Sunday, March 16, 2008

Banana Walnut bread

During this past week, I made this banana walnut bread, which is one of my staple baking recipes. I always make some banana bread when I have a few overripe bananas on hand. By now, I've got the recipe practically memorized. In fact, I made this so quickly that I forgot to take pictures until the thing was already in the oven.

Like so:

This one has chopped walnuts, but I like to toss in whatever I happen to have on hand. Shredded coconut, chopped pecans, chocolate chips -- this bread works well with any of them.

One key to baking loaves like these is to turn them in the oven every so often. I know that my oven doesn't bake evenly, so when there's about 20 minutes left on the timer (this loaf takes about an hour), I give it a 90 degree turn every 8 minutes or so. That way, it's evenly browned and cooked on every side.

Remember to test the bread with a toothpick for doneness! (Try a couple of spots on the loaf. If you happen to hit a chunk of banana, it might trick you into thinking the loaf is not done.)

I think of banana bread as the all-purpose baked good. You can cut down the sugar and make it a more breakfasty item -- it's excellent toasted, with some sweet cream butter. Or, dust some powdered sugar on top, and serve a thin slice warm with vanilla ice cream. A great dessert!

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