Friday, August 5, 2011

Recipe: Banana Bread

We almost always have a bunch of bananas in the kitchen to grab as a light breakfast or a quick snack for work. It's a longstanding tradition in my house to make banana bread with the two or three bananas that inevitably get left behind to turn into mottled brown, mushy versions of their formerly selves. When I was in college, my mom passed the recipe on to me and, during my junior year, there was a new loaf of banana bread sitting out on our kitchen counter just about every other week. It's a great way to make use of yucky old bananas and a slice or two of this sweet bread makes for a great snack or breakfast, much like the bananas it's made with.

Beautiful golden brown loaf, cut while it was still warm. The slices are spread with a little butter, just the way I like it.

Serves: Many
Prep. time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 60 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter or margarine
  • 2/3 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups peeled, mashed bananas (about 3 medium-sized bananas)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4-1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

In a small pot over medium heat, melt the stick of butter/margarine. Remove from heat and cool slightly. In the meantime, mash the bananas in a large bowl and mix in the sugar and eggs. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl and sift (I just run a fork through the mixture repeatedly a few times). Pour the sifted mixture into the large bowl with the banana mixture. Add the melted butter and stir together the ingredients until completely combined (mixture will be a little lumpy and it will be a pale creamy yellow color). Pour into an oven-safe, greased, 8"x5" loaf pan. Bake for 60 minutes at 350*F or until tester (use a knife or fork) can be stuck in the bread and come out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in pan, then remove and let cool on a plate or rack for 10-20 minutes. Wrap in waxed paper and foil to keep it fresh. Slices can be served plain or spread with a little butter.

I love getting a slice of banana bread spread with a little butter served with a glass of skim milk for breakfast, and it's great as a snack too. It keeps well and you can even freeze it and thaw it out for later (make sure it's wrapped up tightly though and placed in a freezer bag. It's easy to make, it makes great use of bananas that are too ripe to eat as is, and it's really delicious.

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