07 November 2008
Banana banana banana
For as long as I can remember, my mom has baked banana bread using the same recipe. It's a keeper, for sure, especially since it's a hand-me-down from the Kelly family, who have been friends of my parents, and of myself, for a long, long time. I love banana bread. Even when I didn't like bananas (which was a long time, let me tell you), this was a sure-fire way for me to swallow them, and happily.
I readily eat bananas now, but I still prefer banana bread. And who wouldn't? The version I make is sweet, mild, dense and lovely. It is especially good with a latte from Joe's. Recently, I've been making my own alterations (I know, I know! HERESY!), and I think I've hit upon something good. I reduced the banana content from three to two, and I add a little whole grain flour. I also prefer brown sugar to white, but half and half seems to be a good ratio. Sometimes I add a little nutmeg, since it adds a nice, complementary dimension to the bananas, sometimes a little vanilla, sometimes a handful of chocolate chips. Below is the recipe of the base that I like to use, complete with modifications. I especially like it because when it's warm, the top has a lovely nice crust that shatters pleasingly.
Happy Friday, everyone.
Banana Bread, with many thanks to Jean
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 overripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup sour cream or plain yogurt, or a mixture of the two.
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a standard-sized loaf pan by either generously greasing it, or lining it with parchment paper. (I personally prefer the parchment method, since you can just grab the paper when it's time to take the bread out--no fuss cutting a piece out of the pan and then persuading the rest of the loaf that it wants to come out, too.)
2. Whisk the dry ingredients together (not the sugar, though) and set aside.
3. Cream the butter and sugars together in a medium/large bowl. Add the eggs, one at a time, stirring well after each addition.
4. Stir in the dry ingredients in a few additions--the mixture will be thick. Then fold in the banana mash and dairy, taking care to make sure everything is well incorporated. Pour into pan, and bake for an hour, or until a knife comes out clean. If you're using parchment, let cake rest 15 minutes or so, and then lift out to let cool on a wire rack. Eat warm, if possible. It's the best way.