As I look through the pantry and refrigerator to see what I need from the grocery store for the week, I usually notice a few uneaten-but-need-to-be-eaten bananas. And, aside from scarfing them down (which is physically impossible because even eating one banana has a tendency to make me gag), I go to my old standby: Make Banana Bread. There are variations: Banana Chocolate Chip cake, Banana muffins, but I like making classic banana bread because it’s easy and quick. One pan to pour into, not 12 muffin cups. Easy. And for the rest, I break up into halfs or thirds and freeze ’em for my breakfast smoothies (will post those soon).
So, while I’m waiting for these to get to room temperature, I prepare the rest of the ingredients:
Butter, eggs .and sour cream: Best at room temp.
The Dry: flour, baking soda & salt whisked together:
Whisk together: Flour, baking soda & salt
The Bananas. I have been doing this thing where I buy a bunch of bananas each week and eat, like, 2 of them. I don’t know why, even putting them in my son’s lunch, we always end up with at least 4 leftover by the weekend. And they’re all brown and uninviting, so they remain uneaten. Hence, banana bread or other banana baked good.
Bananas, mashed up and ready.
Today I am using bananas that I bagged up and threw in the fridge last weekend. Waste not!! But lookit, I have another bunch on the sidelines:
Brown, neglected bananas ready to be used in stuff.
You want the brown speckles like these — that means that sweet, ripe bananas are waiting underneath! You can push this, too. You may have even thought that a banana was becoming rotten by the brown peel on the outside but chances are, the banana within was probably perfect for banana bread.
Don’t even think of using bright yellow or (gasp!) yellow-green bananas. The fruit is not ripe enough and won’t make for a tasty banana bread. You want super sweet, mushy bananas. Trust me. I just mushed them with a fork.
The Loaf Pan. Butter the sides of the pan and set aside.
Buttered loaf pan.
The recipe I use is from Martha Stewart. I tend to use her recipes a lot so you will see me refer to her often. You’ll find the original recipe here. I am pretty faithful to it although I leave out the nuts because of the boys in my house.
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup mashed very ripe bananas
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°.
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
This is light and fluffy.
Add eggs and beat to incorporate.
Adding the eggs.
Add flour, baking soda and salt to butter mixture. Mix until combined.
Adding the dry ingredients.
Add bananas, sour cream and vanilla. Mix well until all combined.
Adding the banana, sour cream and vanilla
Add nuts, if you are adding them.
Pour into prepared pan.
Ready for the oven.
Bake for 1 hour, 10 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let it rest in the pan for 10 minutes and then turn it out onto a rack to cool completely. I do like taking a little slice while it’s still warm — you know, for quality control. But do wait until it’s cooled a bit because if you try to slice it too early it will break down on you. Then you’d be forced to just eat the whole thing. (wink, wink)