Babies, Banana bread and Bjorn's!First of all yesterday I saw the orthopedic surgeon and he removed the pin in my toe. Yes....it had been four weeks since the surgery to attach the torn tendon! Seemed like months to me...oh well! He said this won't hurt and pulled it right out!! OUCH!! I bet it didn't hurt him a bit. So today I am back in the saddle wearing my most cushy walking shoes ....loosely on the left foot because it is quite swollen...but I am walking again with full weight on that toe. YEAH!! Today is Wednesday so I spent the day at Community Bible Study. I got to be back with my "Orange Lambs" today. It was great...they are so much fun but after 3 hours I am worn out. When I got home after leadership meeting I wanted to make banana bread from the ripe bananas I had bought last week. I had been waiting for them to get ripe enough. Last week my good friend Carol called with a "baking problem" concerning Banana Bread. Ever since I have had a hankering for some....you guessed it ....banana bread, but I had to wait for my bananas to get ripe enough to use. Today was the Day!! My two daughters greeted me at the door with "Mom we want to go to Target, Can you watch Ella, she is asleep on your bed". Being the good Nana I said sure. I started getting out the ingredients to make the bread when I heard a cry....actually a wail coming from my bedroom. I ran to the rescue, changed diaper, played and cooed but nothing could sooth Miss Ella for very long. So I went upstairs and put on the Bjorn (Baby carrier) and placed Miss Ella in the seat while attaching the Bjorn to me. She loves to walk around attatched!! So now you see Miss Ella and me (above) ready to bake Banana Bread. I really did make the bread with her attatched to me. She is learning at a young age how to cook like Nana does!! You go Miss Ella!!! Never too young to learn good cooking!!
Heavenly Healthy Banana BreadI have had several banana bread recipes over the years that I thought were great. I found this one about a year ago on the King Arthur website, kingarthurflour.com. It really is heavenly....and it has honey and whole wheat flour so it's good for you??? Right???? It is my new favorite. It is dense yet moist and has a crunchy texture to the bread from the whole wheat flour. Let's get started.....
I had a suggestion for a shopping list so here goes:
Butter (1 stick which is 1/2 cup)
Brown Sugar (light or dark) (1/2 cup)
Vanilla Extract (Pure....the good stuff....1 tsp)
Baking Soda (3/4 tsp)
Salt (1/2 tsp)
Honey (1/4 cup)
Eggs (2 large)
100% White Whole Wheat Flour or Whole Wheat Flour (2 cups)
Walnuts (1/2 Cup)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 or 9 x 5 loaf pan. ( I use the smaller loaf pan and a mini pan too. That way I get a little gift to give away while I keep the big loaf!!)
Then add the vanilla, baking soda, salt and bananas.
Prepare the bananas by first cutting into chunks. Pictured on left. Then I take a fork and smash the chunks. Pictured on right.
A good time to get out all those pinned up aggressions from the day!!
Now mix again to combine the ingredients with the mixer. You can see the beaters in the top left hand corner of the picture below. Handy gadget!!
After mixing thoroughly, beat in the two eggs and honey. When measuring honey, first spray the measuring cup with cooking spray then measure the honey. It will then slide right out of the cup into the mix without sticking!!! Good tip!! I always do that because I am lazy and don't want to use a spatula to dig out the left behinds.
Now add the 2 cups of Flour as shown below. (I have one cup in the bowl and one outside ready to pour into the mix.. In this batch I used 100% white whole wheat. I have done this bread with the full amount of 2 cups using regular whole wheat flour and though it is good it is heavier than if you use either the full 2 cups of 100% white whole wheat ( which you can find in the regular grocery stores. In Tulsa, Reasor's has it and so does Whole Foods) or use 1 cup regular white All-Pupose flour and 1 cup of whole wheat flour. Do what suits you best??? or as I often do work with what you have!!
Now you have the batter mixed (right). Chop your 1/2 cup walnuts. Fold into the mixture!
Now you are ready to put the batter into the already prepared loaf pans.
I have found after baking this recipe several times that it bakes evenly distributed like this and I get 2 loaves. One for me and one for a friend.
Notice my larger loaf pan on the left is cast iron. I ordered these from Lodge Cookware (Specialist in cast iron) about a year ago when I first began baking this bread. It is a wonderful pan. HEAVY!! But it bakes evenly and browns beautifully!
Let batter rest in pans for 10 minutes at room temperature.
Now we BAKE! 1 hour to 1 hour 5 min. About 40- 50 minutes for small loaf.
Bake for 50 minutes, (check small pan at 40 min if not done recheck at 50 min it will be done....remove it from oven). Gently lay a piece of aluminum foil across top of remaining loaf to prevent over browning.. Bake for an additional 10 - 15 minutes then remove the bread from the oven; a long toothpick or cake teter inserted into the center should come out clean. Yes, as you can see in my oven I made another batch......I had a lot of ripe bananas today and besides it freezes beautifully for those times I need something quick!
Allow loaf to cool for 10 minutes; then remove it from the pan and set on a rack to cool completely
Yield : 1 large loaf or 1 big loaf and a mini loaf---16 - 18 servings(???? not at my house about 12, unless we are hungry!!!)