Monday, July 9, 2012

Banana Bread

It's finally cool and dry enough to have the oven on.  I've needed (wanted?) to make banana bread since the "dead" bananas were overrunning the freezer.  Whenever we have bananas that get too ripe, I throw them in the freezer, skins and all, to use in banana bread and banana cake.  I just put them in a zip lock bag and take out what I need for the recipes.  I peel them while they're still frozen and plop them right into the mixing bowl.

We have a favorite banana bread recipe from my mother.  Once when I was in 4th or5th grade, my mom came home from the grocery store with a 40 lb crate of overripe bananas.  They were on special and she got the whole crate for $.05 a pound.  Of course, then we had to figure out what to do with 40 lbs of bananas!  We peeled most of them and mashed them into measured cups of banana, and then froze the portions.  Mami also found this recipe which makes the moistest and most banana-y bread ever!

Mami’s  40 Lbs of Banana Bread

3 cups sugar
2 cups chopped nuts
4 egg yolks
4 stiffly beaten egg whites
6 mashed bananas
¼ lb melted butter
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp baking soda
8 tbs buttermilk (can use dry powder – reconstitute per to package directions)
¼ tsp salt
3 cups flour

Mix sugar, nuts, egg yolks,  and bananas.  Add the melted butter and vanilla.  Add the baking soda to the buttermilk.  Stir well, and add to banana mixture.  Add the salt and flour, mix well.  Fold in egg whites.  Pour into 2 greased and floured loaf pans.  Bake for one hour at 350° F. Cool. Freezes well.

The breads are heavy!  Sometimes I've added cranberries or even choc chips, but I like it best just as the recipe is written.  I've also been known to throw in a 7th banana if it's a loner!

Barely got the loaves out of the oven before a certain other person started sampling!

The other really tasty banana recipe comes from Fannie Farmer. My notes are in parentheses.

 Banana Cake - from Fannie Farmer Baking Book

1/2 cup vegetable shortening (I used Crisco)
1 ½  cups sugar
3 eggs, separated
1 cup mashed bananas (about 3 medium bananas)
½ cup buttermilk  (I substituted ½ milk mixed with a tbs of vinegar)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Grease and flour 2 9 inch round cake pans. 
Cream the shortening, then slowly add the sugar and beat until the mixture is smooth.  Beat in the egg yolks, then the mashed bananas and the buttermilk, and mix well.  Stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, add to the banana mixture and beat until smooth.  In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until they are stiff but moist.  Plop the beaten whites on top of the batter and begin folding them in.  When the whites are almost incorporated, sprinkle on the nuts if using, and continue folding until blended.

Spread evenly in prepared cake pans and bake for 30- 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.  Let cool in the pans for about 5 minutes, and then turn out onto a rack to cool.  When completely cooled, fill the cake with a filling of your choice.***

Frost with cream cheese frosting.

*** I spread some frosting on the bottom layer and then spread some jam on top. 

They have a recipe for a banana cream filling, but I didn’t think it sounded good. 

Cream-Cheese Frosting  - don't know where this is from.  It's a frosting I learned as a kid!

1 package (8 oz) cream cheese
1/2 stick (4 tbs) butter
approx 2 cups confectionery sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract.
(Options) zest of lemon or 1/2 tsp ground ginger

Cream the cream cheese and butter and gradually add the sugar.  Mix in the vanilla and beat until smooth.  

This cake is popular at pot luck dinners and I usually bring it to gatherings with friends.

1 comment:

Panhandle Jane said...

Why had I not thought of this freezing idea?