Rain, rain go away.
Actually, I don’t mind the rain. Rainy days here in Arizona are not like the ones I’m used to back in Kentucky. Don’t get me wrong, it has rained HARD today. But not enough to say it’s rained “cats & dogs” – which is what I would say of a typical Kentucky rain. With that said, it has flooded the roads and kept me inside today. So what to do, what to do. Bake of course!
(Wait, I lie…my first thought was to curl up on the couch and watch movies all day. I got Little Bear to school safely, so why not. Right?)
Generally speaking, we go through a lot of bananas at our house. Between Mr. O taking one for breakfast EVERY morning and Little Bear needing a banana for lunch, a bunch of 6 bananas might last half a week. This week though, they were forgotten and on the verge of spoiling. (I internally jump for joy! It’s been 4 long months since I’ve had my fix of warm, moist banana bread. And with NO ONE touching the speckled brown fruit, I knew this was my chance.)
I grew up eating my Granny’s banana bread; hands down, the best ever. But, I had never been able to find a recipe that was comparable in taste or consistency. After searching for what seemed like an eternity, I stumbled upon this. I was amazed! The recipe didn’t call for vanilla or other things that I knew my Granny hadn’t used in hers. And now, this is my absolute favorite version of Banana Bread. (Please don’t tell Granny.)
Here’s how I do it…
First, preheat the oven and then get the lemon juice in the milk so it can be doin’ it’s thing. I used about half a lemon to get what I needed but some lemons are juicier than others so use your best judgement as to how much you need. The lemon and milk mixture replaces buttermilk in this recipe. Which honestly, I don’t mind because I never seem to have buttermilk when I need it.
This step is optional. If you don’t like nuts or have someone in your family that is sensitive to nuts, by all means, leave them out. I use walnuts when making banana bread. I prefer their texture and taste to say, something like a pecan. But again, do whatever you like. I also toast the nuts in a dry skillet first. You don’t have to do this but it definitely brings our their flavor more if you do.
Okay, this is where I differ from the original recipe a little. I sift together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. The original says to measure your flour before you sift. But, I believe that as long as you go easy on your measurements – meaning don’t make them 100% full – the texture and denseness of the bread will be fine. Set that aside.
In a mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until pale and a little fluffy looking. This took me about 2-3 minutes on medium-high speed. Don’t panic if it takes yours longer to come together. I’m a firm believer that the “room temperature” your butter is, really affects how long this takes. For example, my room temperature might be significantly higher than your’s, or vice versa.
Make sure you turn down the mixture to low before adding the eggs. It’s best if they are room temperature. (Yes, I used my measuring cups to hold my eggs. Don’t judge me. I see no need in dirtying more dishes that necessary and I had already finished measuring out my dry ingredients.) After the eggs are incorporated, add your bananas.
Don’t freak! This curdled mixture, this is how it is supposed to look. Just keep going, you will feel better about it. I promise. If not, please do not send me your therapy bills. Begin adding flour and milk, alternately.
I completely stop my mixer before adding the flour. (Too many mistakes here in my past; it’s embarrassing.) I find my mix does best when I add about a cup of flour at a time, mix on low, then add about 1/4 cup or so of milk, and mix again. Repeat. You want to end up with flour being added last. (Don’t ask me “why”, it just works better that way.) Just make sure you incorporate well each time you add in.
Pour it all into a greased loaf pan and pop ‘er in the oven. Bake for 1 hour at 350° F. I will check mine about 45 minutes in or so. Just to make sure it’s not browning too much one does. If it is, I just give the pan a quick 180°.
Here’s a printable version Banana Bread