I'm in the mood to eat -- ok, when am I not ever in the mood to eat?! -- so, I thought I share with you this FAB, hide/get rid of lots-of-stuff, recipe for awesome banana bread. This is the most flexible, most moist, most hard to mess up recipe that I have ever loosely followed. You can freeze it, toast it and make French Toast with it. Have it after dinner for something a little sweet, or before a run with a little cream cheese, or as an after-school snack. A must-have in my house. I made 4 loaves today.
What I'll do is give you the recipe as it appears on Epicurious, originally from Gourmet Magazine from August, 2003.
and then tell ya how I do it...
Yield: Makes 2 loaves
Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours
- 3 1/4 cups all purpose flour. I use King Arthur 100% Whole Wheat Flour -- my picky eaters don't care that I use the whole wheat... It still has all the good stuff in it (wheat germ and bran). It is never bleached or bromated and made from 100% US grown wheat and the company is 100% employee owned.
- 2 teaspoons baking soda - I use Arm & Hammer.
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon - I use whatever brand I have around of varying quality.
- 1/2 teaspoon salt - for baking I use regular Morton Salt because I like the cute picture on the box.
- 4 large eggs at room temperature for 30 minutes. I use my farmer's brown eggs whose hens have been roaming around and pecking in the dirt eating bugs and other things I probably don't know about.
- 2 1/3 cups sugar - Ok, that's A LOT of sugar. I use about 1 1/3 cups sugar and it is plenty sweet. I do use evaporated cane juice as a replacement for white, refined sugar.
- 1 cup vegetable oil - Again, that's A LOT of oil. I use about 1/3 to 1/2 cup.
- 3 cups coarsely mashed, very ripe bananas (6 large). The older and grosser, the better, and sometimes I'll puree a zucchini or carrots or pears and toss 'em in there. Believe me, no one will know.
- 1/4 cup creme fraiche - I never have that in the house so I always use my farmer's half-and-half or his creme cheese. The same amount. Whatever I have the most of and whatever I need to get rid of...
- 2 teaspoons vanilla - I do splurge here and get it from La Cuisine in Old Town. Find them at email@example.com
- 1 1/3 cups walnuts (4 ounces), toasted and chopped. I use semi-sweet chocolate chips here instead of walnuts. They'll eat anything with chocolate chips!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter 2 (9 by 5 by 3 inch) metal loaf pans, then dust with flour. I spray my pans and have used glass, metal, and ceramic with equal success.
Sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt into a bowl. I put everything in a bowl first and then whisk it around.
Beat together eggs and sugar in bowl of electric mixer at medium-high speed until very thick and pale and mixture forms a ribbon when beater is lifted, about 10 minutes -- I never time this step. Reduce speed to low and add oil in a slow stream -- careful here, you can make a mess! -- then mix in bananas, creme fraiche and vanilla. Remove bowl from mixer and fold in flour mixture and walnuts gently but thoroughly. I use the mixer for this step to...
Divide batter between loaf pans, spreading evenly -- I give each pan a little shake/shimmy on the counter -- and bake in middle of oven until golden brown and a wooden pick or skewer comes out clean, -- good tip -- about 1 to 1 1/4 hours. I set the timer for 74 minutes and we're all good.
Cool loaves in pans on a rack 10 minutes, then turn out onto rack. Turn loaves right side up and cool completely.
Enjoy! Today's pictures are brought to you by the robins who took every single berry off my pyracantha yesterday....
Cheers and it is a beautiful day for a run!