Last week we took the kids down to Williamsburg, Virginia to explore some historical landmarks and also celebrate a belated 2nd birthday for Mason at the Great Wolf Lodge – more on that next week as the Dad or Alive travel section debuts. Our planning couldn’t have been more complicated, as Snowmageddon was gripping our region, with #BlizzardJonas dumping close to 35″ of snow on my house. We ended up being out of town a little longer than planned and when we came back (aside from having to clear the driveway, sidewalks and porch) – OUR BANANAS WENT SOUTH.
I’m sure it’s happened to all of us at least once. You pick up a magnificent cluster of bananas and for whatever reason, you turn around for a minute and they look like your legs after your bookie takes a lead pipe to them. My mom would always toss them into the freezer and declare ‘I’m gonna make banana bread out of those this week!’ So being the good son that I am, I decided to carry the torch that she lit during my childhood and carry forth the legend of the banana nut bread.
BANANA NUT BREAD
Mix dry ingredients EXCEPT SUGAR together in small bowl:
- 1 cup of sugar (you can also substitute 1/2 sugar & 1/2 brown sugar)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups SIFTED flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
Mix wet ingredients together in medium bowl:
- 3 ripe bananas
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- ½ cup of butter (1 full stick, room temperature)
Add SECRET INGREDIENT LAST:
- ½ cup of chopped walnuts
- Preheat your over to 350º
- Peel bananas and either break them in half or cut them into thick coins and add to a medium mixing bowl.
- Mash the bananas into a gooey paste.
- Using room temperature butter will alleviate you from having to cube it (like me) and you can simply mix it with your sugar in a small bowl.
- Stir the butter and sugar until combined.
- Combine your mashed bananas with your butter/sugar paste.
- Add the rest of your wet ingredients (eggs, vanilla) and stir together.
- Slowly add your dry ingredients (salt, baking soda, baking powder & flour) a little bit at a time until you have something that looks like this.
- HERE is where I add a little bit of texture to my bread. Take a handful of walnuts, about a ½ cup and roughly chop them up.
- Go ahead and stir those into your mix.
- Take a 9×5 (or 10″ if you’re me) inch loaf pan and hit it with a little bit of cooking spray or Crisco. In this instance, I used the ‘baking’ version of PAM.
- Pour the batter into your greased loaf pan.
- Pop your loaf into the 350º over for about 40 minutes-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes clean after sticking into the middle. I normally set my timer for 40 minutes and begin checking it – you’re better off checking early, there’s nothing more frustrating than discovering you’ve left it in too long and popping a concrete block that smells like bananas onto your counter.
If covered, the bread will stay good for a few days – knock off a few slices and it makes a great snack for the kids… hell, I’ve even caught my wife serving it for breakfast when we’re in a hurry! ENJOY!
EDITOR-IN-CHEF NOTE: Make sure that you check the dates on your baking powder and baking soda. While they have long shelf lives, if they’re old, they won’t give your loaf the lift you were hoping for. ALSO, if you don’t have a loaf pan, consider making these into little muffins.