I love to cook, but I don’t often bake. I think it’s the precision that seems to be required in baking that turns me off. You always need to measure your ingredients to the T and pay so much attention to which ingredients go into the mix in what order, and for how long you stir it, with what kitchen implement, etc. It’s somewhat akin to Potions Class in Harry Potter’s world. Snape would have been a baker, and probably an excellent one at that.
Having said that, I do have my staple recipes like shortbread cookies, chocolate chip cookies, cornbread (which I haven’t made in a zillion years) and fudge, although you don’t actually bake that, so it doesn’t really count. That’s about it in terms of my baked goods repertoire. But lately I’ve been branching out, partly thanks to this lemon cupcake recipe I found via Pinterest. (Ahh Pinterest, you’re like crack, I tell ya! Crack!)
I baked them about a month ago and they were delicious, so, I baked some more this week and decorated them with Easter coloured icing, then brought them in to work. Gone in 60 seconds, I kid you not. Anyway, I’m having some people over for Easter dinner this weekend and have decided to make more of them. I also had some bananas that I had put in my freezer once they became over-ripe, so I decided to make my first attempt at Banana Bread. I found two recipes that were tempting, but couldn’t decide between them, so I did a bit of a combination and this is what came out of it:
Delicious! Give it a try. You won’t regret it. My modified version of the recipe is below.
- cooking spray
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup room-temperature butter
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 5 mashed overripe bananas
- 1 tablespoon water (for the topping)
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar (for the topping)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
- Spray cooking spray in two 8 x 3.75 inch loaf pans.
- Mash bananas in a bowl with a potato masher.
- Whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in another bowl.
- Blend butter and sugar with a spatula in a large bowl until smooth.
- Stir in mashed bananas. The mixture will look lumpy/granular. That’s okay.
- Add eggs to the butter mixture one at a time. Using a whisk, fully blend in each egg before adding the next.
- Stir in vanilla extract and milk.
- Switching back from the whisk to the spatula, stir in flour mixture until just incorporated. Even if there are some bits where the flour is visible, this is okay. You don’t want to over-stir it.
- Pour batter into the prepared loaf pans. Tap pan on the counter to release any air pockets.
- Mix the the water and 3 tablespoons of brown sugar, then brush over the top of your batter with a silicone basting brush.
- Bake in preheated oven for about 1 hour 10 minutes, or until an inserted wooden skewer comes out clean.
- Let the bread rest in the pan for 10-15 minutes. Remove from pan and let it continue to cool on a wire rack. Slice and serve.
And thus, my first attempt at banana bread was a rousing success. Well at least to me. I’ll let you know what others think once they’ve tried it. 🙂