Banana Bread

My #1 taste tester...

Passing up a .99 cent bag of bananas is impossible for me, so when I see one at my local grocery store it is time to make banana bread.  And banana smoothies and banana peanut butter sandwiches and banana pancakes… but we will just start with the bread.
I love banana bread because it lends itself to multiple variations (translation – making something out of what you have on hand).  The basic recipe I use is one I created while living in Indonesia where the bananas were plentiful but other ingredients were sometimes difficult to find.

Indonesian Banana Bread
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup oil (olive, canola, coconut)
2 eggs
3-5 mashed bananas
1/3 cup water (or 1/3 cup plain yogurt)
1 2/3 cup flour (white, whole wheat, spelt)
2/3 cup something interesting (flax meal, buckwheat flour, brown rice flour, oatmeal, bran, protein powder)
2 teaspoons cinnamon (if you like it)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat oven to 350º.  In a large mixing bowl, cream wet ingredients.  Mix dry ingredients in another bowl (or just dump them all on top of the wet ingredients and stir them around a bit before mixing into the wet ingredients – my cheat for the day).  Mix wet and dry ingredients until lumps are gone, do not over mix.

Pour into a greased, 9×11 pan or 2 loaf pans or square/round cake pans or muffin cups.  Bake cake/muffin style 25-35 minutes, loaf style 35-50 minutes.  Test for doneness with a toothpick.

I like making the bread in cake pans because it cooks faster with a more even texture.  I always feel that breads like this in loaf pans get too done on the outside and the middle can be undercooked.

This recipe can be easily doubled and the bread/cake/muffins freeze very well.  If I am going to get a bowl dirty, may as well make something to enjoy at another time.

When making a large batch, I use a variety of pan sizes and just check the bread at 5 minute intervals if I am not sure when they will be done.  Also you can make a basic bread and pour some into 1 pan and then add something different and put that into another pan.  The same double batch of bread can make 4 different loaves/cakes!

"Easter Bunny Bread"

The Ultimate Sacrifice

So when looking to add something interesting to that last bit of banana bread batter, I saw a flash of gold on the top shelf of my cupboard.  Hmmm, it was the chocolate Easter bunny I had hidden from myself many months ago.  With some swift chopping skills, the boys had that bunny butchered and added to the bread in no time.  Oh, more bunnies will be added to banana bread at our house.  Great result, thanks, Mr. Bunny for making the “ultimate sacrifice!”

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