There are several posts I've not gotten around to writing for some reason or another. Around Christmas, I'd meant to post my recipe for banana bread but never did; I suppose I was too busy making the banana nut breads.
Regardless, Claudia's post about her banana bread reminded me that I needed to get it written, though I typically associate banana bread with Christmas...because I usually bake them to give away as gifts (I'm a big fan of the consumable gift). In fact, the bread pictured was one I baked for Jag (note the festive green Saran Wrap).
Generally speaking, I bow in deference to Claudia's culinary expertise, but I have to disagree with her with regard to one element of her recipe--the sour cream. Claudia, your Yankee is showing. Also, though I personally love putting chocolate chips in my banana bread, my mother and most of her family would frown upon the addition. Nuts, yes. Chocolate, no. Banana bread isn't dessert, after all. It's breakfast!
So, my recipe:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 large overripe bananas (easier to mash)
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups flour (I use whole wheat flour)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts)--optional
1/2 cup chocolate chips--optional
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon or nutmeg--optional
Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Add salt. Place peeled bananas in a medium bowl, add soda and mash. Combine the mashed bananas into the first mixture. Add vanilla, flour and optional ingredients and mix well. Bake in a greased and floured loaf pan (a large one or two-three small ones) at 350 degrees for one hour. Check for doneness with a toothpick (should come out clean from the center of the bread).
I think the sour cream probably makes Claudia's bread a little moister and likely not as sweet than my bread (I'd think the sour cream would add a tang that cuts the sweetness), though the extra butter in mine makes it a little richer, most likely and the extra egg and all wheat flour a little denser. When I get a wild hair, I add the cinnamon or nutmeg. It just depends on my mood. The nutmeg makes it that much more Christmas-y to me. I've also made the bread with Smart Balance and egg whites and it was just as good, so if you're watching your cholesterol, that's something to think about.
So, I'm not saying my bread is better than Claudia's (I dare not go head-to-head in competition...unless it's an all Southern panel of judges who have heads full of filled cavities), but I like it. Hmm...I need to swing by Harris Teeter and see if they've got any overripe bananas on sale, now that I think about it.
Side note: a certain local establishment has been making banana muffins with raisins. I like bananas. I like raisins. But bananas and raisins don't go together. Stop the madness--no banana raisin muffins!