Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Julia's Best Banana Bread
Oh, hello. No, I haven't had my baby, I've just been busy and not making much time for blogland...until now.
Olivia plays with this bop-it toy constantly. It's a game that shouts out commands such as "pull it!" or "twist it!" and you are supposed to keep pace and do what it says or it verbally berates you. Lots of nights Jeremy and I feel so bad for her because she hauls this thing around without a clue as to what it's saying and it just shouts horrible things at her like "Booooo", "epic fail" and "I'm going to sleep!" Of course she has no idea and It's funny and sad at the same time. We tell her "Don't listen to that thing, big girl! You are awesome!"
Something about the upcoming summer and baby's due date rapidly approaching (5 weeks to go!) has made me drawn to simplistic foods. I've been making green paletas (popsicles) for the kids, eggs on toast for breakfast, thick honeydew slices packed in kids lunches, bags of cherries, and whole wheat pastas and soups at night since our climate hasn't quite taken the hint that it should warm up indefinitely now. We're slow to catch on to such things up here. In short, exciting blog material has not been plentiful for a few weeks. However, I did stumble upon a simple banana bread recipe I've been dying to try out. It's definitely blog material. Oh, yes.
I don't usually make banana bread recipes I run across because I already have a great one with big banana flavor and studded with nuts. It's my standby and favorite with the hint of vanilla and buttermilk tang. But this one called to me. Andrew McCarthy wrote piece for Bon Appetit on this banana bread and it ran in their March issue. Yes, Andrew McCarthy the actor from movies such as Pretty In Pink and Weekend At Bernies. He's a thoughtful writer with a passion for travel and good food. He used to live on the Island of Maui where he would listen to the trade winds rustling palm fronds and dig his feet in the buttery sand while watching a fiery sun hang above the Pacific. He also swears that his most potent memory of Hawaii is the smell of warm, moist banana bread. Julia's banana bread to be exact. So he heads down the famous road to Hana chasing a memory.
Julia grew up on the Island of Molokai and started making banana bread out of necessity. She was selling fruit and the bananas got too ripe so she had to do something. It's the simplistic recipe that makes it stand out for me. No buttermilk or sour cream, no vanilla extract, a hefty amount of eggs. This is just simply banana bread without need for the extra frills. As Andrew eats the last of his loaf he laughs to himself. He's thinking of moving back.
This bread is sturdier than my other recipe without losing any of the dense moistness, which I like. It almost has a mouth-feel like I've added a package of vanilla pudding but I most certainly have not. We like our slices thick and warm with a little salted butter. But as you know, theres no wrong way to eat banana bread.
Julia's Best Banana Bread
adapted from Bon Appetit, March 2013 by Andrew McCarthy
serves 8 or makes 1 loaf
This bread can also be baked in three small (5 3/4 x 3 1/4") loaf pans, which is how you'll find them at Julia's stand; cooking time will be 40-50 minutes. For deepest flavor, use ripe bananas with lots of freckles.
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 large)
3/4 vegetable oil (I used 1/4 cup coconut oil and 1/2 cup vegetable oil)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Coat a 9x5x3" loaf pan with nonstick spray. Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk eggs, sugar, bananas, and oil in a large bowl until smooth. Add dry ingredients to banana mixture and stir just until combined. Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth top.
Bake until a tester inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean, 60-70 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let bread cool in pan for 15 minutes. Run a knife around inside of pan to release the bread. Turn out onto rack and let cool completely.
Tip- Bread can be made 3 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.
Posted by Krysta at 12:29 PM