This is something new for me…
I wanted, no, I was excited to make a recipe spur-of-the-moment.
I saw our sad, brown, soft bananas — and, instead of tossing them out, decided to make some yummy banana bread.
I checked out some of my favorite recipe websites (never thought I’d ever be uttering those words), and found this simple recipe at Idiots Kitchen. I love this website because Claudia is always giving out helpful hints and never assumes her readers know anything about cooking (in other words, perfect for me!)
Banana Bread, adapted from Idiot’s Kitchen
½ cup margarine, softened at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 ½ cups mashed ripe bananas – about 3 bananas
2 cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pre-heat the oven to 300 degrees. Cream the softened, room temperature butter, sugar and eggs until smooth and light yellow. Add the smashed bananas and mix in.
In a separate bowl, sift the flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Working with the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter/banana mixer. Mix only until the flour is incorporated. Do not over mix. Pour batter into greased loaf pans.
Bake at 300 degrees for 45 minutes (small pans) to 1 hour – 1 hour fifteen minutes (large pans). Allow bread to rest in pans for 5 – 10 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.
Oh, my, gosh… was this good! But I’ll get to that in a minute.
Let’s see, well, the original recipe called for butter. Looking in the fridge pre-grocery store run today, I saw a box of butter. This led me to believe we had butter. Unfortunately, at my house, that just means we have an empty butter box. (Because that makes a lot of sense.) Can we remove the box when we’re done, anyone? (HUBS?) So, I substituted with margarine – and, guess what, it was fine. Yay.
Can I also share that mashing bananas is strangely therapeutic?
When I got to the dry ingredients part of the recipe, I read Claudia’s explanation of why it’s important to sift your dry ingredients. It actually made sense. Since I usually just skip the sifting part, I decided to give it a try — and then promptly remembered why I usually skip it: the inevitable mess!
Eventually I got to the part where I was to choose the pans for my bread. I think I may have mentioned before that I have some issues when it comes to capacity estimation (really causes problems when you’re trying to teach volume to fifth graders). Anyways, this was no exception. Here are the three greased pans I thought I would need – and the only one I actually used.
Even though the process wasn’t perfect, the result sure was. I did have to cook my giant loaf for a bit longer than suggested, but it was a gorgeous golden brown and moist and banana-y inside.