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Old 12-03-2006, 07:01 PM   #1
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I've started baking Banana Bread...

If any of you read my thread on the Fruits and Nuts board, then you know why

I made a loaf from the same recipe I've used for years. Here it is:

Banana Bread

c of sugar
1 c mashed bananas (3 large)
2 eggs
2 t vanilla
c vegetable oil
2 c all-purpose flour
1 t baking soda
t baking powder
t salt
c of chopped pecans

Heat the oven to 325F. Grease a standard size loaf pan with shortening. Cream together the sugar and bananas. Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, in a separate bowl and set aside. Add to the creamed mixture, the eggs, one at a time. Then add the vanilla and oil. Add the flour mixture, and mix until it’s just barely combined. Add the nuts and mix just until it’s smooth. Pour the batter into the greased loaf pan. Bake 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 - 15 minutes then remove from loaf pan. Cool thoroughly before slicing.

A couple years ago, I started playing around with different recipes, but when PeppA tasted the recipe above, she told me not to deviate from it.

Today, when I ran the search on my HDD, and got 53 hits for "Banana", I noticed one of the recipes had my name in it. I only put my name in a recipe when I've worked with it enough that I feel safe calling it my own. However, I don't remember working on this recipe. So, tonight, I decided to make a loaf. Here's the recipe I found:

Big Al’s Banana Bread
Yields: 1 loaf

3 bananas
1 stick of butter
1 c sugar
c sour cream
2 eggs
1 t vanilla
2 c flour
2 t baking soda
1 c nuts, optional

Preheat the oven to 350F. Mash the bananas. In a bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Add the bananas to the creamed mixture (depending on your mixer, you may not have to mash the bananas beforehand). Add the sour cream, and mix until smooth. Then, add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until smooth. Sift together the flour and baking soda. Mix until just combined. Add the nuts, if desired, and stir by hand a couple times to mix. The batter will be a little stiff. Pour batter into a greased loaf pan. Bake for one hour at 350F. Check with a toothpick or cake tester to ensure doneness.

It's a rather straight-foward creaming method quick bread formulation. I might change the steps around a bit, and sift the flour and leavening before starting the cream operation. This is because I don't have my Kitchenaid stand mixer any more, and can't start something creaming, and walk away to do something else while that's working. I've got a small hand-held electric mixer, and I have to hold it the entire time.

Once I got the batter into the loaf pan, I noticed right away that I was going to get a bigger loaf, as the formulation I made a couple days ago (the "Banana Bread" recipe) only filled the loaf pan with batter half-way. THIS formulation ("Big Al's Banana Bread") filled the loaf pan closer to 2/3 full. I also noticed a distinct Banana Bread aroma starting to fill my kitchen 30 minutes into the bake time, whereas the first recipe ("Banana Bread") only started to smell good 45 minutes into the baking.

As an additional note, the "Banana Bread" formulation, while it stated a 1 hour baking time, actually took 1 hour 15 minutes. I wouldn't be surprised if the "Big Al's Banana Bread" formulation also takes a little longer, even though it's baked at a higher temperature. Experience will tell.

I've got an oven thermometer in my oven, and a pizza stone, and haven't noticed a deviation in indicated temperature from what the dial is set at.

I'll let you all know what the results taste like when it's done.


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Old 12-03-2006, 07:37 PM   #2
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So, does this mean you are now Big Al, or is this someone else's recipe?

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Old 12-03-2006, 10:15 PM   #3
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I've gone by "Big Al" since I was in HS. Many of my own personal recipes will have some version of my name in title somewhere.

Ok, well, the results are in. Taste-wise, I can't really taste a difference between the two recipes. However, the version with sour cream has a much better texture. I may add a little salt to that recipe. It's not like I'd be wasting bananas

I did end up baking the sour cream version for 1 hour 15 minutes, just like I thought. I also learned a tip: When testing a quick bread like this with a toothpick, never stick the toothpick through a solid piece of crust. Instead, stick it in through one of the "cracks" where the batter crowns as it bakes. The first time I tested it, it came out clean, but I had a feeling. Sure enough, the second test, done a few seconds later, was done though the crown, and came out moist and undone. 15 minutes might have been to long, though.
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Old 12-03-2006, 10:37 PM   #4
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Thanks big Al! Was just reading your post in the fruits & nuts section and was just about to nicely ask for your recipe. My problem with my banana bread is that it's too dry. I want it really moist... I'll try yours. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 12-04-2006, 12:42 AM   #5
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I use sour cream in my banana bread too. Big Al - that's kinda cute.

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Old 12-04-2006, 01:01 AM   #6
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your first recipe sounds alot like the one i've been using for years.I go tmine for my grandmother . Never tried adding sour cream though.That might be the recipe i use the next time i have ripe bananas.

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