9/24/14

Homemade, Moist Banana Nut Bread w/ cereal flakes too!




Last night I was almost ready to call it a night and go read for a bit before heading to bed.  But the smell of ripe banana's was in the air and the 4 over ripe bananas in the fruit bowl were asking me to 'do' something with them.

Normally I simply grab them, pop them into a ziplock bag and pop them into the freezer to make something out of at a later date... except I already had 6 of them in the freezer!  No, I needed to make something.  While I intended on making muffins, I was too lazy and it was 9:00 pm so I opted for banana bread.

I don't really know why I didn't grab the binder where I keep my favorite banana bread recipe.  Instead, I sat on the kitchen floor in front of the pantry where I keep about 55 or 60 of my cookbooks and I started to thumb through some old 'church lady' cookbooks. The first one I grabbed was published right around 1939-1940 in a small church in Northern Minnesota.  A second one I grabbed is a more recent one, published in 2000 from a group in Northern Iowa.  In just these two cookbooks, I shook my head and laughed to see there was no less than twelve (12) recipes for banana bread in these two books alone.  I briefly wondered how many recipes for banana bread I have in all my collection of books, hand written recipe cards, magazines, ripped out pages, photo copies, my Grandmother's old cookbooks, hand written notebooks and more.  The number is probably staggering.

Now, since I usually cook everything from 'scratch' that means I don't actually use recipes.  I often will take 3 or 4 recipes of a certain style or type of dish and then I just start 'cooking from scratch'.  To me, a recipe is more like a general idea or something to help me brainstorm.  So last nights banana bread recipes ended up being used to brainstorm amounts for the flour, baking powder, eggs and butter but everything else was by me thinking what sounded good, or doing taste testing and deciding to add some things.  It turned out AMAZING but since it isn't actually a recipe, I decided I had better post it to my online files so my kids could make it if they wish, or if I wanted to make it again and see what I did!  Ha.  Amounts are pretty much guesstimates - just taste the batter and see if you want to add more or less of something.  It's that simple.

Banana Bread

2 c flour
1/2 baking soda
1 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
4-5 mashed, really ripe bananas
2 1/2 cups cereal with flakes;  I used Grape Nut Flakes
1/4 c hot water
2 eggs
1/2 c butter, soft
1 c granulated sugar
1/4 c brown sugar
1 t vanilla
1 t lemon juice
1/2 t cinnamon
1 c pecans, roughly chopped

Mix the bananas, hot water and the cereal together and let them sit for a couple minutes to soften.  Add the eggs, butter and sugar, vanilla and lemon juice and mix.  Add the final dry ingredients; flour, soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nuts.  Stir till blended.  Pour into a greased or parchment lined loaf pan.  Bake approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes until done.  Start testing the center at 1 hour with a knife to see if the center is done yet.  The pan you use and your own oven will determine if you need another 15 minutes.  You can cover the top with foil if it's starting to get too brown.  Let cool complete.  Turn out of the pan.  Wrap in foil and refrigerate overnight.  This improves taste and texture of quick breads!






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