Sunday, August 19, 2007

Banana Bread

Yesterday while walking through the lovely West End Markets, I happened to pass a Vietnamese-bakery stand, where the lady was selling banana bread. I got an instant craving and proceeded to buy several of the ripest bananas I could find in the next stall, eager to bake. Early this morning I went biking and hiking with two friends and, as it was a bit cold and we were hungry and had earned good food, I invited them over for some banana bread. In quick need of a recipe, I searched my favorite site and quickly arrived at this. Well, when a review gets that many ratings, you don't mess around with it. The bread turned out moist and delicious.
-Preheat oven to 350F
-Cream 1/2cup butter with 3/4cup brown sugar in a large bowl-Beat 2 eggs and add to the bowl-Mash 2 cups-worth of ripe bananas (this is a lot more than you'd expect... I'd have anywhere from 5-8 bananas on hand) -Add banana to the liquid mix-In a separate large bowl, sift 1 tsp baking powder, 1 pinch salt, and 2 cups flour-Mix the two together -Put in greased loaf panCook:
-Place in oven and cook for 60 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out dry
-Cool for 10 minutes if you can resist putting it piping hot into your mouth!

-I would normally add chocolate chips, since I love chocolate, but felt more like a breakfasty-banana bread than a dessert cake. Adding chocolate chips right at the end would work well
-This turned out amazing but my only complaint would be that it was a tiny bit greasy. I would maybe substitute half or 1/3 the butter for apple sauce
-Creaming the butter and sugar was kind of a pain: leave the butter out for a while before you attempt it
-If banana is too plain for you on its own, the addition of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, or vanilla (a tbsp of vanilla yogurt hand in hand) would go well

I have made this again with a few modifications and am glad to say they were only improvements! Changes:
-Used unsalted butter instead of salted
-Mixed about 1/3 cup of rolled oats with the flour
-Add dried currants and cranberries in the final mix
-Mixed in a cup 1 tbsp water, 2 1/2 tbsp brown sugar, and 1/4 cup of oats and then spread that on the top of the bread before I put it in the oven. It made it nice and crunchy and delicious on top!

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