Friday, October 8, 2010

GOING BANANAS: Our House Banana Bread (With More Coconut!)

The original recipe comes from Mark Bittman--author of one of my favorite cookbooks-"How To Cook Everything". What's even more flattering is that my mother in law, Carol, loves it. I'm not sure if I've mentioned this before, but my mother in law and mother and aunt are amazing cooks. So anything they love that I make....well, that just elevates my self esteem to new heights :):) But, this is not about me...this is about the BANANA BREAD....and I have made many. I love this one because it isn't very sweet.

The recipe below has been modified--Bittman uses 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour and 1/2 cup whole wheat flour. I have used 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour and 1 cup all purpose flour. Also, I use LIGHT butter and you just can't tell the difference! Do NOT use sweetened coconut---it will taste artificial. I made two mini-loaves this time and froze one....but you can just make on standard size loaf.

Adapted from How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman

8 tablespoons butter (I use 'light' butter)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 sugar (I like to use natural/Turbinado sugar)
2 eggs
3 very ripe bananas, mashed with a fork until smooth
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup chpopped pecans or walnuts
1/2 grated dried unsweetened coconut

Preheat the overn to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan.

Mix together the dry ingredients. Cream the butter and beat in the eggs and bananas--please note that if you use 'light' butter, it will not cream as well. It will be a little bit lumpy--as if it won't quite blend completely. This is OK. Stir this mixture into the dry ingredients; do not mix more than necessary--otherwise your bread will be tough. Gently stir in the vanilla, nuts, and coconut.

Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 45 to 60 minutes, until nicely browned. A toothpick inserted in the center of the bread should come out fairly clean. Note that this banana bread may be more moist compared to other breads--so try not to overcook. Cool for 15 minutes before removing from the pan. To store, wrap in waxed paper.

This banana bread is particularly exquistite tasting when toasted. Try it! It's a staple in our house.

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