning the batter has been cooked. If there’s some batter that comes with it, it means it hasn’t cooked throughout yet.
PRO TIP: replace mashed bananas with whatever you want the bread to be flavored with… like pumpkin! Just make sure to add them as mashed or pureed!