Friday, September 10, 2010

Ode to Banana Bread

Janet here: I was feeling a little verklempt about everyone having flown the coop (see my post here) and generally wanting to bake, which is what I often want to do when I'm feeling a little blue but also feeling as if there was no one to bake for (sorry Peter but you can only eat so much), and then I had one of those AHA moments and remembered we have a freezer. Duh!

So, inspired by making zucchini bread (which was seriously fantastic thanks to the molasses and applesauce; I strongly encourage you to try it out), I looked at the very ripe bananas on the table and decided to make banana bread. Not just any banana bread, mind you, but one with chocolate chips adapted from Anna Getty's Easy Green Organic, one of my new favorite cookbooks.

While I generally feel as if just about every baked good can benefit from the addition of chocolate chips, I did worry a bit these might be overkill. I mean chocolate chips in a typically breakfast bread? Really?

The answer is a definitive yes — even from Peter, who is not someone who indulges in chocolate in the morning the way some of us do — okay I do — but who does eat this for breakfast ... happily.

Rachel here: I love banana bread, like love it love it. I found what I've figured is a completely perfect banana bread recipe and haven't looked back since. It's what I make for people I love when they hit a rough run and I've been known to overnight it across the country. Anyway, the recipe I usually use can be found here. Next time (and I have two brown bananas in my more and I'm baking...I wasn't kidding that I love banana bread), though, I'm giving my mom's recipe a shot (oh, and hey Ma-I really like your tablecloth).

Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips

Anna got this from her good friend, Julie, who adapted it by adding chocolate chips. I adapted further by using butter instead of soy margarine

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 stick butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 eggs, beaten
3 very ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

walnut topping
1/4 cup ground walnuts
1 tablespoon brown sugar

Heat oven to 350 degrees

Mix together the flour, salt and baking soda. In another bowl cream together the sugar and butter. Stir in the vanilla and buttermilk. Add the eggs and bananas and mix well. Add the dry ingredients, stirring until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips and walnuts.

Pour batter into a loaf pan. To make topping, mix ground walnuts and brown sugar. Sprinkle over batter.

Bake 1 hour and 15 minutes. Let cool in pan before serving.

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