Culinary Delights

Banana Bread

Our family is a bit into bananas.  Let me rephrase.  My husband enjoys eating the heck out of them.  My children enjoy them now and again.  I, myself, do not enjoy eating them.  I find the texture a bit off putting.  Due to the husband factor, finding two overly ripe bananas in my kitchen is truly a rare encounter.  But it happened just last week.  You may be thinking ‘if she doesn’t like bananas, why would she be interested in brown bananas?’.  Well, dear friends, this means I get to bake.  I don’t always bake.  Only when the mood strikes and the conditions are right.  In this case, the two ripe bananas and the autumn weather got the best of me.

Here she is in all her golden glory.  Isn’t she gorgeous?  I think one of her best assets is the smell she evokes while baking in the oven.  My whole house smelled amazing.  Banana bread in the oven and a gorgeous fall day.  Just what nature intended.

I am pretty sure we all have recipes for the ever-delightful banana bread but this one is worth a try, if you are willing to deviate from your usual recipe.  I skip the nuts because to be honest, my kids are not nutty about nuts.  (That was a test to see how maybe times I could make reference to nuts in one sentence.)  If I am feeling particularly naughty, I replace the aforementioned nuts with chocolate chips.  I must have been feeling nice because I just baked a straight up plain version with no additions whatsoever.

Here is the recipe courtesy of Williams Sonoma.

Bake for the love of bananas, the love of bread, or the love of amazing baking smells.  Or all three.

Banana Nut Bread

Ingredients:

  • 6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 or 3 very ripe bananas, coarsely mashed (about 1 1⁄2 cups)
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1⁄2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1⁄2 tsp. salt
  • 3⁄4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, pecans or hazelnuts

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 350°F. Grease and lightly flour a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan.In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat together the butter and sugar on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Add the bananas and eggs and beat until smooth. Add the buttermilk and beat just until combined.In a bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg, salt and nuts. Add the flour mixture to the banana mixture and beat just until combined. The batter should be slightly lumpy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.Pour the batter into the prepared pan. It should be no more than two-thirds full. Bake until the loaf is dark golden brown and dry to the touch and the edges pull away from the sides of the pan, 55 to 60 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean. Let the bread rest in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn the loaf out onto a wire rack and let cool completely. Cut into thick slices to serve. Makes one 9-by-5-inch loaf.
Storage Tip: Wrap the bread tightly in plastic wrap and store at room temperature overnight or in the
refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Collection Series, Bread, by Beth Hensperger (Simon & Schuster, 2002).
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