This is part of my New Years Resolution.
Ah, bananas... The ingredient where you must always check your spelling! Did you know bananas are botanically a sterile berry, even though they're eaten as fruit? With a surplus of bananas around the house this week, I decided that I could use those as a new ingredient. Though I've cut up bananas on cereal and the like, I've never actually cooked with them before.
This was really my first successful attempt at baking. Well, I've baked lasagna and things like that... I mean what we traditionally call "baking". I actually have a short and stunningly poor history with baking (maybe sometime I'll tell you about it) so this was quite a triumph for me, even if the bread itself was nothing extraordinary.
Sure, the banana bread was okay. Good taste but a bit too dry. Little underdone at the center of the top. Still edible and tasty, though.
The recipe is adapted from the banana bread recipe in the definitive book "Joy of Cooking". I, personally, like rather unadorned banana bread, so this has no nuts, chocolate chips, or whatnot. Though tossing in some poppy seeds might've been good. Anyone else have feelings on what extras should be included in banana bread?
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoon double-acting baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup vegetable shortening
1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs, beaten
2 ripe bananas
loaf pan (8x4), greased
It helps to start with ingredients near room temperature. Preheat the oven to 350F.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into a mixing bowl and set aside.
Combine the shortening and the sugar (both kinds) in the mixer until thoroughly blended. Add the eggs and banana to the mixture. Add the dry ingredients from the bowl slowly, allowing them to blend in. Add the vanilla (or anything else you think should be included for flavor).
The dough should be wet and sticky but not firm. Put it in the pre-greased pan. Optionally, top with a little cinnamon. Put it in the oven at 350F for 50 minutes. After that, check with a toothpick every few minutes until done. Enjoy!