Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Banana Bread

I always seem to have ripe bananas sitting around my kitchen...

This is one of my favorite recipes ever. I've taken a few recipes and sort of mixed them together and modified them to make it my own variation:

Banana Bread
(not too sure about this picture... I'm hoping to get a better camera someday, but anyway, you get the idea :)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, add:

1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar

Cream together and blend rest of ingredients:

2 eggs
3 ripe* bananas, mashed (*if you use new bananas the flavor isn't as sweet and the bread isn't as moist)
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4. tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Spray pans with non-stick cooking spray or dust with flour. Bake smaller pans about 30 minutes and the larger pans about 50 minutes, but this is just an estimate. It depends on your oven and it also depends on how full you fill the pans. I always set my timer for 25 minutes and then I check them about every 5-10 minutes after that, sticking a toothpick in the center to see if it's baked. The top will be a nice dark brown. After you take them out of the oven, let them cool just a bit and then go around the edges of the pan with a knife to get them out. I don't wait until they're cooled completely in order to take them out of the pan, I think it makes the outside a bit soggy from the heat and steam. Let them finish cooling on an open rack.

My family loves to eat banana bread for breakfast.

This recipe makes 4 small loaves (3" x 5.5") or 2 regular size loaves (4.5" x 8.5"). You can double and even quadruple this recipe. (at least I've tried those variations and they turn out fine)

*FYI -- If you have ripe bananas, but you're not ready to use them, you can peel them and put them in a plastic freezer bag or another container you can put in the freezer and you can freeze them to use later. I do this ALL the time. When I want to make the banana bread, I take the bag out of the freezer, put it in my mixing bowl and let the bananas thaw out while I'm preheating the oven and getting out the other ingredients. When they thaw (especially if they are very ripe), you'll sometimes have a little brown juice in the bag along with the bananas -- just pour it all in the mix! YUMMY!

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