Banana Bread

If you buy bananas on a regular basis, then you have probably had more than a few get brown and soft before you had a chance to eat them.  Don’t throw them away!  Those bananas are now perfect for making banana bread.  You can even save them for later use by throwing them in the freezer.  Then, when you are ready to use them, you can thaw them out, cut off the top and squeeze out the banana puree within.  That’s the perfect consistency for banana bread!

Banana bread is not hard to make.  It does not require special equipment or mixers or even special ingredients.  I bet you have everything you need in your kitchen right now.  All you need is a large bowl, a spoon, measuring cups and spoons, and that loaf pan that came with the baking set your aunt bought you when you moved into your first apartment.    Do you have the equipment ready?  Now it’s time to gather the ingredients.

Ingredients

2 cups flour (this can be all-purpose white flour or half white and half wheat flour if you like)

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon cinnamon

½ cup butter, softened

½ cup cane (white) sugar

½ cup brown sugar

1 egg

1 ½ cups mashed bananas (about three)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

5 tablespoons buttermilk (regular milk is fine if you don’t have buttermilk)

a handful of chopped walnuts

Instructions

  1. Cream together sugars and butter. Add one slightly beaten egg and stir. Add bananas and vanilla
and stir until well-blended and creamy. (I use a potato masher in this step and just mash it all together!)

   2. Add the flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder and cinnamon and stir until just blended.
                    
   3. Add buttermilk and stir until just blended.

   4. Spread into a greased loaf pan and sprinkle walnuts on top.

   5. Place the pan in a preheated, 350F oven. Bake for 45-60 minutes or until top is brown and cracks appear on the surface.    You can also check it by inserting a knife or toothpick in the center.  If it comes out clean, then it is done.

This should give you a wonderful and moist banana bread! The buttermilk gives it a lighter, spongier texture and makes it rise quite a bit, but if you only have regular milk it will still come out very moist. You can mix the walnuts into the banana bread at step three if you like. I prefer them on top so they are nicely toasted once the bread comes out of the oven, but it’s all personal preference. If you really love walnuts, go ahead and do both!  Other fun ingredients to add would be about a cup of chocolate chips or raisins or dried apricots.  

Eat the bread while it’s still warm to get the greatest enjoyment out of it. Slather it with butter if you like, but it’s delicious to just eat plain. This banana bread makes a great snack, breakfast or dessert!