Sunday, March 11, 2012

Quick, Easy, No-mess Banana Bread!

Sorry I did not get to post last weekend or yesterday, things have been busy!  Last weekend my sister and her boyfriend came to visit, there will be a future post about that as soon as I have pictures up!  And this weekend Thomas and I had a full weekend with friends playing games, going to a potluck, and going to a winery to do wine tasting today!  But on to my post for today.

I have found a love, and a knack, for baking since I moved to PA.  I like to share what I bake with other people (labmates, friends, whoever will eat what I bake).  There's something I really enjoy about looking at a recipe, changing the heck out of it (yup, I am one of those people), and then giving it a whirl.  The first thing I learned to make is banana bread.  The first step in baking/cooking is this...fill your sink with hot soapy water and put all your dishes that have not been done in it!

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees (by the time you get used to this recipe you will be done mixing ingredients before your oven is at temperature!).

Line a loaf pan with aluminum foil (great because you do not have to clean the loaf pan and you have a wrapping for your loaf when it is done!).

Next, have a recipe to work from (if you're that kind of person-I only write down recipes once I have doctored them and am happy with the result).

Gather all your ingredients and utensils (as you finish with dishes, measuring cups, bowls, etc. just drop them in the sinkful of soapy water).

Wet ingredients
Dry ingredients
Then I toss the butter in a largish mixing bowl and microwave it to soften it (it is so much easier than waiting and I think it gives the bread a better texture).  After the butter is liquid (usually 1.5 minutes in the microwave will do it), put in the bananas and smash with a potato masher, add the eggs and sugar and mix well.

This is what it should look like.
Next put all your dry ingredients in a separate bowl and then mix them well.  Then gradually add your dry mixture to the wet and stir until well-blended.  Then add whatever extras you like: I like semisweet chocolate chips (one of my friends made it with espresso-chocolate chips and walnuts and it was amazing).

Almost there!
Pour the batter into your loaf pan and put it in the oven for about an hour!  Check to make sure it is done by putting a toothpick in the center and seeing if it comes out clean.

Makes the house smell delicious!
While the bread is baking wash the dishes from mixing (and any others you had lying around) and scrub down your sink!  I guarantee you will be done with this in a few minutes.  Overall, it takes me less than half an hour to mix and pour ingredients and wash all the dishes (even if there were some from before).
Nothing better than no dishes and a clean, shiny sink as you wait for your banana bread!
 What about you?  What is your favorite quick item to bake?  Do you generally bake for yourself or to share with others?

1 comment:

  1. I love baking, but I don't get to bake a lot right now because I can't pawn it off on others very often. (I've tried pawning it off on coworkers, but they won't take enough of it.) I love baking pies... I think I'm pretty good at them. So I'll do a quiche every few weeks for half a weeks' lunches and dinners.

    I love a good banana bread, though! I usually don't put chocolate chips in it (often don't have them when I'm baking banana bread) but I'll add in raisins or any other dried fruit I have in the cupboard. Dried dates are pretty good. I like banana bread really moist though (that's how my family always made it) although some of my roommates prefer it very dry.