I have never let my schooling interfere with my education. - Mark Twain

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Yes, we have some bananas


...and we never eat them up fast enough, so we do what the rest of the galaxy does and make banana bread. Course the rest of the galaxy has long ago posted all their recipes for b-bread- why do we need another one? Because this one's better, that's why!

Actually it's not that much different than bajillions of other recipes, but I decided most of them were too wet. This still turns out pretty moist but it doesn't fall apart at the slightest touch. I use a bit more flour and a little less fat than the versions which inspired mine (see those at Simply Recipes and Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads).

Nuts are not usually found in my banana bread (except for the nut milk used here). Nothing against them, they are a mainstay in the WTM kitchen, but I think they make b-bread too busy (who wants busy b-bread?) They may certainly be added if desired. I use a bit more salt, and almond milk, and also some cinnamon, which I don't think Mom ever used. Mom was a champion banana bread baker, and I can't find her recipe (!*@%!) but I know she would like this one. May try a bit of nutmeg, too, next time.

The secret for easy-peasy, always ready-to-bake banana bread is the freezer. When bananas start to go south here, I pop 'em into a heavy duty Ziploc bag and then into the freezer. When it's time to bake, out come three frozen (and black, by this time) bananas and into a large bowl they go while the other ingredients get rounded up and measured out. After about ten minutes or so of thawing, the skins can be pulled back easily and the bananas are now partially-frozen puree, which makes for almost effortless mashing.

In a pinch (meaning you don't have enough/any bananas), use pumpkin puree in place of banana puree, and pumpkin pie spice in place of cinnamon. Think outside the pan!

Banana Bread
(Approved by Dad, who doesn't like most of what I make, but surprises me on occasion)

3 ripe bananas
¼ cup melted Earth Balance margarine, or other butter equivalent
¼ cup almond milk, or other milk of choice

1 cup sugar
2 egg equivalents, beaten (I use a homemade egg replacer)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon (optional, but does add some nummy)

1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt

2 cups all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour a 9" x 5" loaf pan.

Mash bananas in a large bowl; whisk in melted margarine and milk.

Add sugar through cinnamon (if using); stir to combine.

Add baking soda through salt; stir to combine.

Add flour and fold in gently to combine.

Pour mixture into the prepared loaf pan.

Bake for 1 hour, or until an inserted toothpick or small wooden skewer comes out clean.

Cool on a rack for 10 minutes; then remove from the pan to finish cooling on the same rack.