Something I'm trying to get into the habit of is having the kids help me when I'm trying out new recipes. I spend a lot of time in the kitchen, and it gets a little lonely out there all by myself, so what could be better than putting on some of our favorite music, cranking up the speakers, and having a good ol' baking party with my girls? Well, that's exactly what we did when we made banana bread the other day.
Now, I have to admit that I'm not a big fan of bananas, but they are one of the cheapest, healthiest things I can get my children to eat. And since I usually have plenty on hand, and the girls love it so much, I hunted around and found this recipe.
Flour's Famous Banana Bread
Courtesy of Chef Joanne Chang of Flour Bakery in Boston
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup oil
3 1/2 bananas, very ripe, mashed
2 tablespoons creme fraiche or sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
Set oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom of a loaf pan with parchment paper.
Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Beat sugar and eggs with whisk until light and fluffy, about 10 minutes. Drizzle in oil. Add mashed bananas, sour cream, and vanilla. Fold in dry ingredients and nuts. Pour into lined loaf pan and bake for about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Okay, first off, I have no idea what creme fraiche is, so it's sour cream for me. And, since I was making this for my girls and they don't like nuts in their food, I omitted the walnuts. Other than that, I followed the recipe to the letter and all I can say is, "WOW!" For one thing, the bananas were not overpowering, like most bananas breads I've tried. That right there gets high marks in my non-banana-loving book. Also, it's melt-in-your-mouth moist, which for me is the hallmark of a perfect dessert bread. The big trick to this recipe is that you must whisk the sugar and eggs for 10 minutes. It makes a huge difference, so make sure you don't cut that time short.
So what are you waiting for? Turn up the stereo and get baking!