Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Go Bananas, Go Go bananas!

Everybody and their mother has a recipe for banana bread. Banana bread is probably the first homemade bread I can remember eating and the first bread I ever made. Banana bread is not a yeasted bread, at least not the banana bread I have made in my lifetime. Rather, it is raised via chemical leaveners and in this case, baking soda. I have always made the same banana bread recipe which is the same banana bread recipe that my mom has always made. Its a good recipe, nice and familiar. However, this time something different was in order. This recipe is adapted from Alton Brown's cookbook, "I'm just here for more food-Mixing+Heat=Baking" This banana bread was a bit heartier than many banana breads but it still had a very sweet crust and just a hint of banana flavor. I changed the original recipe quite a bit because of what my cupboards contained but it still turned out delicious.

Banana Bread
1 cup (7 1/2 oz) sugar
1-2 very ripe bananas
1 2/3 cup (7 3/4 oz) all purpose flour
1/3 cup (1 1/4 oz ) whole wheat flour
1 tsp (< 1/4 oz) baking soda
1 tsp (< 1/4 oz) salt
1 stick (4 oz) melted butter
2 large (3 1/2 oz) eggs
1 tsp (1/4 oz) vanilla extract
1 cup nuts

First take the bananas and mash them into the sugar until the mixture is smooth. This technique is interesting because, unlike some banana breads, there are no chunks of banana in this bread. Mashing the bananas takes some time but is well worth it.

Next mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl minus the nuts and mix your wet ingredients together in a separate bowl. Add the ingredients first to the sugar/banana mixture and then add the dry. Stir together until just mixed. Fold in the nuts if desired.

Pour batter into a loaf pan and bake for about an hour give or take. This batter supposedly is very conducive to making muffins, but I only tried the traditional loaf.

For more banana flavor, use more bananas. The original recipe called for 3-4, but I didn't have them, nor do I like a lot of banana flavor.

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