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‘You are making banana bread after lunch’ I remarked to my daughter yesterday as we devoured one of our favorite vegetarian lunches.
‘Yeah, OK’ she mumbled around a bite of couscous, and then,
‘You are making banana bread after lunch’ I repeated patiently.
‘Oh, god, I’m gonna die’ was her dramatic response.
Ah, the blessings of being a homeschool parent. I get to make my almost thirteen year old bake a delicious banana bread and enjoy it later on with little effort on my part. I do need to teach her to clean up though.
She did alright. Of course I was there to guide and help, but she did it. And the whole thing was gone by this morning.
Good thing I have two more brown bananas.
Now this recipe is one I found some time ago, and it’s our go-to recipe. It’s fool proof really and utterly delicious. I have adapted it only a little.
1 1/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. ground flax seed (adaptation)
scant 1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda (adaptation)
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons sour cream or plain yogurt (we always use yogurt)
2/3 cup granulated sugar (we use less than that)
2 extra large eggs lightly beaten, at room temperature
1 cup mashed very ripe banana, 2-3 depending on size
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional) (chocolate chips work great too)
2 tablespoon Demerara sugar (optional, but really recommended)
Preheat the oven to 350º F. Lightly grease a loaf pan. If you bake in a glass pan, or a dark coated pan, reduce oven temperature to 330º F. In a medium bowl, place flour, ground flax seed, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon. In a separate medium bowl, stir together the mashed banana, yogurt or sour cream, vanilla, vinegar or lemon juice and chopped nuts or chocolate chips.
Beat the room temperature butter with the sugar. If you use a standmixer, use the paddle attachment. You are looking for a light, fluffy texture. Now add the flower and speed up the mixing until the mixture has a sort of sandy texture. Under no circumstance walk away and forget you have the mixer running and come back to find that the butter melted and it’s all a creamy texture. That would be bad, your bread would get very heavy and doughy. Add the eggs and beat until combined. Fold in the banana mixture, and the nuts or chocolate chips; do not over mix.
Scrape the dough into the prepared pan and sprinkle with the Demerara sugar. Bake for 40-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove the loaf to a cooling rack and allow to cool as much as you can tolerate before you absolutely have to try a slice.
(Edited 2/2/13, when my observant mother pointed out that my recipe called for the butter to be mixed with the salt. It should be sugar. Thanks Mama!)