Favorite Banana Bread Recipe
Easy to Bake and Great for Gifts
There's really no mystery to making home made baked goods. Just like anything else it takes a little patience and the ability to follow directions. In most recipes adding ingredients in the order specified makes a big difference in the outcome. With this recipe, the bread turns out great no matter what order in which you mix it and regardless of your baking experience.
This recipe is also a great way to use up those spotted bananas that no one seems to want. When bananas turn just a bit over-ripe, they're perfect to use in baking home made banana bread. Even if your skills are a bit rusty this easy recipe with step-by-step pictures will get you through the process.
The Very Best of Bread - Music
The first step is to gather all your ingredients and equipment into one area of the kitchen to make sure you have everything you need on hand. Be prepared to receive compliments once your home is filled with the mouth-watering aroma of bread baking in the oven.
Banana bread makes gift giving easy even for those particular friends who seem to have everything. Giving a gift of something you've made in your own kitchen is one way to show your appreciation for folks who've helped or provided service over the year, whether it's for the staff at your medical office, dental office, neighbors, the postmaster or others who deserve a special thank you.
Kitchen Tools You'll Need
Large loaf pan, glass or metal 9 x 5”
Dry measuring Cups
1/3 cup butter
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup of sour Milk
2-3 ripe bananas
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
2 Tablespoons Shortening for greasing the pan
How to Begin
Set out the butter out in a large mixing bowl and let it come to room temperature. To speed up that process, cut the butter into tablespoon sized slices rather than using the microwave. While the butter softens, prepare the baking pan and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
To Prepare the Baking Pan
To keep the bread from sticking to the glass pan, you'll want to grease and flour it first. Use a paper towel or your fingers to spread about a tablespoon of solid vegetable shortening, like Crisco, or butter to coat the bottom and sides of the bread pan. Wipe out the excess with a paper towel.
Then, sprinkle about a tablespoon of flour over the shortening and shake the pan to distribute the flour around the surface creating a light coating of flour. Shake out any excess from the pan by tapping the bottom of the pan over the trash container or into the kitchen sink.
Next, if you don't have any sour milk, you can make some by adding about a tablespoon of lemon juice to the 3 tablespoons of milk and set the mixture aside. This ingredient helps to make the bread rise beautifully while baking.
Preparing the Milk Ahead of Time
Then, with the mixer on low speed, begin to cream the butter. If the butter gets stuck in the beaters, turn off the mixer and use a spatula to remove the butter so it will continue to whip until it becomes light and fluffy.
Once the color of the mixture changes from medium yellow to a lighter shade you can add the sugar. Continue to mix until the mixture is again light and fluffy and the sugar is no longer granulated.
Peel and slice the bananas into a separate bowl. You can use a dash of lemon juice, if desired, to keep the bananas from turning brown while you prepare the recipe.
Holding a knife in each hand, slice the bananas into smaller sized pieces with a crisscross motion.
Stir the vanilla extract into the bananas and mix together.
Now add the eggs one at a time into the butter and sugar mixture, mixing after each egg is added.
Measure out the flour and pour into a separate medium size bowl. Add the Baking soda and the salt and stir the dry ingredients together.
Begin adding the dry mixture to the batter a little bit at a time.
Mix on low speed, alternating with the wet ingredients (banana mixture and the sour milk) and the addition of dry ingredients. End with the dry ingredients.
Add the pecans and stir them in by hand with a spatula.
Pour the batter into your prepared baking dish and allow it to rest for a few minutes.
This recipe usually takes around one hour to bake at 350 degrees, depending on your oven.
You can test the bread to see if it is done by inserting a toothpick into the center of the loaf. If the toothpick comes out clean it's time to take the bread out of the oven. If the toothpick comes out wet, continue baking and test again in five minutes. Repeat if necessary.
Remove the loaf pan from the oven and let it rest on a wire rack for about ten minutes before turning it out of the pan. Allow the bread to cool a bit before slicing.
This recipe freezes well and will keep for up to three months in the freezer if wrapped properly. Wrap in cellophane and then in heavy duty aluminum foil. Mark the date and the contents on a small piece of masking tape with a magic marker.
I like to make this bread at the holidays and wrap it in fancy cellophane wrap tied up with festive ribbons. It's perfect for gift giving or for sharing at a family gathering.
© 2011 Peg Cole
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