Thursday, October 24, 2013

Banana Bread (or muffins)

Banana bread muffins from Food Therapy
Mmmm...nothing like the smell of banana bread baking in the oven.  Its aroma fills up the house and the belly something good.  This is my go-to recipe that I inherited, from, you guessed it, my mom.


I am very picky about my banana bread and have never tried to use another recipe.  It's one of my favorite breakfast items, warmed up in the oven with a fresh berry salad and hot coffee on the side.

Banana Bread (or muffins)
You can bake them with chopped pecans or walnuts and even some sprinkle of turbinado sugar on top.  The best part is that it can be baked and frozen until ready to eat.  Just take out your baked muffins or loaf the night before and let it thaw out on the counter. It will taste just as fresh as if you'd baked it that morning.

The recipe yields 2 dozen muffins or two standard loaves.  You can even make it in smaller loaf pans to give out as gifts or just keep for yourself!


Ingredients:
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) of unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs, separated
3 bananas (the blacker the better)
8 Tablespoons sour milk (see note below about making sour milk)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup of chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

NOTE:  To make sour milk for this recipe, measure out seven tablespoons of milk.  For the eighth tablespoon you may either add one tablespoon of white vinegar or one tablespoon of lemon.  Either works just fine and you won't be able to taste it in the bread.  Stir. Let it sit for at least 5 minutes.  My tip is to do this step first.  By the time you get to the point where you need the sour milk, it will have curdled and look something like this:

Directions for Banana Bread:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray either muffin pans or loaf pans with cooking spray.

2.  Separate two eggs and set the yolks aside. Place two egg whites in a mixing bowl and whip at high speed until stiff peaks form. Set aside.

3.  In a mixer at medium speed, cream together one cup of sugar and one cup of softened butter.
4.  Add the two egg yolks and beat until the yellow disappears.
5.  Peel and add your 3 mushy bananas, blending them in well.  Like I said, the blacker the better.  It makes for a moister bread.  At the very least, make sure they have lots of spots.
6.  With mixer still going, add your sour milk to the bowl, mixing it in well. Beware of splatter!!
7.  Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl.
8.  Gradually add the dry ingredients while mixing at a low speed.  Continue blending until all of the dry ingredients are incorporated.

9.  With a spoon, FOLD in the egg whites.  Do NOT stir.  This will give your bread a lighter texture instead of a brick loaf.
10.  If you are using nuts, fold the nuts into the batter.
11.  Fill muffin tins 3/4 of the way full.  Or, fill your loaf pans 3/4 of the way full.

12.  Bake at 350 degrees 25 minutes for muffins or 45 minutes for the loaves.  With loaves, check for doneness by inserting a toothpick or knife into the center to see if it comes out clean. Cooking times for the loaf pans can vary depending on the size of the pan.  It can as long as an hour depending on how large the pan is, so be sure to check doneness first.
Banana Bread Muffins from Food Therapy