Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Yummy banana nut bread

I couldn’t resist a bag of ripe bananas on a discount rack at my grocery store Saturday morning. The bag of eight bananas cost just over a dollar. I immediately had a vision of loaves of banana nut bread!

I’ve loved banana nut bread for years, thanks to my mom’s great recipe, and have made it many, many times. I’ve used Mama’s recipe and another one I discovered as a newlywed. When I’m in a hurry, I make banana nut muffins because the cooking time is so much shorter.

I had planned on making two loaves of banana nut bread as soon as we got home from our shopping trip but got very discouraged when I realized I hadn’t purchased the buttermilk needed in my go-to recipe. I’ve made buttermilk substitute before with milk and vinegar, but it’s just not the same flavor.

On a normal day, I would have jumped in the car and headed back to the grocery store. We live about a mile from the closest one. But thanks to my tumble six weeks before and the resulting ankle fracture, I still can’t drive. (Can you hear me screaming in frustration??) I didn’t want to ask my husband to take me because he had his own chores going.

So I pulled out my church’s new cookbook and also read a few recipes online and came up with my own adapted version.

The recipe I made yields two loaves of bread, which is what I wanted. I cut back on the butter that I saw in many recipes and lowered the sugar a little as well, choosing to use both granulated and brown sugar. I also finely chopped 11/2 cups of pecans (instead of the 2 cups I would have normally used) so they would distribute better in my bread.

I saw several recipes that included cinnamon, but I didn’t want that this time.

The bottom line, for me, is how can you go wrong with almost any version of banana nut bread that is packed with the flavor of butter, nuts and bananas, of course?

This bread was very dense and moist. We loved it warm from the oven, and we loved it later as it cooled. I like to warm the bread the next day in the toaster oven to get little bits of toasted and browned bread. It is so delicious!

Banana Nut Bread
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 4 medium to large)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 1/2 cups pecans, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream butter and sugars until combined. Add in eggs and beat for about 1 minute until light and fluffy. Stir in mashed bananas and vanilla. Add flour and nuts. Pour into two loaf pans that have been prepared with baking spray.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes. Check around 40 minutes to make sure it’s not browning too much. At the 40 minute mark, I turned down the oven to 325 and baked for another 10 minutes. Use toothpick to check if bread is done in the middle.

Let cool in pans for about 10 minutes. Remove to wire rack and wrap in aluminum foil while still very warm.

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