Bananas for Banana Bread
Banana Banana Banana Banana Banana Banana Banana Banana Banana....
Ok, it's officially lost all meaning. Banana.
Guess what? I don't think banana bread is "healthy", it's not. It's full of flour, sugar and dairy. It is delicious, it is a million times better than "banana bread" flavoured items that come prepackaged in grocery stores but it's a treat - so don't eat the whole loaf yourself! Share with your family, and if you don't have family - bring half a fresh loaf to your neighbour. Some for you, some for him. I've brought banana bread to a neighbour who doesn't seem to like me much... or at all... and this really made things a lot friendlier for a while. Baking is fun. Sharing is more fun.
I just finished using my last 3 super ripe bananas for "healthy cookies" - see blog entry October - but was really looking forward to banana bread. I had mostly ripe bananas, but not insanely ripe only good for banana bread bananas. An idea came to me. A sick, twisted idea. Fry the bananas first. After smelling the delicious fried bananas, I thought... why use plain old melted butter, when burnt butter tastes oh-so-much-better. Enter Absolutely Bananas Banana Bread:
4 ripe bananas
Slice bananas in half, length wise, and brown in pan with 1-2 tbsp butter. They should look like this when done
Let bananas cool before mashing them. Add:
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup melted (browned) butter
If you've never browned your butter, just turn the heat up on your pan and let it brown a little. You will smell it browning - almost smells like caramel. Once the bottom is getting brown and it smells ridiculously good, remove it from the heat and let cool before adding to mixture. I'd like to suggest doing this to your butter when you make popcorn - there is NO other way to eat butter popcorn.
Mix wet ingredients together until well blended. In a separate bowl, combine
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt (optional) - I only add salt when using unsalted butter
Add dry ingredients to wet and mix until just combined - don't go crazy with the mixing.
You may find it is a bit dry because you cooked some of the moisture out of the bananas. If you find this happens, add small amounts of milk and until it is wet, no more than 1 cup.
Line a bread pan with parchment paper and pour entire batter into pan. Bake at 350 for 40-50 minutes. If you want to do muffins, reduce bake time to 20 minutes.
I had a tremendously bad week. You could not, in all your creativity, imagine the week I had. I make things better with food, so at the 40 minute mark I added Skor bits and 2 tsp rock salt to the top of my banana bread and continued cooking for last 10 minutes. Was it amazing? You betcha. Would the bread be just as amazing without it? Yes. I ate the bottom part separately from the top to taste it "true" and it is delightful on its own. If you are having a particularly hard week - first *hugs* - second, I would mix Skor bits IN to the mixture next time, perhaps 1/4-1/2 cup.