Monday, April 4, 2011

BANANA BREAD!

B - Bananas- B-A-N-A-N-A-N-A-N-AS!!!

Mmmmm. Have you ever had a baked good that when served straight from the oven really takes your day to a whole new level? You know the kind of treat that can take you from rock bottom to back on your feet? If not, today is your day. Honest to goodness this banana bread should be served at somber events like to the loosing team after a championship game, because all it takes is one warm bite to instantly forget your problems.

Have I gone too far with my description? I’ll let you be the judge of that. If I were to open my shop tomorrow, this Banana Bread would be a lifetime menu option and I am confident in saying that it would be a top seller! I enjoy this recipe so much that I had stopped baking it all together due to my inability to not eat the entire loaf before it even cooled. Well until now; since Bertie’s Bakery probably isn’t going to be a reality for many, many, many more months I simply cannot withhold this treasure from you any longer. Therefore I present to you, Bertie’s Bang-Bang Banana Bread! (No it’s not really called that, but YES the full recipe below).

 

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As always, to start things off get your room temperature butter and sugar mixing and “Fluffing”. If I am confident that I actually have all the ingredients that I will need for the banana bread then I will go ahead and get the butter and sugar going before I even start organizing the rest of the mess I’m going to make in the kitchen!

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Beat with the paddle attachment for a good 4-5 minutes. You don’t want your butter looking yellow any more, so beat until a pale ivory! Beat on medium, scraping the sides and bottom every 2 minutes or so and just let it do its thing. While your mixer is making all of that noise go ahead and get your dry ingredients, bananas, and liquid ingredients organized.
 
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Here you have flour, baking soda, salt, and cloves. Wisk them together with a fork and set them aside.

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Eggs and vanilla. Wisk them too and set aside.

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B-A-N-A-N-A-S. MASH! In my situation today I had to defrost the bananas first and then mash. I am sure that if you are one of my endurance athlete followers, then you are always left with one or two bananas in the bunch that you just didn’t get to eat in time and now they are just too brown and smoochey for your liking. DO NOT THROW AWAY! I purposely let my bananas get a little brown before making this recipe; or better stated, I will not make this recipe with yellow or yellow/green bananas. The sugars haven’t developed all the way yet. So if you have a situation where your banana bunch has gotten away from you, don’t fret, just peel & freeze for when you are in the mood for banana bread!

*Note* If you are using frozen bananas do make sure you’ve brought the fruit back to room temp; you actually can mash frozen bananas… but the frozen pieces will effect your cook time!

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Once you’ve organized, whisked, and mashed everything go ahead and gradually pour in your egg and vanilla mixture. Make sure to scrape down the sides and bottom and allow time for ingredients to become well incorporated.

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Not Well Incorporated vs. Incorporated

Now is time to gradually add the mashed bananas. Don’t worry… the batter will take on the illusion that it has curdled but it hasn’t and it is still going to taste Grrrr-eat!

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Not so pretty huh?

Moving on! Now, remove the bowl from the standing mixer and add your flour mixture. Using a spatula, fold in your flour. Don’t over do it. Remember there is still chocolate chips and nuts to be folded in as well.

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Now is time for your chocolate chips and toasted walnuts. (ahem… yeah, remember when I said above “if I am confident that I have all of the ingredients for the recipe then I will get the butter started before organizing the rest”???… well there were no walnuts or pecans to be found in the house so I guess I shouldn’t have been so confident.) Both, however, of these are “Optional Ingredients” but I would also categorize them as “Highly Recommended!”
 
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Fold some more.
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Perfect.

Now prepare your baking pan. I have made this recipe in several different pans in the past, all really depending on what I wanted the bread for. I find people really like this bread as a random gift, so when I was teaching I would sometimes bake up several petite loafs and make deliveries to other staff members. Other times if it was simply for around the house or to deliver to our fun run-long run group I would just bake in the traditional loaf pan. Lately I have enjoyed my mini-bunt pans for the banana bread, and that is what I went with today!

You have a few options here; I’ll start with my preference.

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Oil the pan/ Pam.

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Then add sugar!

I take about 1tsp of white sugar and sprinkle it into each mini bunt. Then go ahead and tilt and swirl the pan (over the sink) such that the excess sugar rolls around the inside and coats the inside walls and bottom. Then go ahead and turn the whole facing down and gently tap out any excess sugar into the sink.

You could go ahead and do this same process with flour, or you could simply just spray the pan and leave it alone. Personally I like the sugar option because if you manage to let the banana bread survive past the state of warmth, the sugars will turn the crust a little bit crispy for an extra sweet surprise.

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Fill and bake!

These are actually a little over filled as you will see in the following pictures that you can no longer see the hole in the top. From far away you would just assume these are oversized muffins instead of the quaint petite bunts. I baked these for 30 minutes at 350*F. If you were going to go with one single loaf you would bake for more like 40-50 minutes, and if you wanted muffins (which I haven’t done yet, but now that I think about it…) I’m sure the baking time would be shorter again. Definitely rack the pan in the middle of the oven making sure not to over brown the bottom since the larger loafs would be cooking for much longer.

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Seriously YUM! No go ahead, get a pen or pencil and write down the following ingredients so you can make your own ASAP!

Bertie’s Banana Bread Ingredient list:

1 1/4C     All Purpose Flour

1tsp        Baking Soda

1/2          Cloves

1/2         Salt

1/2         Vanilla extract

1/2         Unsalted Butter (Room Temp)

1C          White Sugar

1/2         Toasted Walnut ( or Pecan)

2lrg        Eggs

2-3          Very ripe bananas (~1cup mashed)

1C          Chocolate Chips

Bon App├ętit!!! 

2 comments:

Mark said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Thank you for posting this!! They were amazing! Best banana bread evar!!!11!one!

Jirnsum said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Mouth...watering...definitely one for the weekend!

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