Monday, August 25, 2008

Simple Banana Bread

Ah, today I did something very unlike me. And it made me happy.

I'm one of those people who loves to use millions of ingredients in her recipes. A little whole wheat flour here, some AP there, and a little graham flour for good measure. Add-ins? Chocolate, raisins, zucchini, banana, applesauce, cherries, blueberries, nuts... And the list (usually) goes on.

And though Tim loves my baking & cooking, sometimes he'll say to me, "Can we just have Bisquick pancakes today?" And then I remember that people actually like simple, basic recipes. And actually prefer them over extravagant, complex ones. Silly me, how hard this is to remember.

(I haven't yet mentioned to Tim that you can in fact still make pancakes from scratch with plain AP flour...that Bisquick really isn't the main ingredient of pancakes...but I'll save that for another day! :) Keeping quiet is one way to get him to make the pancakes...)

So Tim's been in southern Illinois since Thursday, working through the weekend 14 hours a day, & he's tired of it. Today's his last day before he comes home to me, so to make it easier to get through the day, I told him I'd bake him whatever he wants for when he gets home.

He chose banana bread. I immediately thought of all the combos out there...nutella, pb, chocolate, caramel! Then I quickly realized that what he has in mind is probably good ol' plain banana bread. When I ask if he wants anything in it, he answers plain & simple: nuts.

And so, with great difficulty, I created a (nearly) plain loaf of banana bread.

I used the banana bread from Simply Recipes as a base (I still intend to make the delicious looking cake from The Wednesday Chef, but figured I'd stick as close to the simple bread as possible). I halved it because I only had 2 bananas (so sad!) & made very few other changes.

Banana Bread
adapted from Simply Recipes

2 ripe bananas, mashed
2.5 Tbsp melted butter
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 egg, beaten
3/4 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup unbleached AP flour
1/4 cup graham flour
1 tsp instant coffee

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Mix instant coffee & 1/2 tsp hot water, then add to butter. With a wooden spoon, mix butter mixture into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar, egg, and vanilla. Sprinkle the baking soda over the mixture and mix in. Add the flour last, mix. Pour mixture into a buttered mini loaf pan. Bake for 45 minutes. Cool on a rack. Remove from pan and slice to serve.

Ok. Yes. I did add instant coffee. Only a little. Oh, and I did add a little tiny tiny bit of graham flour, which I don't really count. And some cinnamon. See...step in the right direction! :)

It was pretty yummy. Not as moist as I expected it to be, but I did use frozen bananas, & I did allow them to leak all over the counter as they defrosted for far too long. I'll have to try again soon with fresh ones!


VeggieGirl said...

I made banana bread today as well :0) Yours looks scrumptious!

Anonymous said...

...mmm. banana bread is one of favorite quick breads! looks fantastic!

eatme_delicious said...

Yum a perfect treat for Tim to come home to! I used to add a lot of things to my muffins but then I realized I don't really like the combination of too many things (well actually sometimes I do but I guess it depends). So now I usually stick to one nut, one fruit (unless it's a banana baked good and I use applesauce to replace the fat then it would be 3 fruits) and maybe chocolate.

Cookie baker Lynn said...

I'm just the opposite. A long list of ingredients puts me off as it looks too daunting. I gravitate toward short, snappy recipes. The banana bread looks great!

linda said...

Baking will get boring if you make the same thing over and over. I can understand you wanting to add different ingredients to recipes.