Monday, June 25, 2012

My Kind of Golden Rectangle

I finally added a "one-bowler" tag to my blog entries.


A one-bowler means I only wash one bowl and one pan. (This is my favorite loaf pan.) Pair that with my recent food scale habit (tare the bowl, spoon out flour, tare it, spoon out sugar--no measuring cups!) and I have a fast loaf

I've not always been a banana bread fan, but this one won me over with its not-too-sweet inside and a crisp crust. Bittersweet chocolate chips help, of course. Sometimes I throw in a half of a cup of walnuts if I'm feeling virtuous and in need of some omega-3s, so if you dig that, go for it. 

Unless you purposefully buy a bunch of bananas destined exclusively for baking, you may not amass three or four very ripe bananas. Sometimes I deliberately let mine hang out on the countertop until their peels are speckled with brown spots, but often I don't have enough elderly bananas to make a whole loaf. What am I going to do with one banana? FREEZE IT. Peel it and throw it in a freezer bag, and hoard a small collection of bananas until you have three or four stashed away. You can just toss them into the freezer still in their peels, but you'll pay for laziness when you unpeel slimy, gross bananas. Trust me on this. Peel before freezing.

This one tastes better on the second day, so if you can plan ahead that far, do so! 


Banana Bread
Adapted from Epicurious

3 to 4 ripe bananas
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) melted butter
1 egg
1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups (187 grams) all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup chocolate chips (or 1 cup...whatever)

Preheat the oven to 350 and spray or butter a loaf pan.

Mash bananas in a large bowl. (A potato masher works wonderfully for this.) Melt the butter in a small microwaveable bowl or glass, then add the egg to the bowl and whisk with a fork. Add to the banana mash and mix with a rubber spatula.

Add the sugar, flour, salt, and baking soda to the bowl, mixing until just combined.  Then mix in the chocolate chips, and nuts if you'd like--walnuts are particularly well-suited to this bread. 

Pour the batter into the pan and smooth the top with the spatula. Sprinkle some raw sugar or sanding sugar on the top of the batter for a nice crackly crust. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, not counting gooey chocolate bits. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes or so, then continue cooling on a wire rack. Wrapped in plastic wrap, it keeps well for three days or so.