I love to cook. My family loves to eat what I cook. I have a tendency to “improve recipes as I go. I often make notes on cookbook pages to document my changes as you can see in the photo. This one is pretty neat compared Not long ago my kids ask me to actually write down my notes on how I changed a recipe so they could duplicate on their own.
I am posting one of the family favorites – banana bread. The original recipe is from the cookbook that came with my KitchenAid mixer. It is a good recipe, but a little short of spice so I added some cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
Banana bread is a quick bread. This means that the rising comes from the baking powder and baking soda. You make a batter rather than a dough. It also means that you have to avoid over mixing the batter. We mostly think of making banana bread when we have bananas that have started to turn a little brown. A little brown is good. The darker the bananas turn, the more sugar they have so the bread will be a lot sweeter (you can also adjust the sugar if your bananas are really brown).
1/3 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1 3/4 cups sifted all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup mashed over ripe bananas
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
Start by mashing all the bananas you are using to determine how many cups of mashed banana you have to work with. I find that 2-3 bananas equals about one cup depending on ripeness.
I use my KitchenAid mixer for all of the mixing.
Mix the shortening and the sugar on a slow speed for about a minute. Stop and scrape and continue to beat until the mixture is light and fluffy.
While the shortening and sugar are mixing combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Be exact with the measurements for the baking powder, baking soda and salt. This is chemistry after all. Adjust the spices to your taste. I tend to be very generous with the cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
Add half of the flour mixture and half of the mashed bananas to the mixing bowl and mix just until the flour is moistened. Add the remaining flour mixture and mashed bananas and mix until blended, but do not over mix. Mixing for about 30 seconds should be adequate. Stop and give the batter a good stir with a sturdy spoon.
Pour the batter into a greased and floured loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes. Remove from pan and cool.
Thick slices that are still slightly warm are the best! Yum!