Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Banana Bread

Don't you love that bananas no longer suited for eating fresh make the best bread? How walnuts that are toasted at high heat give off a fragrance and a flavor that wasn't there before? That you can mix a few everyday ingredients together and they will make your house smell wonderful for a couple of hours? That actually, banana bread tastes better if you don't eat it right away? Simplicity. Patience. It makes for a good day.

I use the recipe from the Betty Crocker Cookbook. It takes butter, buttermilk and vanilla, and is the same one that my mom uses. Banana bread was one of the treats I came home to when I was growing up, smelling its presence before my hand turned the doorknob. I remember being told two things: 'I had some overripe bananas I didn't want to waste' and 'let it cool before you cut into it'.

At our house slices of banana bread end up on the table for breakfast or for dessert. Personally, my favorite way to eat it is spread with butter or cream cheese. When the boys were younger I sent it to school with them in their lunches or for a snack, and later, shipped it to them while they were away at college. It keeps well, freezes well, travels well and gets better with age. Definitely on my list of perfect foods.

Banana Bread -
from Betty Crocker's 40th Anniversary Edition (with directions edited a little by me.)

1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup mashed ripe bananas - about 4 medium
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup chopped walnuts

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottoms only of two loaf pans.
Beat sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl. Stir in eggs until well blended. Add bananas, buttermilk and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Add remaining ingredients, except nuts. Stir until just moistened. Stir in nuts.
Bake for about an hour or until cake tester comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes then remove from pans. Cool completely before slicing.
Wrap tightly. Keep at room temperature for four days or refrigerated for ten.

A few things:
**Toast walnuts for about 8 minutes in a 400 degree oven, Cool before chopping and using.
**I have been know to add chocolate chips.
**I use four smaller loaf pans instead of 2 larger ones. I find this size easier to store, slice and give away.
**If the top looks perfect but the inside isn't finished yet, lay a piece of foil over the tops and bake for a few more minutes.

1 comment:

Leciawp said...

This is one of my favorite baked goods - yum!

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