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Friday, March 16, 2012

Mom's Basic Banana Bread

The unseasonably hot weather this week has turned our lovely apartment with floor-to-ceiling windows into a greenhouse. The bunch of bananas we bought on Sunday have thus become brown-spotted before their time. I come from a long line of women who hate wasting food; banana bread, anyone?

My mom's recipe is no-muss, no-fuss, just throw everything in a bowl and then mix until just incorporated. You'll be eating a freshly baked piece of bread in under an hour. It's a simple, classic banana bread - sweet but not too sweet with just enough banana flavor. I didn't have walnuts on hand, so I used some pistachios and raw almonds. Note that I doubled the recipe pictured here (we had a lot of very ripe bananas!).

The recipe is actually from a neighbor in Wisconsin (I lived there until I was eleven). She brought the bread as a treat to an afternoon coffee with my mom when my sister was a baby. The aroma of the baking bread certainly brings back memories of simpler times - coming home from school and grabbing a slice from the beige tupperware container on the counter.

When life is stressful, there's something soothing about baking - there's a set beginning and end to the project, you have to carefully measure the ingredients, your treat is going to bake on its own time (not yours), and you end up with something made from scratch. I'll remember that the next time I'm just too busy to bake.    

Mom's Basic Banana Bread
Serves 8-10

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 ripe bananas (3 if small)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat over to 350 degrees and grease a medium-sized loaf pan (8 1/2" x 4 1/2") or two small loaf pans. I use Pam's baking spray and non-stick loaf pans.

Mix the butter, bananas, flour, sugar, eggs and baking soda in a large bowl until just incorporated. Then, fold in the chopped nuts. Pour the mixture into the loaf pan and bake for 45-60 minutes. If using two small pans, it will probably take 30 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the middle of the loaf should come out clean when the bread is ready.

1 comment:

  1. Okay - second try to make a comment! The Tupperware container is on the counter right now (but not with banana bread). I hadn't realized I've had it so long - I need to get myself some new stuff! I like to make smaller loaves of this bread and stick them in the freezer. They are a great last minute treat if someone stops in unexpectedly or if you need a hostess gift (combine with a single pot coffee pack or some special tea). Mom