Thursday, February 4, 2010

Back in the Kitchen

We are back from our 11 day vacation I watered the plants, started the laundry and looked in the fridge to see what we had. I was dying to cook after eating out for too long.

Wow-- I had done a good job of cleaning out the fridge before we left. There was only some cheese (now going moldy), eggs and a few oranges rolling around. But, aha! I had remembered to put the bananas in there. They do turn black when refrigerated but they were still good to go. And there was an unopened carton of buttermilk. And a stick of butter. Yeah, I can bake!

This is one of my favorite recipes. The keys to success are using overly ripe, almost black, bananas and buttermilk. And not over baking it.

Banana Bread

1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
2 eggs
1/4 c. buttermilk
3 (4 if small) ripe bananas, mashed
1 t. soda
1/4 t. baking powder
a little less than 2 cups flour
1/4 t. salt
1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans

Start with very ripe bananas. Mine are black because I put them in the fridge before we left. Most of the other items are pantry items, except the buttermilk.

Cream together the butter and the sugars and add the two eggs. Mix until very smooth and creamy, almost fluffy.

Meanwhile, toast your pecan so they have time to cool, before chopping them.

In a small mixing bowl, mash your bananas (I use a potato masher) , add the buttermilk, then thoroughly combine.

Add the bananas and buttermilk to the mixer and it will become a foamy, very loose batter.

Add your pre-sifted dry ingredients and the chopped nuts and very slowly mix it all together, just until the ingredients are combined. Finish mixing with a spatula, if necessary, to keep your batter light, so you don't overmix and toughen it.

Turn the batter out into a pre-greased 9x5 loaf pan. Knock it on the countertop until it is uniform. This helps to keep the edges from burning. Place it in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour. Don't over bake. The outside will be golden, but not dark brown. Use a toothpick to check. If it comes out clean, it is done. If in doubt, take it out. Better to have the center slightly underdone.

Remove it from the oven and let it cook in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn it out and let it cool to touch.

The inside should look like this. Evenly moist and the ingredients evenly distributed. Not too dark, not too gooey.

I got mine out just in the nick of time. See how the edges are starting to get a little too dark. But it was oh-so-good.

I am so glad to be home!!!!

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