Wednesday Food: Banana Bread

Since before Christmas, I've had 3 bananas in my freezer anxiously waiting to be made into something yummy.  Their time has finally come - they shall be banana bread!  A great way to use up those bananas that have overstayed their welcome.  And if they seem to have gotten too brown then just hold them in your freezer, till your ready to use them!

Many would look at these...


...and say they were gross and nasty.  But to a pastry/dessert person, this is pretty much the only way we like them.  Yellow bananas will not give off a sweet and full flavor in a recipe.  Don't get me wrong, we like using them, if they are going to be sauteed.  But if your making an ice cream, sorbet, semifreddo, cake, muffins or in our case bread, the browner and softer makes all the difference.

Banana Bread - makes 1 loaf, preheat oven at 350 degrees

1/2c.(1stick) butter, unsalted at room temperature
1c. sugar
1 egg at room temperature
1t. vanilla extract
3 bananas, mashed (if they are super soft, your mixer will do most of the mashing for you!)
1 1/2c. all purpose flour
1t. baking soda
1t. baking powder
1/2t. salt
1/4t. nutmeg


1) Place your soft butter in the mixer and beat till smooth.  Slowly stream in the sugar and mix till light and fluffy. (about 5-7 minutes)  While that is mixing combine your dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and nutmeg) in a bowl and mix to evenly distribute all the different ingredients.


2) Add the egg and vanilla to the butter/sugar mixture and beat till smooth.  Do not forget to scrape the side of your mixing bowl!
3) Add the mashed bananas and mix till well combined.  It will look a little separated and that's ok.


4) Add in the dry ingredients and stop the mixer just as the flour has all been added to avoid overmixing.  It will look like this...


Finish the mixing process with a rubber spatula till the batter is homogenous.


5) Put the batter in a loaf pan and spread out evenly.  I'm using a loaf pan that has teflon on it, but I still like to spread some butter on the pan do prevent sticking.


6) Bake the bread for about 1 hour, or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center.  Breads like this can be tricky because they may look nice and golden brown, but still be batter on the inside!
7) Once the bread comes out, let it sit for 10 minutes, then remove from the loaf pan.  Let it rest on a wire rack or something that will allow the heat to move away from the bread.


There are a few things you can do with this recipe.  What's the fun of only one recipe if you can't mess around with it?  If you are a fan of nuts, by all means add some walnuts to the bread.  If you like muffins better than bread, then bake this same recipe into a muffin tin (and it won't take as long to bake!)  Maybe make some streusel to sprinkle over the bread/muffins.  Or if you have the bread laying around for awhile and it gets stale, cube it up and make some banana bread pudding.   The possibilities are endless!  I personally enjoy it most with butter and my coffee in the morning.

So remember, when the kitchen gets too hot, get back in there and keep baking!

-BabyStella

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