Twice in the past year I’ve been given free bananas. Once I received bananas that were left over after a weekend race for charity. I must have had a dozen and one-half bananas sitting on my countertop turning black ripening. I couldn’t possibly eat that many bananas and I didn’t want to throw them away, so I decided to figure out how to make banana bread. And I did, I just didn’t publish the recipe at that time.
On Sunday my 84 year old neighbor “Bucky” told me that someone had given him a big bunch of bananas and asked me to take some. I immediately thought of making banana bread, so I took home some really ripe bananas.
Here is what you need to make one 5” x 9” loaf:
3 medium bananas, pealed and mashed
1 cup of whole wheat flour
1 cup of plain flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp cinnamon
½ cup plain sugar
½cup (1 stick) butter-cut into 1/8” slices
2 eggs—lightly beaten
½ cup walnuts-diced
½ cup currants (small raisins)
½ cup dried apricots, diced
2 tbsp brandy
First toss your butter out on the counter and let it warm up to room temperature. Turn on your oven and preheat it to 350 degrees. Grease the sides and bottom of your 9” x 5” loaf pan with butter.
While your butter is warming, mix together the whole wheat flour, the plain flour, the baking powder, baking soda, the salt, and the spices in a medium mixing bowl.
Peal your bananas in a small bowl and mash them up real good with a fork.
Put your walnuts, currants, and diced apricots in a small bowl and drizzle the brandy over them.
Redneck Tip: You can skip this step if you don't have any brandy, but it adds a subtle flavor to the finished bread that I like. Heck, if you like brandy, use a little more if you want.
Once your butter has warmed up, put your sugar in a separate mixing bowl, and add the butter slices. Now cream your butter and sugar together with an electric mixer.
Now add your eggs and whip with the mixer until fluffy, then start adding small quantities of the flour mixture and the mashed bananas as you keep mixing with the electric mixer.
When everything is nice and smooth, dump in your walnut/currant/apricot mixture and mix a little more, but don’t over do it—you just want to evenly mix everything.
Pour your batter into your loaf pan and spread it out evenly with a spatula. Pop it in the oven and cook until golden brown, about 60 minutes in my oven.
The Redneck Gourmet