Sunday, December 16

Banana Bread

A warm slice of banana bread fresh from the oven and slathered with butter, this is my notion of pure joy. On sleepovers banana bread was a favorite late night bake!  Never content with waiting for it to cool down we’d slice it hot, butter it up, and dine like queens (Usually finishing at least half the loaf of bread)!  

Banana Bread and Pumpkin Bread are my two favorite quick breads. By their name you can judge that they are fast and simple to bake which is my favorite thing about them. Mix, pour, bake and enjoy! What could be easier than that? Want to surprise everyone at work with a yummy breakfast? Bake them banana bread! New neighbors just moved in next door? Bake them banana bread! Not sure what to bring as a hostess gift? Bake them banana bread! The other great thing about this recipe is that it’s made of stuff you most likely have around your house already. 

The recipe included here is for a basic no nonsense banana bread.  A purist at heart I do not add anything like chocolate chips or walnuts to my bread, however to each their own. If you feel the need to “enhance” your bread feel free to follow the stir in directions.

Ok, lets grab those brown spotty bananas off your counter and get baking.   

Banana Bread
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 stick butter (softened)

1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 eggs
3 large spotty bananas mashed up
2 tablespoons milk 
*if you like your bread REALLY moist
 add a heaping tablespoon of sour cream at the end*

Optional stir ins: 
1/2 cup dried walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup semi-sweet mini morsels


Heat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 8 1/4 X 4 1/2 inch loaf pan.
In a large mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg & cinnamon. Mix thoroughly and set aside. 

In a stand mixer or mixing bowl cream the butter on medium. Once fluffy add the sugar and lemon juice and beat until combined.

Beat in the eggs, milk and *mashed brown spotty bananas. Once combined add the dry ingredients in 3 parts making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl with each addition. *Stir in optional sour cream at this point*

(If you have decided to commit blasphemy and add nuts or chocolate chips you can fold them in at this point before pouring the batter into your loaf pan.)

Pour the batter into the greased loaf pan and bake for one hour. You may want to check it after about 50 minutes or so depending on your oven. I have over cooked and undercooked more loaves of banana bread then I can count and all because I didn't think to check on it. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean when done. Once done you can pop the loaf out onto a baking rack to cool (or if you are like me and can't wait, chop off the end and grab the butter!)   

*I can not stress enough how important it is to use brown spotty bananas for this recipe! The sweetness of the bananas is a key element in this dish. Also, brown spotty bananas have a much stronger banana flavor to them. If you are in a bind and must use all yellow bananas you may want to taste test your batter and consider adding another 1/4 of sugar to balance it out. NEVER USE GREEN BANANAS! Just saying ;) 
Yield: 8 servings (16 slices) Calories per serving: 160 cal/slice

I have given unto you the gift of banana bread, use it well. Bake long and prosper. ;)

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