Today was a rainy March day, and we were firing up our wood cook stove to heat our home, and I thought, warm oven, ripe bananas….Banana Bread. I used the Banana Bread recipe from my Better Homes and Garden New Cookbook that was as a wedding gift 20 years ago. This is the cookbook that is known for its red and white checked cover. My husband and I do not care for walnuts in our bread, so I left them out and after pouring the bread into my loaf pan, I added Demerara Florida Pure Cane Sugar Crystals that are organic and Non-GMO on top of the bread. This gives the top crust a sugary taste. Next time, I am thinking of adding finely chopped walnuts, cinnamon and sugar sprinkled on top of the bread before baking to give a little nutty sugary accent to the bread. As an aside: I think that the Better Homes cook book is the best all purpose cookbook I have, and it would be a welcomed gift for anyone‘s kitchen. My mom received a Better Homes Cookbook when she was married. I love gifts that have transgressed through time.
When using the cook stove’s oven all the vents need to be opened up and it takes about 15 minutes to heat the oven to 350 degrees. Have a good fire going in the fire box and have all vents opened. Our Kitchen Queen has five vents to open: door vent, ash box door (opened a crack), bottom lever below oven, oven lever, and back sliding vent handle. While the oven is heating up, I made my batter and poured it into my loaf pan. I really enjoy using organic, non GMO ingredients whenever possible. One of my latest finds in the organic/Non-GMO world is Rumford Baking Powder. It is Non-GMO, Kosher, and gluten free.
By the time I am ready to cook my Banana Bread, the oven is heated to my desired temperature of 350 degrees. Once I put my bread in the oven, I close the door to the ash box and leave all other vents open. I set my kitchen timer for 40 minutes. The recipe called for the bread to cook for 50-55 minutes, but I want to check it early because I have noticed that the oven can cook a little fast. About 20 minutes into its cooking time, I noticed that the temperature gauge on the front of the oven door had dropped. I opened up my oven and check my temperature with my laser temperature gauge and the temperature had dropped to about 320 degrees. I added another piece of wood and cracked the ash box door for about 5 minutes to get the fire going faster and then closed it and checked the oven temperature again and it was back to about 350 degrees.
Once the timer went off, I check the bread with a toothpick and noticed only the middle was still a little undone. I put the bread back in for 5 more minutes and when checked again the bread was perfect and ready to pull out. One great aspect I have noticed is when I am using the oven, I have not had to turn my baking items around. The oven cooks all around and not just on one side. I think that this is due to the fact the Kitchen Queen is designed to allow the heat to travel all around the oven box.
There is nothing like having hot Banana Bread from your wood cook stove.