Thursday, May 14, 2009
During this spring semester, I find myself with a strange thing: time. This morning after doing some reading for class, I had a rather bizarre experience. I realized I had no other work and wondered what to do with myself (yes, there was packing to be done for the move, and yes, I could get ahead on my work, and yes, I could certainly organize all of the books and papers that are taking over our second bedroom, aka, my work area, but none of these things struck me as particularly fun). Spying some bananas in the fruit bowl that looked suspiciously overripe with little brown spots, I decided to make banana bread.
The question of how I consume all of the baked treats I make is a good one, and so I offer you this surprisingly tasty and healthy bread. It's made with some whole wheat flour, canola oil (a healthy fat), banana, eggs, and only a small amount of sugar. It's a great breakfast or snack food, and probably much healthier than anything processed you might buy (cereal, energy bars, packaged bread, etc.--check out those ingredients lists; if stuff is unrecognizable to you, like, say, if it contains "hydrolized" something or other, "monoglycerides," "soy lecithin," "high fructose corn syrup," or "partially hydrogenated oil," you might want to think twice before swallowing).
E-Kitten's Banana Bread
This banana bread is healthy, slightly sweet, and delicious eaten straight from the oven or toasted with butter. When you toast it the outside gets a thin, almost ghostlike crispy coating and the inside stays soft, producing a nice play of textures. The recipe has been in my book since 2000, and I've played with it several times since. I have no idea where it originally came from, but all of my changes make it my own, I think. You can use any combination of flour (I usually like to use slightly more white flour than whole wheat when using whole wheat; otherwise, bread becomes cumbersome in the mouth). You can also add more or less banana and sugar, depending on your tastes. If you have extra banana, you can also cut it into small chunks and throw it into the batter--when you bite into the bread, the soft, voluptuous mounds of warm banana will greet you and make you happy.
1 c white flour
1 3/4 c whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 c canola oil
Scant 1/2 c sugar
1 c mashed ripe banana (about 2 1/2 medium bananas, 2 large ones, or 3 small ones)
1. Grease and flour a standard bread loaf pan. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the bowl, break the eggs in, and stir with a fork. Add the oil and banana and mix all ingredients together. If you are adding banana chunks, gently stir them in.
3. Spoon batter into prepared pan and bake for about 40-45 minutes, until the top springs back when lightly pressed with your fingertip. Do not overbake!
Wet and dry ingredients ready to be mixed together
Unbaked bread waiting for the oven
Baked banana bread