Monday, March 12, 2012
Quick and Easy Banana Bread
I feel like there are two schools of thought on banana bread-- those who love it and those who wish it was never invented. I used to love it before I developed a banana allergy. BUT, I was a very picky banana bread eater. All banana breads are not created equally. This one is my mom's and it is is very dense and moist. If you are the type who dunks your bread in your coffee or milk, this will withstand the dunk with flying colors. It is great for breakfast or desert, and very simple to make. Also, like most things I like to bake, it freezes really well so you can make it ahead of time and just keep it in your freezer.
I made mine as part of the bread-and-cheese tray for my friend's recent birthday party. I got the idea for including banana bread when a wine bar I like included it on their meat and cheese tray. Seeing as I like to think I'm just as classy as a wine bar, I figured I would include it on mine. Plus, it's delicious for those of you who are not allergic to bananas.
(For a printable version of this recipe, click here)
Banana Bread (Yield- 2 loaves)
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup shortening (OR, you can lighten this up by using 1/2 cup shortening and 1/2 cup apple sauce)
2 cups mashed, ripe bananas
Step #1 - Preheat oven to 350* F. Grease two loaf pans and line the bottoms with wax paper.
Step #2 - Mix the flour, sugar, salt and baking soda in a large bowl. Just for good measure, I figure I'll mention you should never cut the salt out of a recipe that uses a leavening agent, such as baking soda, baking powder, or yeast. The salt is part of the chemical reaction that helps the batter rise.
Step #3 - Cut in the shortening with a pastry cutter. If you don't have a pastry cutter, you can just use a fork and knife. When you are done, the mixture will look like coarse sand.
Step #4 - Mash the bananas. I like to use a fork to do this.
Step #5 - Add the bananas and the eggs to the four/shortening mixture. Mix well using a spoon, not a mixer. When you are done, the batter will be very thick, much like brownie batter.
Step #6- Pour the batter into the greased pans and bake for 55-60 min. The bread is done when a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Step #7 - Once the loaves cool, run a butter knife down the sides of the pans to loosen the loaves, and then remove them by turning the pans upside down and tapping on the bottom until the loaves release. Remember to remove the wax paper from the bottom of the loaves.
Step #8 - EAT!!!!!!!! If you are going to freeze the loaves, wait until they cool completely. Then, I suggest wrapping them first in plastic wrap, then in foil, and then putting them in an airtight container or bag. If you don't have a container/bag, add another layer of plastic wrap.