Monday, November 15, 2010
Banana Bread II
You see, it's like this. I cannot tell you how long I've looked for a simple, delicious, banana-y banana bread. For-evah, I think. Years, most assuredly. I won't kid you and say that I've tried dozens of recipes; at the most I've probably only tried half a dozen. For some time now, I settled on a recipe that a coworker gave me; it's good, but not quite it. I know you know what I mean. Then I discovered a recipe from King Arthur Flour and while I really like this one with its whole wheat goodness, I've longed for something that, truthfully, is made with white flour, the standard of my childhood.
I have found my new go-to banana bread recipe. It's a no-thrills, no-frills recipe, no nuts, no spices, just a little vanilla and lots of banana flavor and deliciously moist. I think part of the success of this recipe is due to the banana and sugar being combined before the flour is added, giving the bananas and sugar an opportunity to marry and be happy, and when the dry ingredients are finally added, the banana flavor is well dispersed.
And may I just point out one thing to you? I am so pleased about this. My bread baked nice and level, no raised hump with a gaping crevasse down the middle! I owe this to a hint that I read on one of your blogs. My apologizes ~ I do not remember who passed along the tip, but I've successfully used it several times, and it is this: if you are using a dark aluminum baking pan (my are heavy, dark, restaurant quality pans), reduce the heat by 25 degrees Fahrenheit, same as if you are cooking in glass and follow the directions for cooking time. The dark pans absorb the heat, browning the outside edges faster than the center, causing the center to swell and heave. So, whoever posted that tip, thank you!
Now, here's the recipe.
1/3 cup melted butter
3 or 4 ripe bananas, well mashed
1 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 pinch salt (equals about 1/8 teaspoon)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Generously grease and flour an 8" x 4" baking pan and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a large bowl, mix the butter into the mashed bananas. Add the sugar, egg, and vanilla and mix well.
Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in.
Add the flour, and mix to combine all.
Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and place in preheated oven for about 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of loaf comes out clean.
Cool on rack.** Remove from loaf pan before slicing.
**I let my loaf sit in the pan for about ten minutes and then removed from the pan to allow it to finish cooling on the rack.