While I enjoy a banana now and again (and ate one every single day of my pregnancy!), I just have never gotten around to making banana bread. It's not that my bananas haven't ever been to the point of over-ripeness or that I haven't ever put some blackened ones in my freezer for some later baking inspiration. I have. I just have never actually made a loaf. I forget that they're there or forget to defrost them in time to make a loaf or, more likely, was just too lazy to bake.
But I finally made it over that hurdle last week. My family hosts a dessert and coffee hour every Friday for college students we work with, and since I've never been a huge dessert maker, I've been trolling the web waters trying to find good, simple (and yet doable in France) recipes. These students are studying abroad, so at this point of the semester, they're really starting to miss the taste of home. And just by chance, Tastespotting had a couple of pictures of really yummy-looking banana bread loaves listed about the time I was planning the next dessert.
The first loaf turned out yummy, but it was the ugliest banana bread you've ever seen. You see, I only have a smaller loaf pan here in my apartment, and I thought it would be too small for the amount of batter the recipe made. So I decided to put it in a bundt pan. It turned out nicely, but 1) the top is very rounded, so causes problems when you flip the bundt pan over, and 2) I didn't let it cool enough, and when I turned it over, only half came out!
Well, never fear...my husband and I used that as an excuse to sample the wares, and we decided that it was definitely worth trying again, but this time I used the smaller loaf pan, which ended up working beautifully.
I used Kitchen Confit's recipe, which was tasty indeed! (I left out the nuts because I'm not a fan of them in desserts, but either way would be great.)
Kitchen Confit's Banana Bread Recipe:
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups ripe bananas, smashed (about 3-4, depending on size)
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup milk
pinch of nutmeg and cinnamon (She says it's optional, but don't skip it! It's yummy!)
1/2 cup walnuts or pecans
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter and flour a loaf pan.
Combine the flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl and set aside. Cream butter and sugar together. Add in the mashed bananas, eggs and vanilla. Add in the flour mixture. Add in the milk, nutmeg and cinnamon and nuts.
Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 1-1 1/2 hours. Remove and let rest in the pan for 15 minutes. Then remove and let it cool on a wire rack.
Kitchen Confit suggests that you can freeze a loaf, but I don't think that will ever be happening in our home! The students told me that they felt like they were back in their grandmother's house when they were kids...one of the best compliments I've ever received. Thanks, Kitchen Confit!