Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Time To Cook: Banana Nut Bread

As promised, my recipe for Banana Nut Bread, a favorite I've been making for years.

You will need:
1 pound butter, room temperature
3 cups white sugar
6 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons salt
12 ounces sour cream
1 cup chopped walnuts
6 medium bananas, smushed
2 cups brown sugar
non-stick cooking spray

For the bananas -- any time I get bananas from the store during the year, I freeze those that start to turn brown. Nothing special -- I just freeze them in their peels in freezer bags.

When it comes time to make the bread, I pull out the bags and let them thaw. The bananas will just fall out of the peels. Bonus -- they're pre-mushed.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray four 9x5 inch loaf pans (you can also use just one or two pans and refrigerate the remaining batter for up to a day).

In a large bowl, stir together the butter and sugar. You're going to want your butter to be at room temperature. If it's microwaved, the batter comes out a little too runny.

Add the eggs, vanilla, sour cream, and bananas. I highly suggest using large eggs -- if you're using medium, go for seven.

I can't quite express how much I prefer vanilla extract to the imitation stuff. I can tell a difference. I don't know if everyone else can. My vanilla is a vanilla bean soaked in a cup of rum for several months.

Mix well again.

Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.

Add your dry ingredients to your wet ingredients, a little at a time. This can be best accomplished with a plastic cutting sheet. I also suggest stopping the blender and folding it in a little with a rubber spatula. Saves you from the dreaded flour cloud.

Fold in the walnuts. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of brown sugar into the bottom of each pan. Spread mixture evenly into prepared pans.

Bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Remove from oven and immediately invert loaf pan(s) onto plastic wrap or serving plate. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of brown sugar on top side. Cover and let cool. Makes four 9"x5" loaves.

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