Monday, September 22, 2014

Banana Bread

There's something about going home that puts you at ease and just makes you sigh of relaxation. This is absolutely true about coming home every night but I'm talking about your childhood home. Even though I no longer live at my parents house I sometimes feel homesick for that "homey" feeling. You know what I'm talking about? I'm sure it's a combination of memories and the welcoming arms greeting me but there's truly no place like home. I haven't even been out of the house for too long but especially during the holidays it makes me miss it! These beautiful fall days we've been having have really inspired me to make this (1 bedroom apartment) a home. I bought a pumpkin and mums for outside, got crafty with a candy corn filled hurricane  (it's all over Pinterest) and tonight made banana bread, just like my mom's. Let me tell you, the aromas filling my apartment were amazing!
I had 2 bananas that were just past that perfectly yellow stage and needed something to do with them and right away I headed to my parents for my mom's banana bread recipe and to borrow her loaf pan...I can't tell you how ecstatic I am to register for these things!

If I haven't already emphasized this, I would not call myself a baker. I took a baking and pastry course in culinary school and quickly learned that "about a half a cup" would not yield a great outcome. Everything had to be exactly measured and weighed...which is the complete opposite of how I operate! I do find joy in baking and can be somewhat relaxing and therapeutic from time to time. One of the biggest reasons I don't bake often, truthfully, is because I don't want to be tempted! I have a huge sweet tooth and consider candy a major food group but feel super guilty about eating brownies and cookies on the regular. Due to the fact that my fiancé (so fun to say that!) is not into sweets I know I'll be the only one enjoying these treats...which gets me into trouble fitting into my jeans the next day...

The nice thing about this banana bread is that it freezes really well. After it cools completely wrap it tightly in foil and place it in a large Ziploc bag. This is great portion control for me! I can cut a few slices, freeze the loaf, and save the rest for later!
Here's how to make it...sorry mom, I made a few edits to your recipe!! :)
I used my KitchenAid because I love an excuse to use it, but this can also be done with a hand mixer or even by hand with a wooden spoon.
Start by mixing 2-3 very ripe bananas with 3/4 cup of brown sugar and 1/2 cup of melted butter. Beat this for about 2 minutes or until well combined. *If there are a few small chunks of banana still, that's okay!
Now add in 2 eggs and 1 tsp vanilla extract or paste. Mix this until it's combined with the banana mixture, about 1 minute.
To this add 2 cups of flour (I use white whole wheat flour), 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp cinnamon, and 1/2 tsp salt. Mix only until just combined! You do not want to over mix this. 
Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula and add in 1 cup of chopped walnuts (raw is fine). Mix for just a few seconds so that the walnuts disperse throughout the batter.
Pour this into a greased loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes. Use a toothpick and make sure it comes out clean. Mine baked for approximately 47 1/2 minutes...I was babysitting it pretty closely!
Right when it comes out of the oven it's very important to add this step that my mom makes a huge difference! 
Melt 1 tbl of butter and drizzle it all over the top of the bread. Then, sprinkle on cinnamon and sugar and let it rest for a few minutes. This creates this sugary crust that without it, would just be a waste of truly great banana bread.
This is great for breakfast, snacks, or dessert!

1 comment:

  1. I have never known that banana can makes this delicious bread. This is so awesome, thank you so much for your recipe!