Ah, banana bread. A perennial favorite. I love findingoverripe bananas in the market. They are usually cast aside to a corner andalready bagged and weighed so people don’t have to go through the messybusiness of touching them. Just grab them. Then go home and bake yourabsolute-best-ever banana bread. Either that or you find blackened bananas inyour fridge or wherever it is that you keep them.
I’m very moody with food especially when it comes tobaking. Aren’t we all? What if I want tomake banana bread and they are all bright yellow and firm; even a bit green? AmI supposed to wait an entire week before I bake? I might not feel like it bythen. I was stuck with that dilemma. Yes, life is tough.
I already told you about my trips to the countryside, to my family’s campo (something like a big farm) when I wasa kid. There was no electricity so there were wood fires in big chimneys keptalive all-day-long during the winter.
We used to throw all kinds of wholefruits and vegetables directly on the embers to cook. Sweetpotatoes were our favorite. But we also liked to roast onions (weird), oranges(weirder) and bananas.
The skin completely blackened and the pulp turnedsweet, perfect with homemade dulce de leche or just plain. You see where this isgoing don’t you? Roasted bananas are the answer.
To test my idea I went looking for a recipe I hadalmost forgotten, but that I’d made many times in the past, because it’s aplain banana bread. No nuts, not even spices. Perfect canvas for my experiment.
The final bread had a clearly-defined, sweet banana flavor.Just what I was hoping for. The sugar on top is a last minute idea because Istill have a lot of nutty sugar from the rugelach. Luckilyit lasts.
As with most banana breads, it tastes much better a day (ortwo) after it’s baked.
OLD-FASHIONED BANANA BREAD
barely adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Complete Book of Baking
Makes 8 servings
2 cups (280g) all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup (115g) butter, room tº
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
3 medium-large bananas, roasted and mashed
2 Tbs milk
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Extra sugar for sprinkling (optional)
Grease one 11×4-inch (27x9cm) loaf pan.
Preheat oven to 350ºF/180ºC.
Place unpeeled bananas on a baking tray and roastuntil the skin turns completely dark and the inside is lightly soft to thetouch. Let cool and mash.
In a bowl combine flour, baking powder and soda. Setaside.
In a bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on mediumspeed for 30 seconds. Gradually add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Addeggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add bananas, milk andlemon juice. Mix well. Add flour mixture and mix until well combined. Pour intoprepared pan. Sprinkle the top with granulated sugar if desired.
Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until tester insertedcomes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Invert onto servingplate and cool completely before slicing.
Store, covered, at room tº, for 3 days.