Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Banana Bread

We love banana bread in our house which is good because I always forget to serve bananas until they have turned all black and brown. I've discovered that waiting to use these bananas until they are really black and brown and really really squishy is it magnifies the banana taste in bread. So this has been the perfect solution to forgetting all about the bananas. I've tried hundreds of different recipes and I always seem to really like the ones with some unusual ingredients. I love using sour cream or yogurt in banana bread. They add a flavor and a tenderness to the bread that can't be beat. However this time around I discovered I had neither on hand so I started looking on the internet for a recipe with an ingredient that's different. King Arthur Flour (I love their recipes and their flour!) helped me out with a recipe. It called for apricot jam or orange marmalade. I'm not a fan of orange marmalade and as it turns out my husband ate all the homemade jars of marmalade and the few store bought jars I had on hand so I used my homemade apricot jam. Now I seriously was worried it would taste weird but was willing to give it a try. You really couldn't tell it had jam in it but there was a hint of something different in the bread. In the end I was only able to get one piece cause the kids ate the whole loaf. Big hit in this house.

Banana Bread
King Arthur Flour

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at cool room temperature
2/3 cup brown sugar, light or dark, firmly packed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3 medium or 2 large bananas)
3 tablespoons apricot jam or orange marmalade, optional but tasty
1/4 cup honey
2 large eggs
2 1/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, optional


1) Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly grease a 9" x 5" loaf pan.

2) In a large bowl, combine the butter, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, beating till smooth.

3) Add the mashed bananas, jam, honey, and eggs, again beating until smooth.

4) Add the flour, then the walnuts, stirring just until smooth.

5) Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf pan, smoothing the top. Let it rest at room temperature for 10 minutes.

6) Bake the bread for 45 minutes, then gently lay a piece of aluminum foil across the top, to prevent over-browning.

7) Bake for an additional 25 minutes. Remove the bread from the oven; a long toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center should come out clean, with at most a few wet crumbs clinging to it. The tester shouldn't show any sign of uncooked batter. If it does, bake the bread an additional 5 minutes, or until it tests done.

8) Allow the bread to cool for 10 minutes in the pan. Remove it from the pan, and cool it completely on a rack.

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