Thursday, September 9, 2010

Banana Bread

Every so often, after an excessive trip to the grocery store, my kitchen reveals its over abundance of food. Almost like I am hoarding delicious treats in the unlikely event I am visited by a troupe of circus performers with insatiable appetites. Usually some bananas fall into this extra stock, over ripe and in desperate need of use. 

This week I decided to make some traditional banana bread (again to help in the weight gain attempts... which is failing thus far). With the help of Joy of Baking's recipe as my starting point, I managed to create a loaf of some of the tastiest banana bread to enter my mouth in a long time. The only major change I made to the recipe was using both dark brown sugar and white sugar to give the bread more flavor. Enjoy!

Banana Bread Recipe

1 cup walnuts or pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped (optional)
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
1 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 ripe large bananas, mashed well (about 1-1/2 cups)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place oven rack to middle position. Butter and flour (or spray with a non stick vegetable/flour spray) the bottom and sides of a 9 x 5 x 3 inch bread loaf pan. Set aside.   

In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nuts. Set aside. 

In a medium-sized bowl combine the mashed bananas, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla. 

With a wooden spoon, lightly fold the wet ingredients (banana mixture) into the dry ingredients just until combined and the batter is thick and chunky. (The important thing is not to over mix the batter. You do not want it smooth. Over mixing the batter will yield tough, rubbery bread.) Scrape batter into prepared pan. 

Bake until bread is golden brown and a  toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 55-60 minutes. Place on a wire rack to cool and then remove the bread from the pan. I suggest serving it warm, then eating more of it shortly thereafter. 

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