Sunday, August 21, 2011

Banana Bread (But Moist Only, Please)

        I have a strange relationship with banana bread. I go completely nuts for it, but only sometimes. In order for me to really, really love banana bread, it must meet certain criteria: 

1) It needs to be packed with fabulous banana flavor. I mean, it's banana bread, so that's really not asking for much, is it? 


2) It needs to be moist. I can often find a great-tasting banana bread that is completely ruined by its lack of moisture.

        When I made my very first banana bread as a little girl, I had high expectations and the recipe tasted good. It failed for a different reason: it came out dry. I took one bite, tried to swallow, nearly failed, and wrinkled my face in disgust. The thing was... that bread I made definitely wasn't the banana bread I had grown to love. It wasn't the extra moist, soft, delectable banana treat that on rare occasions I could find at some excellent bakery. So the story goes, on that day I made a promise to myself that I would go on a quest. I would try as many recipes as need be, scrutinizing and tweaking as I needed, until I found the perfect banana bread.
        Finally, after a long and perilous journey full of failures and almost-theres, I'm proud to say that I have done just that.
    The Perfect Moist Banana Bread
            Since this recipe came into my life, I actually extremely look forward now to seeing those little brown spots covering the bananas I buy because it means I possess the key ingredient for this recipe. The recipe differs from the traditional in the sense that it contains sour cream, which I believe is the reason it comes out so perfectly moist and soft every time.
            I most recently enjoyed this banana bread last weekend when I was lucky enough to travel up north to my cottage. The cottage is located on the shore of a beautiful lake called Otter Lake; it's one of my favorite places to spend the summer. There was only one problem, though. Before we departed, I had already been suffering from baking withdrawal. Yup, you heard me: it had been too long since I last put on my baker's apron (I don't actually have one, but that's beside the point) and got to work. Needing my baking fix, I knew the baking ingredients we kept up north would be limited. In fact, the last time I'd been up there I had been shocked to learn that we had no absolutely no all-purpose flour. WHAT MADNESS WAS THIS?!;
            I had to put an end to that insanity. Along with my bags and towels and all the other "important" stuff I needed to bring last weekend, I packed a nice bag of AP. Even with the flour, though, I knew there were still few ingredients to use. I mean, I wanted to bake, but not just anything. I didn't want to settle for something satisfactory.
           That's when I saw them. There were exactly three bananas, in plain sight, covered in spots and sitting on my kitchen counter (how I missed them before, I haven't the slightest clue). Needless to say, three bananas accompanied me on the two-hour drive to Otter Lake. 

          Not only was this banana bread a real hit with all the cousins and family, but it also pulled me out of baking withdrawal.
    For the time being, anyway.

    The Perfect Moist Banana Bread
    adapted from Allrecipes

    (Yield: 1 loaf / 1 tube pan | 15 servings)

    • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
    • 1 cup white sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 cup sour cream
    • 3 bananas, mashed
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a loaf or tube pan.
    2. In a large bowl; stir together the melted butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla; mix well. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; stir into butter mixture until smooth.
    3. Add the sour cream and mashed bananas. Mix batter with an electric mixer until smooth.
    4. Spread batter evenly in the greased pan. Bake for 60 minutes or until a knife inserted in centre comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pan, then cover with a bowl or lid and let rest for at least another few minutes before serving (for extra moisture).

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    1. Hi Nicole! Ohhh you just started blogging! All of your sweets look so beautiful and delicious!! What a perfect banana bread for breakfast with my coffee. :-)

    2. Hi Nami! Yes, I did just start blogging and I'm loving it! Thank you for the lovely comment. I really appreciate it, and it made me smile. :-)

    3. Love this. I'm totally a banana bread girl and I totally agree it has to be MOIST. Yours looks so tasty, I just wanna slice off a chunk... :)

    4. Definitely has to be moist! The moisture of banana bread completely makes or breaks it. Glad to know I'm not alone :) Thanks for the comment!

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