When I open my freezer door and little black sub-tropical sickles of pain start falling out I know it’s time to make some banana bread. It’s that same old story, you’ve heard ten times. We love bananas, so we buy lots of bananas. But after we eat one banana, we forget about bananas. Then other bananas start breeding fruit flies and we remember bananas. Then we put bananas in freezer door and forget about bananas again. Until bananas knock out curious kitchen cat when we open freezer door. It’s a vicious cycle, but there are a couple of positive byproducts (besides those of fruit flies and shame) banana bread and joy.
Banana Bread with Walnuts and Chocolate Chips Recipe (and maybe a couple frozen fruit flies)
10 ct ripe, previously frozen bananas (about 4 cups total)
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
1 cup melted butter
4 ct eggs, 7-8 fluid ounces
1 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
2-3 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)
Step 1. – Thaw the bananas by leaving them on a cookie sheet on the counter for 2-3 hours. Save the juices that come out of the bananas, they have lots of banana flavor. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. To start the banana bread mix together the melted butter and the brown sugar in a bowl with a wire whisk until well combined. Then mix in the eggs and vanilla, also until well combined. Meanwhile in another bowl mix together the all purpose flour, salt and baking soda. You can sift it with a sifter or just whisk it really well to combine it evenly. Next add the banana mush to the egg, sugar, and butter bowl. Squeeze the banana peel to get as much of the liquid out as you can. Watch out for squirts from the banana peel, try to squeegee it from one side to the other. Mix the banana pulp into the batter until combined pretty well. Then slowly begin to mix in the flour mixture until it is all thoroughly incorporated. If you want to add some walnuts, pecans, or chocolate chips to your banana bread, do so now.
Step 2. – Spray some loaf pans with a bit of cooking spray. Add a little all-purpose flour and shake the pans to coat all surfaces evenly. Dump out any excess flour. Use a portion scoop or scale and evenly distribute batter between the pans. This recipe made 3 loaves at 8 x 4 x 4, which is 8 inches long, 4 inches tall, and 4 inches wide. Place your sprayed and floured loaf pans on a cookie sheet with a bit of room between them for air to move. Once the oven is up to heat place the pan with the loaves on it in the middle rack of the oven (2 or 3 rungs from the bottom). Close the door to the oven and set a timer for 60 minutes.
Step 3. – After cooking for 60 minutes remove the loaves from the oven and check them by poking them with a skewer. Once the skewer comes out clean the banana bread is done. Mine took an aditional 15 minutes of baking before they were done. Once done, let them cool in their loaf pans for 20 minutes on a wire rack. Then carefully remove the banana bread from the pans and lay then on the wire rack to cool for 2-3 hours before you wrap them up for storage. You will be able to cut into a loaf after they have been out of the oven for 30 minutes.
*Tip. – To save room in your freezer you can thaw your frozen bananas and put the pulp into a Tupperware and then put that back in the freezer.