Monday, August 24, 2009

Let's be honest: its Banana Nut cake, not bread

I say this for two main reasons. First, it tastes like cake. In some of my family's ancient cookbooks it is under 'Quick Breads.' But moving on to the second reason; it doesn't have yeast! I made it today without even baking soda (okay, i realize there is baking powder in self rising bread, but you get my point.)

Its a cake. But oh it is a delicious one.

Elizabeth Bernold:
also, good in muffin tins with large-sized chocolate chips
Elizabeth Bernold: in bread form, great with cranberries/cherries/raisins
soak them in water (or rum, maybe?!) before baking


In high school I worked a few short months in a local chocolate shop, and the woman - as crazy as she was - made delicious banana bread. Her secret was a whopping six bananas per short loaf.

It makes sense; it is more moist, ripened bananas are sweeter, and like I do below, she divided the recipe into small loaves so she didn't have to bake all the moisture out to get it cooked.

But this is my family's recipe and I stand by it, with those two tricks added, of course.

SEE: Baking tips

4+ very ripe bananas
~I just happened to have 4. Ill try more next time since they sell ripened bananas for cheap at the grocery store
1/4 lb butter (one stick), softened
2 eggs
2 c flour and 1 tsp baking soda, sifted together
1 c sugar
~I used 1/2 c brown, and 1/2 c white sugar
1/2 c chopped pecans
next time I am adding a couple tsps cinnamon

*Note: All the recipes I could find called for 2 c all purpose flour and 1 tsp baking soda. But since I don't have any baking soda in my pantry, I used 2 c SELF RISING flour. It seemed to work fine! But next time I'd like to try adding some whole wheat.

Whip the bananas until fluffy
cream the butter and sugar, then add eggs, only mixing until the yellow of the yolk disappears
sift together the flour and baking soda (or just self rising flour) and add slowly to butter/sugar mixture
Add pecans and whipped bananas into the butter mixture and mix.

My mom always baked this as one tall loaf, but it seemed like we had to bake it forever, which obviously dries it out. Instead, I baked it Millie (crazy chocolate shop owner/ex boss) style and divided into two loaf pans, which gets it cooked faster without overdrying.

My two loaves baked at 350 for 50 minutes. They probably could have taken a few minutes more because one of the best parts of banana bread is the crispy edges... so sweet.

Try baking with an extra loaf pan in the oven, filled with water.

and the icing? Mom's cream cheese icing with a
couple tsps cinnamon added. Its the perfect amount
creamy and just melts on top.

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