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How to Make Really Great Banana Bread
The Secret: Rotten Bananas!
To make really great banana bread you ned some really "rotten" bananas--the blacker the better. It takes three bananas to make one loaf, so you can freeze your rotten bananas until you have enough for a loaf or two. It's a great use for your bananas that are too ripe to eat; Now you don't have to throw them away. There's no need to bag them. Just throw them in the freezer in their skins and they'll keep for quite awhile. When you're ready to make your bread, thaw them on something that won't stain, like a glass or ceramic plate, not on a formica counter or a melamine plate. They will ooze liquid when they thaw. Don't worry about it. When they are soft, peel them and put them in threes (3's) in a mixing bowl. Beat them with an electric mixer until fairly smooth (a couple of minutes). If the bananas are not ripe there wil be lumps. For each 3 bananas add 1 egg, 1 cup sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Mix well, then add 1 1/2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda. Mix again and slowly add 1/4 cup melted butter. The new margarines don't melt well, so I use real butter, but my Mom uses margarine and it comes out fine.
Time to Bake
At this point I like to add 1/2 cup or so of walnuts, pecans, or toasted wheat germ per loaf (toasted wheat germ gives you that nutty favor, but my kids like it better than nuts). Pour into greased loaf pan(s), sprinkle sugar on top, and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about an hour, or until center springs back when pushed (or when knife inserted in center comes out clean, or however you like to check for doneness). It will be quite dark. Cool 10 minutes, then loosen sides with knife and remove from pan to wire rack(s) to cool. It's wonderful warm with real butter on it!
I've been eating this bread for 57 years and I just learned from my mother that this was my great grandfather's recipe back when he had a fruit stand out in front of his house in Acton, Mass. Somehow that makes it taste even better! People are always asking for the recipe because "it's the best banana bread I ever tasted!" It has been served at hundreds of church suppers and bake sales up and down the east coast, baked in tiny loaf pans and put into Christmas baskets (it freezes well), and shows up at the breakfast table as often as it does for desert or a snack.
Nutritious and Economical
I have exchanged whole wheat flour (1/2 c) and soy flour (1 T) for part of the 1 1/2 c flour (still totaling 1 1/2 c flour), used wheat germ instead of ( or with ) the nuts, and the kids still loved it! I also usually add about 1/4th cup of flax seeds for some omega-3's. It's a good way to sneak in a little more nutrition. It's also very economical. You can often buy over-ripe bananas very inexpensively if you don't want to wait to save them up in the freezer, and the other ingredients don't cost much. The best part, aside from the favor, is that there are only natural ingredients in this bread and it only takes a few minutes to mix it up. I hope you'll try it, and let me know what you think!
For each loaf: 3 very ripe bananas
1 c. sugar
1/2 t. salt
1 1/2 c. flour
1 t. baking soda
1/4 c. melted butter or margarine
1/2 c. nuts
Mix well. Pour into greased loaf pan, sprinkle with sugar, and
bake at 350 for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Cool.