Saturday, August 20, 2011

Banana Bread

Mmmmm... banana bread. A great way to use up ripe or over ripe bananas.

This recipe was given to me by my sister in law, and I think it came out of the Lion House Recipe Book. Instead of making one large bread loaf of banana bread, I like making the mini loaves of banana bread. It seems like you can eat several slices and feel like you had a lot, when really you probably only had the equivalent of one slice from a larger loaf. Seems like a pretty good deal to me! I'm just sayin'....

So after you have made the batter as described in the recipe below, you have to grease your pans. You can use shortening or butter. Make sure they are well greased. They seem to come out better with a little extra lovin'.

In my family growing up, we sugar coated our banana bread pans. After you grease, you sprinkle white granulated sugar into the pan and coat it, kinda like you do for a cake with flour. But you are using sugar and it creates a yummy sweet crust on your bread.Oh but wait....don't put that sugar away yet.... now we are going to fill the pans with batter (about 3/4-1 cup for the mini loaves, it works the same with the larger loaf, you will just put all the batter in after you grease and coat the pan). Next we sprinkle some of that sugar on TOP of the banana bread batter, before it goes into the oven to bake.
I had a lot of bananas to use up, so I doubled the recipe and made 8 small loaves of banana bread. I made half of the loaves plain banana bread, and then the other half of the batter I added some semi-sweet chocolate chips. Then after pouring the batter into the pan, I sprinkled a few more chocolate chips on top. The chocolate chips tend to sink to the bottom so I like to give a few of them a fighting chance by letting them start out on top.
After the pans are all prepared, place them into the preheated 350 degree oven. These smaller loaves also have another great benefit. The larger loaf pan always takes about an hour to bake, and sometimes the crust gets overdone before the insides are fully cooked. However, with small loaves, it only takes about 25 minutes for the center to test done and the crust is perfectly browned and not overdone. Below you will see a picture of the plain banana bread without nuts and WITH the sugar crust.... See that lovely crusty, sugary top!And here is the chocolate chip banana bread... with no sugar crust. You can sugar coat this one too, but with the chocolate added, I always feel like it might be a bit of sweetness overkill.

Here are the 8 mini loaves of bread... done!After letting them cool on a wire rack, I cut up on of each loaf and arranged them on the plate... in a matter of moments my kids and husband had devoured most of the bread. Guess they liked it!

{{Banana Bread}}

(Printer friendly version)

1/2 c. butter
(original recipe calls for margarine, but butter just tastes better!)
1 c. sugar

2 eggs

1 c. mashed bananas

1/4 c. milk

1 tsp lemon juice

2 c. flour

1 ½ tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup chopped nuts

Cream butter and sugar, then add eggs and beat. Add banana’s, milk and lemon juice. Then sift in dry ingredients, and finally add nuts. Bake in well-greased loaf pan 1 hr at 350. Makes 1 large loaf or 4 small mini loaves.
(Optional: coat the greased pan with sugar and then sprinkle 1-2 tablespoons of sugar on top of batter before baking.)

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