Thursday, April 7, 2011

Test Kitchen Thursday - Banana Bread

Mmmmm - banana bread!  The best way to use up those old bananas in my book.  And recently I've had lots of them.  I realize I have shared my banana bread recipe in my Champion Recipe Post but I thought a 2-time  Champion winner should have its own blog post.  (You may want to go to the link if you want the version without my family photos).

The week before the science fair we had a lot of ripe bananas to use up.  Needing a bit of a break the boys and I whipped up two batches.  It's really a quick recipe to put together.
Grant washed and dried his hands before helping.

Banana Bread
Yield: 1 Bundt (I always go with the bundt) OR 1 – 9x13” pan OR 2 – 7x3” loaves

1  C                 mashed banana (~3 medium)
1  C                 sour cream

¼ C                 butter
1 1/3 C            granulated sugar
2                     eggs
1 t                   Madagascar vanilla extract
2  C                 all purpose flour
1 t                   baking soda
1 t                   baking powder
¼ t                  salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour one Bundt pan (or 1 9x13” pan or 2 7x3” loaf pans). (I prefer the Bundt pan because it makes a pretty looking treat to take to events or share with friends).

2. Combine the banana and sour cream. Set mixture aside. 

Grant did a great job mixing the banana and sour cream mixture!

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla and the banana mixture. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; stir into the banana mixture. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan or pans.

3. Bake for 50 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted near the center of the bread comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Turn out bread and allow finishing cooling on wire rack.

For those of you saying to yourself she's nuts about the type of vanilla to use - well, during the banana bread review where the judge discusses the winning entries and announces winners the judge asked me specifically about the type of vanilla used and how she could taste the difference (she actually asked if it was Mexican vanilla - which the judge also believes makes a big difference in flavor even if we aren't supposed to use it - her words).  The type I use from KAF is more expensive but it is so worth it. (I also love their vanilla bean paste - yummy!)  If you can't get ahold of a high quality vanilla then at least use PURE vanilla extract rather than imitation.

This bread never fails me - it is an awesome recipe.  This is actually the second time this bread recipe has won the Overall Banana Bread at the ISF.  So even if I thought the first time was a fluke I am now pretty sure it is just a great recipe!

And yes, Clark helped with the process too but for some reason I didn't get any pictures of him helping.  He loves measuring out the flour and sugar.  A few weeks ago he was asked to draw a picture for preschool of what he liked doing best with mommy.  His response - "I like cooking with you, mommy!"  Aww- melts my heart!

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