Homemade Banana Bread
Here is another of my favorite receipts that my Grandma would recognize as food (see my comments about food for fueling), and that I use for food on the run. I will share a few secrets for this banana bread receipt, but not all. The receipt that I proved below is only a guide for you to make your own delicious banana bread. Feel free to add any extra ingredients that you like to your batter. My friend Neeraj likes to add Chia seed in his banana bread, and I actually like the popping sensation in my mouth from them.
I like to use banana bread on my runs for the potassium that the bananas provide. I really do not like to eat bananas by themselves, and I find that at races the bananas are usually too green to be able to stomach them.
Mix together thoroughly:
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup soft butter
3 Tablespoons sour milk or buttermilk
1 cup mashed bananas
Sift Together and Stir In
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
Speaking of sifting ingredients together, here is a story about my Grandma and how wives tails get started. My Grandma came to the United States from Poland in 1918, just before the Great Depression. She had a lost art where she never used recipes for cooking or baking. My Uncle Chester yearned for some of his childhood favorites and wanted to capture them before my Grandma took them to the grave with her, so he flew her from Ohio to California. My Grandma took her very first plane ride when she was in her early 80’s and went to Los Angeles where my uncle lived. My uncle had her make a bunch of different foods and he would measure the ingredients that she mixed together using nothing but feel. During many of the recipes she sifted the flour up to three times. My uncle asked her why she sifted the flour so much. Was it to make it lighter and fluffier, did it have an effect on how it baked, what was the secret of sifting so many times? My Grandma’s reply, “To get the rat shit out”. Remember, food quality during the depression was not too good. And hence, this is how a wives tail starts about needed to sift the flour three times for the best baking results.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Pour into a well greased 9” x 5” x 3” loaf pan.
Bake until done (people hate when I say this, but that is how I cook and bake; until it’s done). I would start by baking around 40-45 minutes and keep checking every 5 minutes until it is done. Done in this instance is when you can stick a toothpick in the center of the banana bread and it comes out clean (another of my hints).
Here are a few of the secret hints I promised:
#1: Do not crack the eggs directly into the mixer because the eggs could be bad and you might get egg shells in your batter.
#2: If you do get egg shells mixed into the eggs the easiest way to get the egg shell pieces out is by using the cracked eggshell and scoop the pieces out. Don’t use your fingers because it won’t work.
#3: To make sour milk use ½ cup milk and add one tablespoon of vinegar. Let sit for about 15 minutes until the milk becomes clumpy.
#4: I like to use really ripe bananas in my banana bread. The riper the bananas get the higher the sugar content. When the bananas are nice and ripe, I peal them and freeze them. I make a smoothie every morning and use the bananas in them too.
#5 Late in the baking process if the toothpick is still not coming out clean and the banana bread is starting to brown too much on the top, take a piece of aluminum foil with the shiny side facing down. If you put the shiny side facing up it will reflect the heat.