Sunday, August 28, 2011

Banana Bread

Today I made banana bread.  It has been so hot lately that it seems like almost as soon as I get the bananas home from the store, they start to turn brown.  Yes, I know they're still fine to eat, but I don't really want to. However - they are soon to be perfect for banana bread. The browner and gooey they get, the better.  So whichever ones I choose not to eat and save, I stick in the fridge so hubby doesn't eat them and I can make the bread whenever I choose (and so they don't get so gooey so quickly that I just have to get rid of them).

I have been making variations on banana bread since we arrived.  When hubby has to drive somewhere on a business trip, I'll make him a loaf to take along since it's great hot or cold or anywhere in between.  He likes them with chocolate chips.  For any variation, you make the basic recipe and then add your chosen variation after it is all mixed up.  Chocolate chips, blueberries, anything you think would be good.

This time I am using all Swiss found items (you need baking soda and vanilla)  The vanilla I actually made (so please don't think I'm adding vodka to the banana bread...though maybe it'd turn out like rum cake?)
To make vanilla,you need about 2 months before it actually will taste right. I made mine about a year ago.

Buy a cheap bottle of rum/vodka (mine was 14 chf from and buy some vanilla beans - available at Coop or Migros.
Put the beans in the bottle and put it in a cool dark place for about 2 months (cupboard). Every two weeks or so, tip the bottle over once or twice and put it back.
You can pour some into smaller bottles and just refill the main one with more rum/vodka.
These would make nice little gifts for your friends that cook as well.

What you need for the banana bread:

1 large egg
3 large overripe bananas (you can get away with 2)
1/3 c vegetable oil (Sonnenblumen├Âl)
1 cup sugar  (250g Zucker)
2 cups flour (500g Mehl)
1 tsp salt (Salz)
1 packet (5g) Natron - (if using baking soda, 1 tsp) - Coop or Migros
1 tsp vanilla
optional: 1 small bag chocolate chips (schokoladenw├╝rfel)

Mix flour, salt and soda into a separate bowl.  
Using a fork, mash up the bananas into small pieces and then add the egg, oil and sugar and mix until well blended. Add the vanilla. Add in the flour mixture 1/4 cup at a time until well mixed. 
Add your chocolate chips or blueberries (or whatever else you would like). Fold in gently.

I use this liquid butter from Migros instead of baking spray - which you can get for about 5 chf for a small can.  I save that for making waffles. This liquid works well - just grease the pan with a paper towel.  You could also use real butter or crisco (or the like) if you have some on hand.

Pour the mixture into a loaf pan and bake at 180C (350F) for about 60-70 minutes.  Closer to the 70 if you have added anything else into the bread.
When the time is up, insert a toothpick into the deepest part. If it comes out clean, your bread is ready.  (Be careful if you have added something that if you pull out your toothpick it is just not coated in melted chocolate).

Place the loaf pan on its side to cool for about 10 minutes.  Put a plate or cutting board on top of the bread to turn over and gently tap the bottom to help loosen it.  Either enjoy immediately or once completely cool, place in a sealing bag and put in the fridge.  Enjoy.

Today I made chocolate chip banana muffins. Make them the same as for the loaf but they cook for about 35-40 minutes.  Start checking on them at 30 minutes in.  If you make them without the chocolate chips, they will require slightly less time.