Friday, January 14, 2011

Recipe : Banana Bread

This recipe started as a vague idea that chopped dates might go well in banana bread... and overall it turned out pretty well.  It makes a nice, moist loaf with good color.  I would make it in a wider pan than I have, though - five inches as the recipe indicated would have been better.  Or as a cake, or muffins.  It was too much for my smaller loaf pan and ended up with too thick a crust for my liking.

The basic recipe came from here:  I modified it a bit to use up some things that were kicking around the cupboard.  I didn't have enough banana, but I did have two jars of sweet potato baby food that I picked up on a tip from a baking friend, so I dumped those in to top up the two cups.  Worked great!!  I also had about a cup of dates that needed to have something done with them... chopped up, they were a good fit as well.

Banana Bread

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Grease a large 9x5 loaf pan or line with parchment paper and spray lightly with cooking spray.  Leaving the ends without is fine.

1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup of oatmeal
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter or margarine
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs lightly beaten
2 cups of mashed very ripe bananas (approximately 5) - I used one cup of mashed banana plus one cup of sweet potato puree.

Mix together dry ingredients and set aside.

Cream together the soft butter and brown sugar.  Add the beaten eggs and the bananas.  Add a generous sprinkle of cinnamon and about half as much nutmeg.

Slowly stir in the dry ingredients and any additions you are using.  Suggestions:

1 cup of finely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup of fine coconut
1 cup chopped dates
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Turn the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 60 minutes. Poke a toothpick or knife in the cracked top and it should come out quite clean.   Let it cool completely and then wrap it well.

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