Saturday, September 22, 2007

Banana Bread

Maybe it's all that is going on in my life, or maybe because it is fall, or some of both that is making me crave baking. Baking has always been such a soothing, zen-like activity that it calms me. So this afternoon, I baked Jeni's Banana Bread and Ilva's Prune Cake (go to June 2007 for her recipe), the former for my husband and the latter for me.

What does Banana Bread have to do with Italy, travel, Italian food and wine? Nothing, absolutely nothing. It does, however, fall into my category of "other things that make up la bella vita." I suppose there is one thing Italian about Banana Bread, my Italian husband is addicted to it, so much so that I make it at least twice a month. When we eat something that frequently, it had better be fairly healthy, or I won't make it. Over the years, I have developed a recipe that suits our tastes and is much healthier than the average version. I hope you will like it.
Jeni's Banana Bread
makes one loaf

2 eggs
3 Tbsp. softened butter
3 Tbsp. light olive oil
1/4 cup honey or sugar
1/4 tsp. vanilla
4 very ripe bananas
1 cup white flour
1/2 cup wheat flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup chopped walnuts

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a loaf pan with buttered parchment paper (this part is optional, but it never sticks this way!)

Beat eggs in a large bowl with the butter and oil. Add the honey or sugar and the vanilla. Mix in the bananas. Add the 1 cup of white flour and stir. Add the salt, baking soda and baking powder and stir. Stir in the wheat flour and nuts. Do not over stir. Pour batter in prepared pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into middle comes out dry and the top of the loaf is golden brown. Remove from pan immediately and cool on a rack.

Be creative and experiment: use other nuts, add coconut, add dried fruit, etc.

NB: When we have very ripe bananas, I throw them in the freezer (just as they are, do not wrap.) Then when I need to bake this bread, I take four of them out and they thaw in about one hour. They turn black in the freezer and look ugly, but I assure you the ripe fruit is perfect inside.


Ilva said...

You are right, it is a very soothing thing to do! And i have bookmarked this recipe, I have so many ripe bananas in the freezer...

Jannis said...

My Spaniard husband loves it as well. The 1st time I baked it for him he helped me translate it into metric and Spanish for his mama. I hope your mama is doing well.

katiez said...

I never knew you could freeze bananas! Well, that does it for this day, I have learned something new. I can go have a glass of wine, now!

Christina said...

I just baked b-bread this morning! Wow, you and I are in total brain-synch right now.

Happy Sunday!

The Passionate Palate said...

Ilva - let me know if you like the recipe.

Jannis - Thank you. Our European husbands have something in common!

Katiez - I can't believe that I could teach you something about food, but glad I did. I hope you did enjoy that glass of wine. ;-)

Christina - It must be the fall air.

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

YUM! That looks SO goooood!

Served hot with butter, yes?

And tea?

I'll be right over.

Scarlett & Viaggiatore

The Passionate Palate said...

Scarlett - I'm keeping the tea warm and you bet I'll have butter for it! ;-)

Happy cook said...

It looks morish.
Love it

Rebecca Lemke said...

I love banana bread....especially when someone else makes it! LOL. If I ever get a whim to actually bake someething, your B Bread will be the first recipe I try. The ingredients are simply delightful. I love that hint about freezing ripened bananas for later use instead of tossing them. Excellent!

The Passionate Palate said...

Happy Cook - welcome! I'm glad it looks good to you. I am so drawn to the recipes in your blog and will be over to visit more soon.

Bec - I'll make some for you just as soon as I can. ;-)

sognatrice said...

I love banana bread and cake; I posted a recipe way back on my blog as well.

And I have some bananas that are just about to go off....

Stelle in Italia said...

yum! the banana bread looks great! thanks for the recipe

The Passionate Palate said...

Sognatrice - I would love to try your banana bread - especially with a good Calabrian espresso!

Stelle - grazie and you are welcome!

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

AH! Banana bread. I had my groceries delivered this week and the God blessed delivery boy brought me bananas that aren't fit for anything but banana bread; so it's lucky for me that you posted this recipe!

Fair warning, I'm not a great cook, I'm not even a good cook... ha... but I can usually do banana bread without having to call the fire dept.

Scarlett & Viaggiatore