Thursday, April 26, 2012

Nana's Banana Bread

Remember back in my very first "Welcome" post, I had said that my mother is a self proclaimed disaster in the kitchen? It's true.  She claims she can't cook anything - but I happen to know that her banana bread is amazing.  It's the banana bread I grew up eating, and to this day I still think it's the best. Of course, I added a couple slight twists (like adding chocolate chips, because let's face it, almost anything is better with chocolate!). But this banana bread will always be my moms.
   Since I have become a mom myself, and my mom is now "Nana" this is Nana's Banana Bread. (The kids love the way Nana and banana rhyme.) :)
   This is the only recipe I'll ever use for banana bread. I hope you will love it too.

--I got busy chit-chatting with my hubby, so I goofed up when I made this batch. The good thing is that this bread is pretty forgiving (it is my mom's recipe after all) so it can handle a goof up now and then. My loaves still came out delicious.

Here's how to make it:

Put 1 stick of butter in a bowl. It can be room temperature or melted, or whatever. It doesn't matter too much.(If it's melted, the bread will be more dense. If it is softened or room temperature, the bread will be more cake-like.) Add 1 cup of sugar

and cream together

Add 1 egg and mix.

Then add a second egg and mix again.

I got my flour bin out and realized it was definitely lacking the 2 cups I needed, so I refilled it, and then added the flour to my mixing bowl . . .

along with 1 tsp of baking soda

I started to mix and then got my bananas.

This recipe calls for 3 bananas. I'm using some that my 2 year old decided to carry around the house like toys. They are pretty bruised, but still good.

 Just put them in a bowl and mush them with a fork until mostly smooth.  (My bananas were small, so this was the first mistake on my part. I should have realized, and not added the total amount of flour - or added more banana.)

I added the bananas . . .

I mixed it and saw how drastically dry it was . . . what did I do? Did I accidentally add 4 cups of flour instead of 2? I think I must have. (Do you remember the black measuring cup in the bottom of my flour bin? That is a 1/4 cup measure. I would have added 8 of those to get my 2 cups. BUT, I used my yellow 1/2 cup measure - I couldn't find any of my full cup measures, go figure. So . . . did I accidentally add 8 1/2 cups, making 4 full cups? I must have.)

So, there's nothing left to do but fix it. I'll just double the recipe and make 2 loaves instead of 1. My bread might be a little tough, from having been mixed more but it will be o.k. (It actually was not tough at all. It was light and delicious like always. I told you it was very forgiving!)

First thing's first, I mashed up the rest of my bananas.

and added them to the bowl.

I also added about 1 tsp of vanilla, and a dash of salt. (This is not in my mom's recipe, but I like it.)

I added in another stick of butter - I melted it so that it can mix-in better. I also added another tsp of baking soda.
And 2 more eggs.

I mixed it all together and then started on the optional mix-ins. The recipe calls for 1/2 cup of nut meats per 1 loaf. We like pecans, so I got about a cups worth (for my 2 loaves) out of my freezer.

I chopped them up,

and added them to the bowl with about 1 cup of chocolate chips.

I mixed it all together and then divided the dough/batter evenly between 2 greased loaf pans.

I smoothed them out as best I could, and put them in a 350F oven for 60 minutes.

This is what they look like when they are done.

Even though I inexplicably messed up on the recipe I've made a million times, they still turned out great. I'm sure I had to make these mistakes, just so that all of you could see what to do if that happens to you. There's not many mistakes in the kitchen that you can't fix, or cover-up. :) (See my Accidental Butter Rolls for another kitchen mistake I made/fixed.)

I love this bread!

Remember that the nuts and chocolate chips are optional, but always tasty!

Here's the recipe:

Nana's Banana Bread

1/2 cup salted butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 cups bread flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt*
1/2 tsp vanilla*
3 medium to large bananas, smashed
1/2 cup nuts, chopped (optional)
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)*

Preheat oven to 350F. Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla, flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix in bananas, nuts and chocolate chips. Put into greased loaf pan. Bake @ 350F for 60 minutes(until toothpick comes out clean).
*my additions

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