This is a quick check-in today with a note on banana bread. Like lots of sweet staples, I am sure you have your own favorite recipe. In the last couple of weeks, Mari and I have baked more than a few mini loaves, and have some reporting to share.
First, we baked up my great grandma's recipe, which was the same recipe we used for Mari's first birthday cupcakes. It's simple and on an early morning with a few really ripe bananas, it's so easy. So easy, in fact, Mari helped me mix the dry ingredients (really, she loves the whisk) and by the time we were ready for a mid-morning snack, we ate it warm, straight out of the oven.
Regarding baking times, here's the update: For Mari's party, we baked cupcakes, which are generally shorter on baking time than your average loaf. I always opt for mini loaf pans, and with this recipe, you will yield four mini loaves, for which I recommend a 30-to-35-minute baking time, or until a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean after inserted in the middle of the loaf.
Last weekend, we tried the Barefoot Contessa's old fashioned banana cake and wow. Is it good and kept so moist with sour cream. It's a departure, though, for banana bread traditionalists, with some flecks of orange zest. So, there's a bit of a zing, which I welcomed but some people, like my husband, prefer to go without. Either way, it would make a lovely, lovely layer cake, which already has me thinking about Mari's second birthday. In July.
We again made mini loaves with The BC's recipe, which yielded three. Cooking time of 50 minutes was right on.
If you don't scarf down a loaf a day, both breads freeze beautifully when wrapped tightly with a couple of layers of plastic wrap (maybe inside a zippered plastic storage bag for for an extra good seal, though I usually tend to overdue things in the plastic department - something to work on for 2013). Enjoy!
PS: loaf pans of all sizes are hard for me to grab with oven mitts. I line them up on rimmed baking sheets for easy in/out of the oven.