Friday, November 9, 2012

Banana Nut Bread (My Way)

Banana Nut Bread is probably a recipe in almost every American's recipe box.  My mother thought hers was the best ( and I did too until I began making my own), I had a friend who cooked and baked on her country home wood stove and she could make some pretty mean banana nut bread.  I went through a phase of my bread machine banana nut bread recipe (not because it was good, but because it was easy!), and now I have found one that I think to date is probably the best.  I roll my eyes when I read a recipe where "puffy" chested  cooks declare that they add chocolate chips to their batter.  What????  It's banana nut bread, do people really believe that chocolate chips need to be added to EVERY recipe????  Really????  Anyway......Here's what I do:

I gather all my ingredients and set them on the counter for about an hour so that they are at room temperature (someone told me to, I have no idea why, I just do it, it seems to work).

1/2       cup butter, softened
1/4       cup molasses
1/4       cup pure maple syrup
2          tablespoons honey
2          large eggs
2          medium bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
1/4       cup milk
2          teaspoons vanilla
2          cups flour (I use a combination of whole wheat, kamut, spelt, and oat)
1          teaspoon baking soda
1/2       teaspoon kosher salt
1/2       cup nuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 350, grease your pan of choice ( I use a loaf pan), you can use muffin tins as well.

Cream together butter, molasses, syrup, and honey on low speed of a mixer until well combined, increase speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.  Add the eggs, one at a time until fully incorporated.  Add the bananas and blend on low until combined.  Add the milk and vanilla and mix just until combined.

Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together and add to the banana mixture, mix on medium speed until the mixture has come together and is thick and creamy, scraping the bowl to make sure all the flour mixture is incorporated into the banana mixture.  Add the nuts and pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and bake for 50 to 60 minutes if using a loaf pan.  If using muffin tins; check your time at 20 minutes and at 10 minute intervals thereafter.

Remove the pan from the oven and place the pan on wire rack to cool.  After 20 minutes, lay pan on it's side to cool for another 10 to 20 minutes before attempting to remove it from the pan.  I know, I know, your home is filled with the aroma of the delicious banana nut bread and you have already waited almost 2 hours, however, it will be worth it to allow the bread to cool enough to come out of the pan as a whole loaf!!!

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