Thursday, March 8, 2007

Banana Bread

I really dislike bananas. To me, they're more like a root vegetable, a sweet potato for example, than a fruit. Whenever we have bananas, it's usually because some place was selling them for so cheap, they were practically giving them away. I patiently wait for them to slowly turn a hideous mottled blackish-brown so I can make banana bread. Just like how a watched pot never boils, a watched banana will never ripen. Bananas stay golden yellow for what seems like an eternity in my house, preventing me from mashing them into oblivion for banana bread.

Banana Bread

3 large overripe bananas (mine were almost all black)
1 C pecans (optional)
1/4 C sour cream (or yogurt)
6 Tbsp butter, melted and cooled
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 C flour
2/3 C sugar
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 350 ºF. Toast the pecans for 5 – 10 minutes, until they smell fragrant. Shake the pan every minute or so. Roughly chop and set aside.

Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position. Grease and flour a loaf pan; set aside.

It is easier to mix this batter by hand rather than a mixer, which runs the risk of overworking the batter. Mash the bananas. Add sour cream, butter, eggs, and vanilla.

In another bowl mix flour, sugar, pecans, salt, baking soda, nutmeg.

Fold the banana mixture into the flour mixture until no streaks of flour remain. The batter will still be chunky but do not mix until the batter is smooth, otherwise the cake will be too dense.

Scrape the batter into the loaf pan and bake for around 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

You can freeze whole bananas (unpeeled) to make banana bread another day. Just defrost the bananas before use (don't worry, they will be mushy). Peel and scrape the bananas into the mixing bowl. Some water will be released from the bananas due to the freezing but go ahead and add that to the bowl too, otherwise the wet to dry ratio will be off.

Other recipes:
Elise's Banana Bread recipe

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