Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Baking 101-Banana Bread

Listening: Adam Rogers: “Allegory”

“Dad? Where’s the banana bread recipe?”
“I have it with me at work.”
“I wanted to make some today and I couldn’t find it when I looked for it.”

Wasn’t I supposed to be putting recipes here for my daughters?
No better time to kick off  “Baking 101 “

This first recipe, for banana bread, is as simple as it gets. It’s referred to as a “quick” bread which means it doesn’t use yeast and require a rising time so making it, therefore, is “quick.” It can be made with a mixer or by hand. The hardest part of the recipe is mashing the bananas. The recipe uses bananas that have over-ripened and turned brown and are too soft to eat although it can be made with any ripe banana. And don’t worry about the size of the bananas; it will work.
This recipe is my response to the many people who claim that they “can’t bake.”
You can add 1 cup chocolate chips or 1 cup walnuts, or ½ pint blueberries.  It’s great toasted for breakfast or turn it into French toast
Easy. Simple. Enjoy. (This one’s for you, Roo.)

Banana Bread
For one loaf 9”x5”x3”                                                      

2 ripe bananas
¾ cup sugar
4  Grade A large eggs
6 Tablespoons water
6 Tablespoons vegetable oil (such as canola)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. If the pan is not a non-stick pan, lightly butter the bottom and sides of the pan or spray with cooking spray. (You could also line the bottom and sides of the baking pan with a piece of parchment paper but this is optional).
2. Peel the bananas and place them into a bowl. Add the sugar and mix until the mixture is smooth. It’s fine if there are small lumps of banana. Mix in the eggs, one at a time until blended. Add the water, oil, salt, and vanilla, mixing until incorporated. Add the flour and baking powder; stir until the batter is smooth. Lastly mix in the chocolate chips, walnuts, or blueberries if using. If you are using chocolate chips or blueberries, toss them in a little bit of flour before adding them to the batter. It will prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the loaf.
3. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Place pan into the oven and bake for 50 to 55 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center of the banana bread should come out clean; if not bake for several minutes longer. Remove banana bread from oven and let cool before removing it from the pan. Slice, savor, and bask in your accomplishment.

The jazz world seems to be awash with spectacular younger players and Rogers is one such player. A student of jazz as well as classical guitar, he’s a polished technician of dancing, skittering post bop melodies. As well as leading his own sessions he has appeared on over 200 recordings.

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