Thursday, October 21, 2010

No-bragging-here Banana Bread

When I bit into Banana Bread (click for the recipe) that I made from a recipe from The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook and proclaimed it the best banana bread I’ve ever tasted, my husband gave me a withering look as if to say, “You braggart.”
   But when he ate three pieces in quick succession after he tried it, I knew he agreed with my assessment.
   This is a soft, lovely banana bread that the whole family will like.
   I preferred the texture the day I made it and the day after, though it will keep for longer.
   The recipe I linked to above is from a blog (so you could have a free version of it!) and it has several slight differences from the one I used from the ATK cookbook, mostly regarding ingredients.
   First, I used white all-purpose flour, not unbleached (though there will be no difference in quality if unbleached is used).
   Second, the recipe I used specifies that the bananas used should be very ripe, peeled, and mashed well.
   Third, and I think this is quite important, the six tablespoons of butter are melted and slightly cooled.
   Fourth, the recipe I used didn’t specify that the yogurt needed to be non-fat plain, just plain.
   Lastly, the recipe I used called for 1 ¼ cups of chopped walnuts, not pecans, and said the nuts were optional. And it said to toast the walnuts in the recipe I used, and so I toasted them for about three minutes in a skillet.
   I made the chocolate variety of the Banana Bread that’s offered in the cookbook. To do so, cut back the sugar by two teaspoons and add ¼ cup of grated bittersweet chocolate (I used bittersweet chocolate chips!)
   The banana bread is easy to make.
   Flour, sugar, baking soda and salt are whisked together. In a different bowl, mashed bananas, melted butter, eggs, yogurt and vanilla are mixed together.
   The banana mixture is blended into the flour mixture until just combined, and the nuts are added, if using (if you make the chocolate variety, this is when the bittersweet chocolate is added, too.)
   The batter is scraped into a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan and baked for 55 minutes.

Another great homestyle treat: Chocolate Chewies

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