Wednesday, February 2, 2011

How to Make Friends With Banana Bread

When I started my most recent job, I brought in a loaf of banana bread because I wanted to make a good impression and wow people with my baking skills.  It was a success, and I was happy.  A precedent was set, however, and I was requested to bring banana bread in quite often, to the point where you can open my baking cookbook and it falls to that page.

Whenever I have bananas that are about to turn bad, I toss them into a ziploc bag in the freezer.  That way I was always ready when I needed to whip up a loaf of bread.  It took me years to realize that peeling them first saves a lot of time.  Heed my warning: peel your bananas before freezing.

This recipe is adapted from Baking Illustrated, which is one of my favorite cookbooks.

Banana Bread

2 cups (10 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces) sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 mashed bananas (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup plain yogurt*
2 large eggs, beaten
6 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

*If all you have is vanilla yogurt, I've used that with no problem and reduced the vanilla extract to 1/2 teaspoon.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare a 9x5 loaf pan by either butter and flouring, or just coating with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking soda, salt).
In a medium bowl, combine mashed bananas, yogurt, eggs, butter and vanilla.
Fold the wet ingredients into the dry, mixing until just combined.
Pour into prepared pan and bake for approximately 45 minutes.

Enjoy, or use to bribe friends!


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