Cooking, Food

Banana Bread Bonanza

Another baking experiment: banana bread! Honestly, the main reason why I decided to try making banana bread is because I had a bunch of semi-overly ripe bananas sitting on the counter. I knew I couldn’t eat all of them, so I figured, why not make some banana bread?

I choose Epicurious’ recipe from Flo Braker. This recipe is described as,”moist and full of pure banana flavor, but if you’d like to dress it up, Braker recommends adding up to a cup of toasted nuts.” I highly recommend adding the walnuts because they bring opposing textures to the softness of the bread. I was surprised how easy this recipe is once you have all the ingredients ready and prepped to put in. Also, I specifically went to HomeGoods to get a loaf pan (I should have bought two because I ended up doing two loafs) and a rubber spatula.

My first loaf was definitely an experimental loaf. This is the first time I’ve made a bread, so I knew it wasn’t going to be perfect the first time around. I didn’t have a ‘paddle attachment,” so I used my regular hand-mix beaters. When I beat the sugar, butter, and egg, I beat it for too long. I wasn’t too sure how “fluffy” the mixture could get, so I did it for longer than I should have. By the way, a rubber spatula is absolutely the best tool I’ve bought for the kitchen. It was amazing when I had to incorporate the walnuts into the batter. All this time, I’ve used a wooden spatula for my baking needs. This rubber spatula changed my baking life.

Anyways, going back to the baking experiment, I baked my first loaf for 45 minutes. I tested it by inserting a small knife, and it appeared to come out clean. I took out the pan, and it looked a lot flatter than I expected. I thought it was because I had a larger than recommended pan (that was not the case). I cooled the loaf on wire rack for 10 minutes, knocked it on the side of my counter, and used a plate to invert and remove it from the pan. It was a little burnt on the sides, but I took a slice out and ate it. It tasted okay, but it was a little too sweet for my taste (one cup of sugar plus the bananas are too much).

Pondering my first experimental loaf, I decided to do several things differently for my second loaf:

  • I beat the sugar, butter, and egg mixture for half the time;
  • I added 3/4 cup brown sugar;
  • I added both walnuts and chocolate chips (one cup total);
  • I cooled the bread for 15 minutes before taking it out of the pan.

I was surprised how differently loaf #2 turned out: much bigger and heavier than the first one. I was happy with how it turned out. I brought the loaf #1 to work so a few of my coworkers could sample it, and I’m bringing loaf #2 to my friends’ house for dinner. I love sharing my baking goods with my friends and colleagues so everyone can enjoy them.

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