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Friday, May 29, 2009

Banana Bread

The saying goes, " You can't judge judge a book by its cover.”

Well here’s another one for you. “You can't judge a banana by its peel.”

It’s interesting to note that when bananas look their worst they're at their best for making delicious banana bread.

I don’t even remember the origin of my banana bread recipe which means I’ve been using it for a very long time and haven’t found a better one to replace it.

However, I did make a few changes to the original recipe by increasing the quantity of mashed banana, lemon juice and eggs.

I suppose that would classify it as a new recipe, better still, my new original recipe!

Many years ago there was reason to have our house appraised for its property value.

I remember getting a quick phone call from my husband that day informing me that the representative was already on her way.

Frantically, I began making sure that everything was in its place before she arrived. Having four small kids under foot didn’t make it an easy task.

Earlier that day I had noticed a couple of very ripe, pretty sad looking bananas sitting on the counter. I decided to put them out of their misery by baking them into banana bread.

I had almost forgotten that the loaf was in the oven when I went to answer the door bell.

As the woman walked in she abruptly stopped and inhaled the amazing aroma that by now was wafting through the house.

“Does it ever smell good in here” she exclaimed and began making her way through the rooms.

I don’t think she noticed much of anything else after that but I do believe the value of our house increased somewhat that day!

In the future, when we decide to put our house up for sale, guess what I’ll be baking at open house?

Banana Bread

1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup shortening
3 eggs
1 ½ cups mashed ripe banana
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
  1. In a medium bowl, with an electric mixer beat sugar and shortening until fluffy.
  2. Beat in eggs one at a time.
  3. Add mashed banana and lemon juice and beat just until combined.
  4. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt.
  5. With a wooden spoon, stir flour mixture into banana mixture.
  6. Beat on medium speed with electric mixer for 1 minute.
  7. Pour batter into a greased 9x5 inch loaf pan and bake in a preheated 350 F oven for approximately 1 hour or until tooth pick inserted in the middle of loaf comes out clean.
  8. Let cool 10 minutes in the pan then remove from pan and continue cooling on wire rack.
Notes Tips and Suggestions
  • For much better flavour and texture use very ripe bananas.
  • Bake in a 3 ½ x11 inch loaf pan instead but check if done after 40 to 45 minutes. In my opinion this size pan is longer and narrower and distributes the batter much better.
  • Try baking in two 2 ½x 7 inch pans but check if done after 30 to 35 minutes.
  • After pouring batter into pan, push some of the batter towards either end of the pan making the ends higher than the middle. Doing this avoids getting a huge peak in the center which takes more time to bake than the rest of the loaf.
  • To get a more cake like texture, beat egg whites separately until soft peaks form then fold into the rest of the batter. Bake in a bundt pan at the same temperature indicated above but check if done after 35 to 40 minutes.
  • This bread freezes very well.
Dressing It Up

This loaf can be dressed up in different ways. Some ideas include adding 1 cup of either walnuts or chocolate chips to the batter.

Spreading some strawberry cream cheese or jam between two slices of the plain banana bread makes a great presentation for special occasions such as teas or showers.


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