Banana Bread

 

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Among all the classics banana bread has to be in the top ten. When I think of something my grandmother would know how to make without looking at a recipe I think one would be banana bread. I came to find out this was true when trying to follow her recipe! Once again this recipe card included most of the ingredients and instructions… most of them. This is part of my current series called Rethinking the classics.

After flipping this recipe card over many times I was able to gather most of my ingredients and figure of the first steps to cream the butter and sugar together and then add in the 2 eggs. What seemed to be the 3rd step is where I got stuck. Are we adding 1/2 cup sour milk or 6 tablespoons, or maybe both?  Here I called my mom and she came to the rescue to help me figure it out. She said my grandma made this so often she left out some of the ingredients and steps and would add or remove some depending on the day. So she probably found it hilarious to look down on me and watch me try to figure this one out.

We sorted out that we are to use both 1/2 cup sour milk and 6 tablespoons. For those of you that can do math in your head that equals to one total cup. Meanwhile I had measured out 1/2 cup and 6 tablespoons individually to find out this makes one cup. Very funny grandma! My mom said my grandma probably wrote this down this way since as she made it time and time again, she found out this was the perfect combination of liquids. I also had no idea what sour milk is so I opted for buttermilk, which indeed does work. Google told me that you can make your own sour milk by adding together milk, lemon juice and a bit of vinegar. At this point I didn’t want to experiment with that and opted for the buttermilk. The less I go off course the better. My mom also told me that she didn’t include the vanilla or any spices on this recipe card, so you can find what I added in the recipe included below.

Mix3.JPGI put my banana/buttermilk ingredients in one bowl, flour & spices in another, and my creamed butter-sugar in another. I found it easiest to measure everything separately and mix them into the creamed butter mixture by alternating adding in banana and then dry ingredients. Now you could whisk this all together by hand and get some awesome biceps, but I stuck with using my electric mixer on the slowest setting. Here is when I realized that the back of the card says 3 loaf pans. So again here I am looking through our cabinets for a second and third loaf pan that do not exist.

 

And this is how we end up with cute little bite sized banana breads! I actually quite enjoy using mini muffin this for things like this because they are bite size and give some room for experimenting adding in additional ingredients. Now I didn’t do anything crazy here, but I did add in chocolate. So I put half the mix in the one loaf pan we have, and mixed in chocolate chips to the second half. And the other half magically all fit in mini muffin tins!

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The mix in the loaf pan will take longer to cook so fill that first and put in the oven and then start scooping the mix into the mini tins, which I also topped with extra chocolate chips. I mean really, can we ever have too much chocolate?! Like the back of the recipe card says very clearly you will know when these are done by testing with a toothpick. When it comes out clean you will know these are done. I made sure to not over bake this since it could be very dry if left in the oven too long.

Both the bread and minis turned out great! I would be curious to try this by adding in a 4th banana to add even more flavor and moisture. This is something I would definitely make again to have for a quick weekday breakfast or snack after work…they really work at any time of the day. I hope you try this out and have as much fun as I did!

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Banana Bread

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk (or sour milk!)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 3 ripe mashed bananas
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (optional)

*Note: you can add in 1 cup total of optional ingredients: chocolate chips, nuts, etc. Mix these in as the last step.

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar. Once combined add in the eggs.
  3. In a separate bowl mash bananas and add in the buttermilk. Set aside.
  4. In a 3rd bowl sift together the flour, baking soda & powder and add in the spices. Whisk together.
  5. To combine: add 1/2 banana mixture to creamed butter and sugar. Alternate with adding in dry ingredients until combined in 1 bowl.
  6. Mix any add ins: chocolate, nuts, etc.
  7. Put mixture into lightly greased loaf pans or muffin tins.

Bake:

Mini tins: 15-20 minutes

Bread loaf: 40-45 minutes

Check both by toothpick!