Banana Bread Now

Banana bread is just one of those things… I’m always making it (there’s just not much else to do with an overripe banana), but I’m always looking for a new recipe. On our first, blind, date (a hike on Mt Tamalpais), I impressed Tony with an orange-flavored banana bread. Then for a while I was making it with mini chocolate chips. Recently, I spotted a recipe in The Baker’s Dozen cookbook and had to give it a try. It’s good, although I knew that with all that butter and sugar, it wouldn’t make it into the repertoire without some changes. So I give you the original (very decadent and delicious), and my revised version (just as delicious, slightly less decadent). The recipe makes 2 loaves, but is easily halved.

Kona Inn Banana Bread

4-6 ripe bananas (about 2 cups, mashed)
2 1/2 c flour (I used 1 c white, 1 c whole wheat, and 1/2 c wheat germ)
2 t baking soda
1 t salt
2 c sugar (I used 1 1/2 c brown sugar
1 c shortening (I used butter, and will try reducing that next)
4 eggs
1 c chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 and grease 2 8″ x 4″ loaf pans.

Mash the bananas in a medium bowl until pretty smooth.

Whisk the flour(s), baking soda, and salt into another bowl.

Using the flat whisk in a stand mixer, mix the sugar and butter well to make a stiff paste (you can also do this by hand, of course). Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in the mashed banana. Stir in the walnuts, if using (don’t worry if the batter looks curdled). Now add the flour mixture and stir until just blended (don’t overmix or worry about a few lumps). Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pans.

Bake until a skewer comes out clean, about 45 minutes to an hour. Cool on racks in the baking pans for 10 minutes, then remove from the pans and cool completely.

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