Monday, August 9, 2010

Overly Ripe Bananas = Great Banana Bread!

If your family is anything like mine, you often end up with brown bananas sitting on your counter.  I don't usually mind this happening, because when they're too ripe to eat, they're perfect for banana bread!  If I'm not ready to make banana bread right then, I just pop the bananas in the freezer.  When I'm ready to use them, I pull them out and let them defrost.  Once they're defrosted, I cut off one end and simply squeeze the banana out of the peel!

Banana Bread
2 c. flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c. butter
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 c. mashed bananas (approx. 2 large or 3 medium bananas)
1/3 c. milk
1 tsp lemon juice or vinegar
1/2 c. chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour a 9 x 5 x 3-inch pan (or three small loaf pans).

In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda, and salt.

In a large bowl, cream butter.  Gradually add sugar, creaming well.  Add eggs and bananas; blend thoroughly.

Notice how brown the bananas got in the freezer.  The picture at the opening of this post is what they looked like when they went into the freezer.  Don't be alarmed when they come out looking like this - they are still good.

Combine milk and lemon juice in measuring cup.  Add dry ingredients to banana mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, blending well after each addition.

Stir in walnuts (my husband prefers it without nuts, so I leave them out).   Pour batter into pan(s) and bake at for 60 to 70 minutes for a large loaf or about 45 minutes for three small loaves (6 x 3.5 x 2).

When the bread is done, it should spring back when it is lightly touched in the center of the loaf.  Remove bread from pan and cool on a wire rack.

The great thing about this is that you can freeze not only the bananas until you're ready to use them, but you can also freeze the bread once it's baked.  I usually make three small loaves.  This allows more flexibility with the bread.  We can have one loaf out to eat and either give away the extra loaves or freeze them until we're ready to eat them.  Freezing the extra loaves will keep them fresher than if I had just baked a large loaf and let it sit on the counter until we could finish it.

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