delicious discourse

banana bread is for sundays

Posted in Uncategorized by delicious:discourse on September 21, 2008

I have a confession to make, Matt and I eat bananas all year long. We love them and every time we go to the grocery store we buy a bunch, usually more than we can eat. When we have time we make banana bread from the ones that are too ripe. I wouldn’t feel bad about eating all these bananas if I still lived in Hawaii and my Dad could take his machete and hack off the latest bunch from one of the banana trees in our yard;or if I could drive up the road to see Wilson and pick up a bunch of what we called apple bananas (smaller bananas with an almost sweet apple taste, hence the name), which he had clearly grown on the land behind his fruit stand. This would be obvious to most, but bananas do not grow in Austin. It takes a lot of fuel to transport them from Latin America so that I can slice one over my granola every morning. So, if we are going to continue to buy bananas, I plan not to let any go to waste. Matt and I might be eating a lot of banana bread. Good thing I have a great recipe, which is always a hit. People at my various past offices have loved it; it makes a great boating snack for energy in between wake-boarding sessions; and it is great toasted at home with a little bit of Kerrygold’s Irish butter. The chocolate chips are optional, but they add a certain sense of richness. Also, walnuts are a great addition.

I often find myself baking on Sundays. The past two times I have made banana bread it has been a Sunday. Maybe it is because Sundays I try to be lazy, which for me, means being productive, but just in a different way than I am the rest of the week; getting organized for the week, reading a book, going on a bike ride, trying a new breakfast place, doing all the little things I enjoy, but hardly find the time or the energy to do during the week. Banana bread is sunny; think tall green banana trees soaking up the sun and blowing in the sea breeze, so we can consume the white meat of the fruit at any time we like. Banana bread is comforting, and provides a great warmth with a glass on milk and curled up with a good book on a cool day, or any day for that matter. Banana bread is nutritious for the body as Sundays are the the soul. A wise woman once told me when I first moved to L.A., “LA is a great city, but make sure you take time to feed your soul.” At 18, I had no clue what she was talking about, but today, I know the importance all too well.

Sunday Banana Bread

Preheat oven to 350F.

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
Combine in mixer.
2 large eggs
Add one at a time to the sugar-butter mixture. Beat after each addition.
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 bananas)
1/3 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1 teaspoon  vanilla extract
Combine the banana, yogurt, and vanilla in a bowl and add to the wet mixture. Mix well.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Mix flour, baking soda, and salt in another bowl. Add to wet ingredients and mix well.
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)
Stir into batter. Mix until evenly distributed.

Pour batter into a greased loaf pan. Bake for 45 minutes. I like to slightly undercook the bread to ensure  the bread stays moist. Let bread cool in pans for 10 minutes then roll out onto racks to cool completely before storing.

Tagged with: ,

A Banana Bread Weekend

Posted in recipe by delicious:discourse on August 27, 2008

Occasionally I will read other food blogs and since I do love Bon Appetit where she regularly has a column, yesterday I took a cyber trip over to Orangette’s blog. I began reading her entry on the banana bread she had baked over the weekend and found it amusing because I had baked banana bread for a first time in several months over the very same weekend. Don’t get me wrong, I am sure Orangette and I are not the only two people in the entire world who made banana bread over the weekend—I am not that delusional. However, as I continued reading and she began talking about cinnamon and a cinnamon and sugar crumble, I realized we had made the very same recipe, which is, surprise, surprise, from Bon Appetit’s August 2008, “Best of the Bakeshops”.

The banana bread with cinnamon crumble topping is from Bakesale Betty, a bakery in Oakland. With cinnamon in the batter, the addition of honey, and a cinnamon sugar crumble topping, the recipe differs from my tried-and-true I normally use. After a crazy two weeks, I have been feeling under the weather with a scratchy throat and just that blah fatigue you get when you can feel a cold coming on, except no cold came. I must have been balancing on that very thin line between sick and not sick, and my body pulled through. Anyway, on Sunday, I needed comfort, especially after an awful breakfast at my usual go-to eatery (sitting outside on the patio Matt and I were subject to squawking birds and unruly kids—I felt as if I had been very bad and exiled to the kiddie table with the intention of causing me to go completely insane). What could be more comforting than banana bread? I had been lounging on the couch with a my new Bon Appetit, and having the sweet tooth that I do, I was digging “Best of the Bakeshops”, and the banana bread was just begging me to make it, it was quite shameful, but how could I resist? In the mood for indulgence, I added chocolate chips to the batter.

If is is possible for banana bread to be even more satisfying, it is so with cinnamon and chocolate. The flaky cinnamon sugar crumble offers the final stroke of goodness and the chocolate create creamy pockets within the dense bread. In fear that Matt and I would eat the entire loaf, he took it to work, where is was devoured. One of his co-workers claimed he always thought banana bread was missing something, but the addition of cinnamon created the kick it always needed.

Tagged with: ,