tesla: Wedding photo: Eric and Tesla in Millenium Park on their wedding day (Default)
[personal profile] tesla
I have the best banana bread recipe in the world!

And now, so do you:

1-3/4 c. flour (anything except King Arthur)
3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 c. shortening (try the non-hydrogenated kind; it's great - and they sell it at The Wedge)
2/3 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. mashed bananas (3 bananas, unless they're exceptionally large or small)
1 c. chopped dates (or those silly red and green candied cherries that they only sell around Xmas.  But the dates taste MUCH better)
OPTIONAL - 1/2 c. walnuts, pecans, or whatever suits your fancy

  1. Preheat your oven to 325.  Use an oven thermometer!  Letting it climb to 350 is okay; letting it climb higher than that is *not*.
  2. Grease a loaf pan.  (I like the Pyrex 1.5 quart loaf pan)
  3. Thoroughly combine flour, baking powder and salt; set aside
  4. Cream together shortening and sugar; add eggs and vanilla and mix well
  5. Add bananas and beat until smooth (using an electric mixer on medium speed we're talking under a minute)
  6. Gently, lovingly, stir the dry ingredients into the mixture.  Do this with a fork, wooden spoon, your fingers - anything but your mixer.  Stop when it's still a bit powdery
  7. Stir in the fruits and optional nuts
  8. Coax the batter into the loaf pan and - important! - let it sit undisturbed for 20 minutes before putting it in the oven (you're allowing the baking soda to begin rising the bread.  If you rush this, the bread will be too dense.)
  9. Place the pan in the oven.  Don't bother with a cookie sheet.
  10. Bake for one hour.  If your oven has hot spots, you can turn the pan once, but otherwise you'll get best results if  you don't open the oven at all.
  11. Cool the assemblage on a wire rack for 1/2 hour before removing the loaf from the pan

I am just so enamored of this stuff.  Not to mention that it's a great way to get rid of bananas that have gone brown.  I used to make it with nuts, but Eric doesn't like nuts in his baked goods, so now I make it without - it might be even more delicious this way.  You can eat it warm or cold, slather it with butter or not - heck, if you get really ambitious I suppose you could ice it, although that might be gilding the lily.

I'm a locavore hippie chick, so I use aluminum-free baking powder, raw cane sugar, cage-free eggs, and the aforementioned non-hydrogenated shortening.  I'm sure it would turn out just fine with more mainstream ingredients, but I'm changing the world here, awright?  Also, although it goes without saying: real vanilla - the best you can find.  It's worth it.

This recipe came from my grandmother - whence before her, I really don't know.

I hope you enjoy it.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-12-01 08:46 pm (UTC)
figment: Photo of hands frying something in a pan (cooking)
From: [personal profile] figment
Sounds lovely.

Does King Arthur flour really screw it up? I <3 that brand and almost always buy it.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-12-01 12:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vgqn.livejournal.com
Why not King Arthur flour?

(no subject)

Date: 2010-12-01 12:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vgqn.livejournal.com
I should have said too that it sounds delicious. Also that I've never heard of non-hydrogenated shortening -- interesting. I use butter or oil in my banana bread usually.

Inquiring minds...

Date: 2010-12-01 02:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] buttonlass.livejournal.com
I would also like to know.

Did it not rise properly? That's my first guess based on what I know of the flour.

Or is the texture off?

Re: Inquiring minds...

Date: 2010-12-01 06:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tesla-aldrich.livejournal.com
My understanding is that King Arthur "all-purpose" flour has an extremely high protein content.

My experience is that it does the following things to my baked goods:
- Gives pancakes a shiny, tough outer skin
- Makes yeast breads "wet" and resistant to rising
- Makes quick breads resistant to rising
- Is perfectly fine for pie crust

So that all bears out the "high protein" hypothesis, although I don't know all the chemistry behind why that would work - perhaps you do?

Basically I've just stopped buying it in favor of other brands that don't behave so oddly. :)

(no subject)

Date: 2010-12-01 02:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pameladean.livejournal.com
I too am curious about the embargo on King Arthur flour, though it's merely academic to me since I have a vegan banana bread recipe I like a lot.

P.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-12-01 06:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tesla-aldrich.livejournal.com
Details above. :)

(no subject)

Date: 2010-12-01 03:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] minnehaha.livejournal.com
That's pretty close to the Joy of Cooking recipe I use. Mine copy is packed so I can't compare.

K.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-12-01 06:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tesla-aldrich.livejournal.com
I would believe it. Although when I inherited my grandmother's recipes & recipe books, this one wasn't in her "Joy of Cooking," it was with all the other "index card" recipes. Je ne sais pas.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-12-01 03:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mizzlaurajean.livejournal.com
I like to add things to various loafs, including but not limited to mini chocolate chip, coconut and sometimes nuts.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-12-01 06:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tesla-aldrich.livejournal.com
I've tried chocolate chips in this one (instead of the dates), but I didn't like it as well. I think I used too many chips; regardless, it just wasn't my good old comfort food. :)

(no subject)

Date: 2010-12-01 04:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fayde.livejournal.com
I always found it odd that bannana bread has oil in it at all since bannanas are oil substitues. I usually replace oil with more bannanas and then add chocolate chips so that I don't feel like I've gone tooooo healthy.

Sounds good though. And 3 bannana's is usually the amount that goes bad because if it were 2 or less I would just eat them. :)
Edited Date: 2010-12-01 04:20 pm (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 2010-12-01 06:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tesla-aldrich.livejournal.com
It doesn't seem like much oil.

I swear, I would be useless in the kitchen without butter, oil, shortening. I've tried bundles of "light" recipes, and some are quite good, but they never quite feel "real" to me. I think it's all in my head.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-12-01 08:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fayde.livejournal.com
Oh - I'm totally there with you. I'd be tempted to use butter instead of shortning, but I usually slather butter on it anyway, so...well...mmm...butter. :)

Maybe I'll have time to bake befor Christmas. I've been craving warm chocolate chip cookies.

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tesla: Wedding photo: Eric and Tesla in Millenium Park on their wedding day (Default)
Tesla Seppanen

January 2012

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