Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Alton Brown's Banana Bread

Here at SFW, the students get three delicious meals a day. Lunch and dinner are always served with a side of fruit. But not all the fruit gets eaten and not all the fruit is unblemished and edible. So I always have my eye on those neglected pieces so that I can transform them into something delicious. Last week, the second year students kidnapped the remaining box of apples and I turned it into Apple Crumble Pie. When one of the girls had another craving for banana, she dutifully nabbed all the brown bananas and I turned it into this homey Banana Bread, a recipe from my guru's I'm Just Here for More Food (Baking). Brown's version calls for two things I've never before seen called for in such a recipe: almond extract and oat flour. I just ground some quick cooking oats in a food processor as I had no flour on hand. The almond extract wasnt noticeable at all but I suppose it was meant to heighten the flavor of the bananas. It did a good job at that because this banana bread was one of the best I've ever had- moist and tender with a clean and unadulterated banana flavor. I omitted the nuts and requisite chocolate as to allow the banana to shine. This fared so well with the girls that it was finished before a plate of Brownie Shortbread Bars. Whoever picks banana over chocolate?! Go figure. In an effort to be healthier, I substituted oil for the margarine.

Banana Bread
adapted from Alton Brown

340 grams overripe bananas
210 grams sugar
220 grams flour
35 grams oat flour, or quick cookings oats ground in a food processor
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
113 grams oil
2 eggs
1 tsp almond extract

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan. Set aside.
In a bowl, place all of the dry ingredients. Whisk and set aside.
Place the bananas and sugar in a bowl.
Mash and mix until evenly mashed and mixed. I use a plastic sandwich bag to cover my hand while doing this job.
Add the eggs, extract and oil.
Add the dry ingredients,
and gently mix until combined. Do not overmix! You need a light touch here.
Pour the batter into the pan.
Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a thermometer registers 210 degrees. Allow to cool fifteen minutes before depanning. Cool on rack.
Slice, plate and serve!

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