Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Rerun: Banana Bread

So, I'm repeating here, but it's worth it.
Last year I posted this banana bread recipe by Molly (of Orangette) and I've been making it ever since. If I'm in the mood to bake, this has been my go-to: it's easy, fast, and such a crowd pleaser.
Some people think baking is really precious and scientific, and while I wouldn't recommend swapping baking soda for powder, a bit of latitude is okay where flavour is concerned. I've added Mayan chocolate (spicy!) and have experimented with different ratios of oil and honey. I've tossed in nutmeg and allspice. Try applesauce instead of honey or perhaps some chopped nuts on top instead of the cinnamon crumble. Have at it!

As a matter of fact, I'm burning some home fragrance oil (lemon basil!) and the smell of the bread baking and the oil burning is really working for me. Perhaps some candied lemon or ginger would be good in this bread. Next time!

Don't be shy about making a recipe your own. What's the worst that could happen? Nothing with this much sugar could taste bad, right?

Banana Bread with Cinnamon Crumble Topping
(as adapted by Molly of Orangette from Bon App├ętit, September 2008)

For the bread:
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 cup mashed ripe banana (about 3 medium bananas)
2 large eggs
½ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup honey
¼ cup water

For topping:
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2½ Tbsp. packed dark brown sugar

Preheat to 350°F.
Spray your 9x5 inch pan lightly and line with parchment.

In a medium bowl whisk together your dry ingredients. In another bowl whisk together the wet. Mix the dry into the wet. In a small bowl mix together your topping components. Pour and scrape the batter into the loaf pan lined with parchment. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the batter. Bake until a tester comes out clean. (It took one hour in my oven.) Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack before slicing.

Today I made two and simply doubled the recipe and divided the batter into two pans. Again, some die-hard bakers might object to this, but not me.