Thursday, April 3, 2014

Browned Banana Bread

What's browned banana bread you ask? It's not some new fancy schmancy way of making banana bread. It's just regular banana bread that you accidentally left in the oven a few minutes too long because the weather finally broke and you were outside playing with your son. Despite that in my perfectionist mind, it was overdone, it didn't seem to stop any of us from eating it. It was still quite good.

I don't think this recipe is as good as the banana muffins, but it's labeled as low fat and it's a bit easier to make, since it has a few less ingredients. It's a little heavier, but does transport well and freeze well. I have made a few adjustments to it over the years and added pumpkin to it when I only had two small bananas. That was delicious. I used four really old bananas for this. Most people would have surely thrown these in the trash. When my bananas start to turn, I try to freeze them for smoothies. Try being the key word here. It's like one day, they look perfectly good to eat and then you forget you have them and the next thing you know, you've got black bananas. The darker the bananas the sweeter they are. So, dark bananas work really well in baked goods.

I prefer walnuts in my banana bread, but I only had about a 1/4 cup, so I just put them on top instead of in the batter. Plus, it looks pretty. I like my food to not only taste good, but to look pretty.

Banana Bread
Adapted from Betty Crocker

Yield: 2 loaves
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour (cool 2 hours 10, minutes)
Total time: 1 hour and 15 minutes, plus cooling

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 large eggs
4 very ripe bananas, mashed
1/ 2 whole milk
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped walnuts

1. Heat oven to 350° and move oven racks to lowest position. Grease bottoms only of 2 loaf pans, 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 or one 9 x 5 x3 loaf pan with butter.

2. Combine milk with vinegar and set aside for 5 minutes to "sour. Mix butter and sugar in a large bowl. Stir in eggs until well blended. Stir in bananas, "soured" milk, and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Stir in flour, baking soda, and salt until moistened. Stir in nuts. Divide batter evenly between pans.

3. Bake 8 inch loaves for about an hour and 9 inch loaf about an hour and 15 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pans on wire rack.

4. Loosen sides of loaves from pans: remove pans and place top side up on wire rack. Cool completely, about 2 hours, before slicing. Wrap tightly and store at room temperature for up to 4 days, or refrigerate for up to 10 days. Can also be frozen for up to two months.


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