So I had a baking day today. It was fabulous. Cheesecake, Chocolate Pudding Pie, Refridgerator Bread (as I'm calling it at least) and Banana Bread. A lovely, double batch of banana bread.With it's yummy crisp top and soft and moist center that I just KNOW is inside... waiting for breakfast tomorrow :)
This, banana bread.
This, banana bread.
1) freeze your banana's when they start to get too brown for you to eat. Not only does this keep you from throwing them away, but it lets you make banana bread when you want it... as opposed to when the bananas are ready. ALSO, the freezing makes them super mushy... so you don't end up having to "mash" them - one less thing to clean... two actually... no fork and no mashing bowl.
2) make sure you're ready to put the bread in the oven RIGHT after you mix it.
The Recipe is (slightly modified) from The Joy of Cooking, 75th Anniversary Edition. I know what page it's on from the wrinkled, egg-spattered-ness because I use this recipe more than any other in the book 0:-). No bookmark needed.
YOU WILL NEED (my version)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup vegetable shortening (or margerine or butter - softened)
2/3 cup sugar
1 to 2 large eggs
2-3 frozen bananas (defrosted, in their skins)
a measuring cup, a wisk, a Big bowl, scissors, and a 8ishx4ish baking pan.
FIRST, mix the dry ingredients together while your wisk is still dry
SECOND, mash up the vegetable shortening- it says to beat until creamy... I've never seen shortening get creamy, i just break it up a bit with the wisk, and then add sugar, mixing them together till they get crumbly.
THIRD, add the eggs. Whether you use one or two kind of depends on the amount of banana. The more banana... the more eggs. If I use 2 bananas, I use one egg (the egg is a binder). It always comes out yummy no matter what though, so don't sweat it.
FOURTH, cut the top of your defrosted black squidgy bananas off, and squeeze them into the bowl... kinda like toothpaste. It's gross, yes, but oh so easy, so little cleanup and darn yummy. Mix it up with the wisk... you'll still have banana chunks. That's OK. I like it that way - try it once... if you don't like it... you can "fully mash" your bananas next time.
FIFTH, add the dry ingredients in three portions, mixing until smooth after each addition
SIXTH, put all the mushy goodness into a greased baking pan, throw it in a preheated 350* oven for an hour (yes, it takes the whole hour, often a little longer for me) until a toothpick comes out clean.
Cool it for a bit, then pop out of your pan and cool fully before slicing. Don't worry, a quick zap in the microwave, or a run in the toaster will warm it right up and make your butter melt all over it in deliciousness. Hubby likes it with cream cheese (hmmm... cream cheese... that ever-popular refrigerator inhabitant - by the way... for those who keep up with me, the sale was still going, so I bought another 8 bars this week. But it's 8 instead of 12, and there's no Christmas break inbetween, so I should be good. And if I'm not... I totally mastered the cheesecake. It really is just as simple as following directions, lol)