Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Banana Bread For Dinner

Eat me - eat me all day long!

I don't know if I should be doing this.  But for the sake of all my friends, I'm going to let you all in on a little secret.  It's my Banana Bread secret.  I've eaten this bread for as long as I can remember - and since I'm pretty sure my mother doesn't read this (meaning what she doesn't know won't hurt her) I'm taking a risk.  So you guys - shhhh.   Keep this to yourselves.  Or don't - its not like this is posted in a public site or anything...

I've made this recipe many times.  My mother made it and I think my grandmother did too - but I can't remember back that far - I can hardly remember what I ate today or how I got dressed.  My college roommates devoured many loaves and I'm pretty sure they'll be the first to loot this recipe.

Here's what you'll need:

3/4 c butter                            11/2 c sugar
1 1/2 c banana (3 or 4)          3/4 tsp salt
2 eggs                                   1 tsp baking soda
1/2 c buttermilk                     2 c flour
1 tsp vanilla

Optional:  3/4 c nuts or chocolate chips or both

Also - if you lack buttermilk - add some lemon juice to milk and watch it "butter" up.

Or if you want a visual to get everything out and throw ingredients in at random (amounts, at least).

The great thing about this recipe is that you can be a talentless hack and it will still turn out great.  First, you need to buy some bananas believing you will eat them.  Then, don't eat them.  After they've gone black (seriously, if you let them go black it tastes better - black as in the peel - if the banana is black then they're probably a good six months old and you either have disgusting hygiene or have been in a coma).  Basically you're going to dump everything together, mix, and bake.  And then the most important step - you should lean in close for this and eat and eat.  After making this, its all I had room for - hence, banana bread for dinner.

Okay, Real Step 1:

Peel the bananas and mash them up.  I'm tough so I don't have any qualms about hand mashing my bananas.  If you do, find a child, maybe a man, or I suppose you could use a potato masher if you're really that big of a baby.

Squish, squish

They should look something like this:

Step 2:

Throw all your ingredients together - except for the flour and sugar (and optional chocolate chips/nuts).

Whoops, forgot the butter.  As an FYI, you can use margarine.  I grew up using Imperial stick margarine.  Now I pretty much use whatever I happen to have in the house.  If I have both options, I choose margarine - I'm such a stickler for tradition - and its cheaper.

Step 3:

Blend the crap, I mean crud out of it.  My hand mixer is digital and the number reads level 2.  You'll have to figure yours out.  It's not really that high of a speed - aim for medium.  Once again, really hard to mess this recipe up.  Now, go ahead and dump the sugar in.  You're welcome to gradually add or dump depending on your ambition/laziness level.  You can see where I fit in on this particular day.

Step 4:

Dump/gradually add flour.  Your mixture should not be perfectly smooth.  You'll have banana chunks and some butter/margarine chunks.  These are happy chunks - leave the happy chunks alone.

I like being chunky, okay? Deal with it!

Step 5:

Grease two 9X5 bread loaf pans.  This can mean spraying them with some Pam or you're welcome to exert more effort and grease them with butter or Crisco.  At this point, if you are indecisive, or married, add chocolate chips (or nuts, or both) to half the batter.  That may sound tricky.  How on earth do you add said chocolate chips to half the batter?  Pour out half the batter first!  Then add.  Suddenly its clear (I sure hope, at least).

Side Note:  This is evidence of my devotion to chocolate.  No wimpy 12 oz bag for me.  Check out this baby.  Also, semi-sweet is the way to go.  Milk Chocolate is for children.

I'm good for your heart!  And your bad days.

Step 645:

Put them in a preheated oven set to 350 F.  It's okay if you're too impatient to wait for it to preheat all the way - I am (impatient) - and I'll just toss those suckers in regardless.

Step 645, part b:

Bake for one hour at 350 F.  Watch some TV, pay some bills, Facebook, read some blogs, ignore your homework, watch some more TV, and voila!  You're bread is magically done!  You can stick a toothpick in if you're nervous about it being undercooked.  The toothpick should come out clean if it is - done that is.  The smell in your kitchen will make it hard to be patient.  You'll be tempted to take it out early and even once its out you'll want to dive straight in.

Plain Jane
Chocolatey Chip Deliciousness
This banana bread DOES NOT require butter.  It is extremely moist and delicious.  However, some people (cough) put butter on everything.  And one of those people live in my house.

Makes for a good picture at least.  I always love to watch butter melt.  The melty fat just melts your heart.

Good luck on your dummy proof baking feat!  Let me know how it goes!  Unless,  you mess up.  I don't want to hear about your ability to mess up something fool proof.


  1. SO YUMMY! Maybe one day when I stop hating to cook I will try this recipe. For now, I will continue drooling over your photos.

  2. Yum! We have four VERY ripe bananas that are just begging for this recipe...I know what I'll be doing tomorrow!

  3. So...I tried the recipe out...YUM! I think Bri liked it too, when I went into the kitchen and discovered half the loaf missing! Thanks! :-)

  4. Sharon, you can just come over to my house and eat.

    Laura, I'm so glad you tried it! I'm not surprised Brian liked it considering its a family thing we grew up with : )