Chances are, if you have a relative that enjoys cooking, they make Banana Bread. Why? Well, because it is delicious, for one thing. And it provides a use for bunches of bananas that have gotten a little too ripe sitting there on the counter (other than being blended into a fruit smoothie). Besides, according to Punchbowl.com, February 23 is National Banana Bread Day. So grab those ripe bananas or head over to the grocery store and buy a bunch. It's time to make a loaf.
Banana Bread has been around for awhile and was undoubtedly produced with traditional yeast-leavened dough prior to the advent of baking soda. But baking soda, which is a far speedier method of leavening, made it possible to produce quick breads, which most modern Banana Bread recipes fall under. The oldest known formal recipe for Banana Bread, a creation of Mary Ellis Ames, appeared in the 1933 Pillsbury "Balanced Recipes" cookbook. The sweet bread became even more popular with the rise in popular appeal of the Chiquita banana brand and the company's successful 1950 "Chiquita Banana Recipes Book."
But Banana Bread isn't just a quick bread, making it is relatively quick and easy as well. Preparing the bread batter only takes a few minutes.
Banana Bread Recipe
3-4 Bananas (mashed)
1 cup White Sugar
1/4 cup Melted Butter
1 1/2 cups All-purpose Flour
1 tsp Vanilla
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
Preparation: Mix all of the ingredients and pour into a greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour. Let cool, slice, and serve.
Suggestions: Adding chocolate chips to the mix is also very popular. And if one wants an Elvis Presley version of the loaf (you know, Peanut Butter Banana Bread), JoyTheBaker.com has a great recipe for that food adventure as well.
See? Simple, easy, and quick. What's that? Having to wait over an hour to get a piece of Banana Bread is not all that "quick?" Maybe not, but it sure is quicker than having to wait about an hour to 90 minutes for yeasted dough to rise, punch it down, mix your Banana Bread ingredients (without the baking soda), and then let the loaf rise again for another 45 minutes -- before cooking it. Yeah, "quick" might be relative but in our case, it knocks off quite a bit of overall time. (Let's say a couple of hours.)
So, let's hear it for quick breads and our hero of the day. And have a great National Banana Bread Day.
(photo credit: brandi sims, Creative Commons)