Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Banana Bread for All

Truth be told, I'm not a big fan of banana bread. This is only because of my aversion to bananas, which is not entirely uncommon, as I've found many people with the same dislike. But still, I do enjoy the smell of bananas in the same way that I love the aroma of coffee, but I find the drink itself slightly revolting. Following this logic, it makes little to no sense as to why I would bake a loaf of banana bread, but that is something I did over the weekend. To be fair, the bread was for someone else, so I'm not simply baking desserts that I have no desire to eat (the list of these desserts is very, very short anyhow).

But there were a few things that I very much liked about this bread, without even having sampled it: mashing bananas is quite fun, and the texture that I hate to eat becomes more than tolerable when it's in my hands. Also, the scent of baking bread is enhanced by the addition of banana. And thirdly, this loaf bakes up so large and dense that it would be perfect for potlucks, gifts, or easily feeding a larger group with something substantial.

This bread, so my taste tester told me, turned out dense and was very filling, but was hardly too sweet; in fact, a tablespoon of honey on a cooled slice only improved the bread.

Banana Loaf Cake


2 ½ c. unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
3 large egg whites
½ c. granulated sugar
½ c. dark brown sugar, firmly packed
3 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 ½ c. mashed bananas (about 5 large, very large bananas, mashed, then measured)


Spray a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan and coat with fine, dry bread crumbs and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites about two minutes, then whisk in the granulated and brown sugars.
Whisk in the butter and vanilla, followed by the mashed bananas.
Shift the flour mixture over the banana mixture and thoroughly fold it in. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 55-65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center emerges clean.
Cool the cake in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes then remove from the pan to cool completely.

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