Thursday, December 9, 2010

Banana Nut Bread

I'm still not quite sure what part of me thought it was a good idea to get on an airplane during the Holidays and think that somehow nothing would go wrong.

I hate airplanes.

Wait, no, let me correct myself... I hate airports.

They are a pain. A big pain. Like... stepping on a bunch of lego's kind of pain. For one, all the food there is too expensive... even if it's just one little piece of fruit! I was in layover in Tennessee and you know how much it cost for one tiny palm sized apple!? $1.30! I could buy like... a whole POUND of apples for less than that. It was riiiiiiidiculous.

Not only that, but God forbid your flight delays. You know what there is to do at an airport if you're stuck there for an extra hour? nothing. You could walk around the whole airport... but then you start to feel really weird because you keep passing by the same stores and the people that work there start to give you funny looks like they've never seen someone stuck at an airport before.

Not to mention the fact that going through security takes five hours. Five hours of which you feel like you have to throw all your clothes off in lightspeed because somehow you ALWAYS end up in front of the one person who only takes like....a laptop and flip-flops.

All the while, you have to worry about being one of those selected people who get the majorly violating pat-down that will give you nightmares of security people touching you in weird places while you sleep. Keep your hands to yourself, please.

The worst part about it wasn't the security though. Or the one hour delay. Or the fact that we couldn't even leave the plane because for some reason the plane door wouldn't unlock, so we had to wait 15 minutes. It was the fact that before the flight I had meant to bring a slice of banana nut bread with me and I totally forgot.

I made banana nut bread before I left for what seems like the first time in ages. For years I've been searching for the banana nut bread that tastes most like the one my grandmother made, but I haven't been able to yet. I'm certain she made hers with walnuts, but for lack of time, I subbed out pecans. While the bread is still absolutely delicious, and probably one of the better recipes I've used, it still isn't my grandmothers bread. One day, I'll make it. But for now, this one will definitely do.

It uses up at least 5 BLACK bananas. Yes, BLACK bananas. Don't use them if their spotted. Wait until they are completely dark as night black. That's when the banana flavor is most prominent and sweet. And though you can use less than 5, I really recommend 5. It gives the bread a nice banana flavor that melds beautifully with the nuts, brown sugar, and dash of cinnamon. I also added a nice sugar crust to the top, which gives it a slight crunch when you eat it. It's perfect with peanut butter or nutella, or toasted with butter. And the slices are thick and well kept together enough that it can totally be made into french toast. So really, this banana bread is just all kinds of awesome.

Maybe if all the people work at the airport had this kind of bread for breakfast, they'd be less cranky. Including me.

Banana Nut Bread


2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, melted
3/4 (packed) brown sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
2 1/3 cups mashed black bananas (5 bananas)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease 9x5-inch loaf pan.
2. In large bowl, combined the mashed bananas with the melted butter and brown sugar until smooth. Stir in eggs, vanilla extract and cinnamon.
3. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture. Stir together.
4. Sift in the 2 cups of flour, and then mix until there is no signs of flour left. Do not overmix. It's dangerous for your banana breads soul.
5. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out the middle mostly clean. Allow bread to cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.


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