Friday, July 14, 2017

Delicious Banana Bread

Ah, bread. I have developed an obsession with making bread. If someone offered me the chance to open my own bread shop, I would do it immediately. It has become one of my favorite parts of this "homesteading" and homemaking experience. It is just SO good. Besides banana bread, I have experimented with sourdough, beer bread, and German pretzel bites. I will have to share my recipes with you all, but first let's talk about this yummy loaf that could double as a dessert or a side dish.

First things first, you need the ingredients. A few of them will depend on your allergies.. I totally go for the walnuts, but if that's not your thing then please don't add them! I also mix a little of honey and lemon into the dough to add even more sweetness. My coworkers loved this! Also, you can experiment with adding dried fruits, cinnamon and other spices, but that's not really my type of thing. I love to keep it pretty simple.

I don't have a lot of experience "writing" recipes online, so this will not be a traditional post. For this bread, you will need:

Ingredients and Supplies:

  • 2 or 3 ripe bananas. I went with 2 but will probably add another next time.
  • a potato/veggie masher to mash those bananas with
  • 1/3 cup of melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 egg large or extra large. if you are going to use a smaller egg I would double up on it... beat the egg with a fork.
  • a whisk
  • a mixing bowl
  • a bread pan or muffin tin
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1.5 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 to 1 cup of walnuts (or other nuts if you don't like walnuts/are allergic). Or, no nuts at all. 
Note: Most recipes I found online did not require the brown sugar, lemon, or honey. If you want to make it traditional, forget these items and use 3/4 cup of sugar instead of 1/2 cup. Or, use slightly less brown sugar and slightly more regular sugar. You can adjust according to your own preferences.

You can substitute the butter for oil if you please. I'm sure some people may prefer this but I adore butter.

Prepping and Cooking:

  • Preheat oven to 375 Fahrenheit
  • Mash bananas with a masher or a fork in your mixing bowl. 
  • Once bananas are mashed, add melted butter, lemon juice, and honey. Mix altogether.
  • Slowly add in and blend together following ingredients: baking soda, salt, sugars, egg, and vanilla. 
  • Once everything is mixed together, slowly add in the flour. 
  • All flour should be blended together with the "liquid" ingredients. Pour into individual muffin cups or into a loaf pan. 
  • Cooking time is 50 minutes to 1 hour or until you can poke the center with a knife or toothpick and it comes out clean
  • A baker I know recommends letting all breads sit for 15 min to 30 min before just diving in. This is because, even though you have removed the baked item from the heat, things are still being baked together inside. Letting it sit for a little bit will keep you from having those weird bits in the center that seem like they weren't cooked all the way through. I've dove right in before without hearing this tip and I thought there was something wrong with the way I baked... turns out I just have not been very patient. Go figure!
Let me know how this turns out for you! This recipe gave me the loaf pictured above (I added flour over top before baking it. I do this to all of my breads... I just like it that way). If there were any inconsistencies you found in my recipe, please let me know! 

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