You know how you make a recipe with no intention at all of posting it and sharing it? That's the case with this recipe. I'd been craving banana bread and I had plenty of ripe bananas on my hands so I set about making Tessa's recipe for banana bread.
I noticed a few unique things while making the bread. First, the recipe didn't call for any white sugar, only brown sugar. Second, the recipe called for mixing the baking soda into the warm milk...something I'd never heard of at all. I wondered if Tessa's variations would yield any differences in the final product and boy did they ever. This is probably the best looking banana bread I've ever made. It rose wonderfully in the oven. Not only was this a good looking loaf of bread, it was utterly delicious. Everyone who tried this bread ended up exclaiming "Wow, that is some great banana bread." They all had two slices, myself included.
If you're a fan of banana bread or if you have ripe bananas on your hands, then I really urge you to try this recipe. It's tender, fragrant with spices, and just plain fantastic when served warm with a little butter. This will be my new go to banana bread recipe.
Adapted from Apples for Jam by Tessa Kiros
Serves 10 or so
Tessa says, "This is my schoolfriend Alexia's recipe: Her mom was a fantastic cook and she always made this. It is a healthy snack or breakfast and an excellent way to use up bananas that otherwise might be on their way out. I always end up making this because bananas in my house just never keep the pale waxy complexion that they have in the shops. For some reason, they start deteriorating the minute they come home with me. You can add some chopped walnuts or hazelnuts, too, and some cinnamon. Serve it on its own, or even lightly buttered and with your favorite jam."
1/4 pound plus 1 tablespoon butter
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
3 or 4 medium ripe bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
salt (a good pinch)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
4 tablespoons warm milk
Preheat the oven to 350F and butter a 12 by 4-inch loaf pan.
Cream the butter and sugar until smooth and then whisk in the mashed bananas. Add the eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, and a pinch of so of salt and whisk in well. Sieve the flour and baking powder and beat until smooth. Mix the baking soda into the milk and stir into the batter.
Scrape the mixture into the panand bake for about 50 minutes, until the bread is crusty on the top and a skewer poked into the middle comes out clean. Turn out onto a rack to cool
Serve warm or cold, plain or toasted with butter, but allow to cool completely before storing in an airtight container, where it will keep well for several days.
Note: I mixed the batter for the bread by hand in a mixing bowl. I did not use any type of mixer at all.
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