Banana Bread

7:07 AM

As I was sorting through my fridge and freezer today making space and taking inventory for my next shopping trip, I finally decided to take out the black rock-hard frozen bananas that have been stowed away in my freezer. I've been debating between a couple of banana recipes the past few days and kept saying "I'll do it tomorrow", but today I finally decided let out my inner Nike and said "Just DO It."

I decided on Emeril Lagasse's banana bread recipe, and I can't even imagine trying to make a different banana bread after having this one! There's nothing healthy to this bread at all, and it is quite "cakey" versus bread-like (I intended on making peanut butter sandwiches for my kids' lunch with this tomorrow, SO not happening), but if you are in the mood for a sweet, dessert-worthy banana bread, you must try this! Some reviews said their bread wasn't banana-y enough and they included an extra banana or two. The ones I had on had were fairly large so I figured three would be enough, and it was - just use your judgement if yours are small. My bread tasted like banana, as it should, and it was incredibly moist! Honestly, this was so good that I was surprised that I made it; the bread really did look and taste like it could have come from a bakery. I sliced off a small piece for the hubs and I to sample, and as I was preparing dinner, he'd sneak around the corner trying to steal more while my back was turned. Needless to say, as I'm headed off to bed for the night, there is hardly any more bread left. Its a good thing I'm not making sandwiches with it for tomorrow - the kiddos would be pretty hungry at school tomorrow since I doubt the bread will last through tomorrow morning!

Banana Bread
Yields 1 loaf

10 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cup banana, ripe, mashed (about 3 large)
1/2 cup sour cream or yogurt
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup walnuts, tasted; chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 350˚.

2. Lightly grease a 9 1/4 by 5 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch loaf pan with 1 teaspoon of the butter.

3. Puree the bananas, sour cream, eggs and vanilla in a food processor.

4. Sift the cake flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fixed with a whisk attachment. Add the remaining 10 tablespoons butter and mix on medium-low speed until blended, about 30 seconds. Add the banana mixture in 3 batches, scraping the sides of the bowl and mixing on medium speed between each addition. Fold in the nuts.

5. Pour into the loaf pan. Bake until lightly browned and bread bounces back to the touch, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto wire rack to cool completely.

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