Friday, September 11, 2009

Banana Bread

If papa choi was stuck on an island and he had an endless supply of soy milk, cereal, banana, fruit juice and B.B.Big's, he'd survive and be a happy camper. =) I usually always keep a bunch of bananas in stock but inevitably, they ripen faster than we can finish them. I usually end up chucking them if they get all brown and soft, but I found this helpful tip while reading The New Best Recipe book. If your bananas get too ripe to eat, put them (unpeeled) in a zipper-lock plastic bag and throw it in the freezer. When you’ve accumulated three bananas, thaw the bananas on the counter until they are soft and use them for banana bread. I had one in the freezer and two ripe bananas on my counter so it was time to make banana bread. The great thing about this recipe is that you don't need a mixer, so clean up is really easy.

Banana Bread
from The New Best Recipe

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the pan
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 very ripe, soft, darkly speckled large bananas mashed well (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup plain yogurt
2 large eggs, beaten lightly
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

The recipe uses a loaf pan, but my loaf pan was no where to be found, so I used a bundt pan instead. You could even put them in a muffin pan and make muffins if you wanted. It doesn't really matter what type of pan you use, but remember adjust the baking time accordingly.

Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. I accidentally put in in the middle and the tops got a little dark so definitely try to put it in the lower-middle position for even browning.

Whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl and set aside. In a separate bowl, peel the bananas and mash with a fork or a slotted spoon.
Add to the bananas, yogurt, eggs, butter and vanilla.
Lightly fold the banana mixture into the dry ingredients with a spatula until just combined and the batter looks thick and chunky.
Spray your baking dish with nonstick baking spray or grease the bottom and sides of the pan, dust with flour and tap out the excess. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. I gave my pan a little shake to even out the batter and get out any air bubbles.
Put in the lower-middle rack and bake until the bread is golden brown and a chopstick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes.
You probably have all these ingredients in your fridge or cupboard so instead of throwing away bananas next time they are too ripe, use them to make some banana bread.

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