It seems dumb to have my first blog post be about Banana Bread. So dumb. I always thought it would be something exciting and complicated, like check it out I made some complicated French thing that takes pointless hours to make (with all the time that I don't have). But no, it's Banana Bread. Not because I just made it last night and I don't feel like sending out the recipe to 100+ people. Well, partly cause I made it last night.... Mostly it's because it's simple. That's a message I want to bring to this blog. Most of what I make is just that, simple. I get stopped all the time with questions like, "How do you have time to do all that?" or, "I don't know how you can make such complicated things.". I always give some weird answer that usually doesn't make sense and then people laugh because what else would you do when you in this totally awkward situation and the person you were talking to just said something in gibberish. The truth is, most of my stuff is simple. It's just plated nicely. Yes, I use flavors and ingredients that aren't the norm, and I do often make something that takes a lot of time when I'm looking to experiment or try a new technique but most of what I make is average. Something that is pretty quick, tastes great, and looks pretty. The one thing I don't compromise on is flavor and beauty.
That's where Banana Bread comes in. Banana Bread is one of those practical things you can make when your bananas are getting "liver spots" and it doesn't break the bank or take a ton of time. Its perfect for a special surprise sandwich in a lunchbox with peanut butter, cream cheese or Nutella (!!!), making in to Banana French Toast (O.M.G. don't even get me started) and also eating plain by the slice load. You can also make mini loaves or muffins to give as a gift to someone and let you know your thinking about them-unless they don't like banana, then its a hate gift. It's like Oscar the Grouch used to say, "Trash to Treasure!", but this treasure just happens to taste really good!
My daughter got to pick how we were going to use our old bananas since she was home sick with the sniffles and frankly, I didn't want to get into an argument with a cranky sick toddler. She chose Banana Bread because for some reason the words cake and pie don't appeal to her. (At times like these I find it amazing that she could be my kid!) This recipe was easy enough for her to get really involved and was finished so quickly she didn't have time to get impatient. When it came out of the oven it was gorgeous! Hot, moist, and tasted amazing (if I do say so myself) and all ready for an itty bitty sandwich for a sniffly little girl who proceeded to scrape out the filling and throw the bread on the floor (as usual). Everyone else jumped up to grab it her leftovers before the "5 second rule" expired.
1 cup granulated sugar
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
3 ripe bananas
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan.
Cream the sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
In a small bowl, mash the bananas with a fork. Mix in the milk and cinnamon. In another bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Add the banana mixture to the creamed mixture and stir until combined. Add dry ingredients, mixing just until flour disappears.
Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Set aside to cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Remove bread from pan, invert onto rack and cool completely before slicing.