Tuesday, July 10, 2018

BEST BANANA BREAD EVER

I managed to bring some crumbs home to my husband of this Banana Bread that I made and took to the volunteers at HPC Thrift Shop last Saturday. Later in the day I reminded him that the folded up foil contained the crumbs of the bread. He picked up the foil and then went downstairs to the family room. The next thing I heard as he is coming back up the stairs was, "That just might be the best banana bread you have ever made." I decided to rename it for this post title as the "Best Banana Bread Ever" to help me remember when I saw the title that it was that really awesome banana bread I had made that my husband loved so much.

I found the recipe in Mary Meade's Country Cookbook by Ruth Ellen Church. As "Mary Meade", food editor of the Chicago Tribune for twenty years, Ruth Ellen Church brought together hundreds of her favorite recipes. My husband had told me that the remaining bananas were ready for banana bread. So when I agreed to go in to the thrift shop Friday night for the next morning, I remembered the bananas and started looking though the seven or eight cookbooks I had out by my chair downstairs. I actually found another one that was so close to this one that I bet is good also. It was Dana C. Hochstedler's recipe in the Hochstedler Family Cookbook that I have been using so much lately. Since I hadn't made anything from Mary Meade's cookbook I decided I would try its recipe.

Ruth Ellen said that "This was the favorite of a half-dozen banana breads tested, time and again!" For once I followed the ingredients (well except I used buttermilk for the sweet or sour milk and I didn't have any bread flour so I used regular all-purpose flour). Can I still get credit for following her recipe?

I got up early so I could make it before I had to leave (9:30) and thought I had plenty of time since the recipe said to cook for 45 minutes. True - I was surprised it would cook in just 45 minutes because most recipes seem to cook more like an hour. As it turned out I had to cook it an extra 15 minutes. I took the bread out of the oven at 8:55, let it cool in the loaf pan for 10 minutes before turning it out to cool on a wire rack, and finished my last touchings to get ready to leave. It was still pretty warm, but I wrapped it in foil to take. I had to hunt for a knife to cut it with when I got to the thrift shop and the one I used wasn't great. (I was in a hurry when I was looking through the ones we were selling to use since I couldn't find where the knives were in the new community room.) The first slices of the bread ended up breaking up when I cut them, but that didn't hurt the taste. While it was fabulous warm, I can't wait to make it again and enjoy it after it has cooled.

I took the time when I was mixing the bread up to experiment with the sifted flour. Even though today when you buy flour, it says "presifted" on the package, I always sift it again if the recipe calls for "sifted" flour. I measured out two cups of flour the way I always do - spooning the flour lightly into the measuring cup and then sifted it into a bowl. Then I measured two cups of the sifted flour and would you believe I had almost 1/4 cup of flour still left in the bowl? That is the first time I actually measured the leftover flour to see how much extra I would have had in the recipe if I hadn't sifted it again. That makes a difference in the results of the recipe. Just FYI - you know the key is where the word "sifted" appears in the list of ingredients, don't you? Sifted flour means to sift before measuring and flour, sifted means to sift it after you measure. See pictures below recipe.

PRINT JUST THE RECIPE



BANANA BREAD

1/2         cup butter or margarine (I did use unsalted butter)
1            cup sugar
2            eggs, beaten light
1            cup sieved bananas (about 3 large) (My bananas were very ripe so I just mashed them with a fork)
1-1/2      tablespoons sweet or sour milk (I used buttermilk)
1            teaspoon lemon juice
2            cups sifted bread flour (I used all-purpose flour)
1-1/2      teaspoons baking powder
1/4         teaspoon salt
1/2         teaspoon soda
1            cup chopped pecans or walnuts (I did use pecans)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease or spray an 8-1/2 x 4-1/2 inches loaf pan.


Cream butter and sugar;

add eggs.
Prepare bananas and add milk and lemon juice to them.
Add banana mixture to the butter mixture.


Add sifted flour, baking powder, salt, and soda. (I did mix these ingredients together in a small bowl first with a whisk.)
Stirring just to blend. (Since I still had to add the nuts, I stopped before the ingredients were completely blended. I ran the mixer just a bit on low.)


Finally add nuts stirring only enough to blend.



Pour batter in pan and bake for 45 minutes.
(I had to bake mine for 60 minutes before the toothpick came out clean.)  Cool in pan for 10 minutes before
removing to cool on a wire rack. Wrap loaf in foil to keep moist.








When I remeasured the 2 cups of flour to sift...







and then remeasured what I had sifted ...

The almost a fourth of a cup extra flour I would have been adding...

5 comments:

  1. Hi Patricia,
    How much baking soda? You list salt twice.

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    Replies
    1. I did, didn't I. So sorry about that. I have corrected it to read 1/2 soda. Thanks for catching it for me and leaving me a message.
      Patricia

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    2. Fortunately I didn't make the same mistake when I made up the printable version of the recipe. Patricia

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    3. Thanks so much for the clarification.
      Love, love your blog.
      Making it now (X2) even though it's in the 80's here in Jersey. LOL

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    4. Thank you so much! Upper 90s here. Patricia

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