There is something about the smell of fresh baked banana bread that warms the heart and soul. “Summer”, and I use the term loosely, has started to creep around Seattle. Today is a balmy and overcast 70 degrees but whenever it’s grey I always get the cozy urge to bake. This weekend, we’re adventuring up to see my family and while I’m baking the bread for both my roomie and his mum who’s visiting us, I’m also baking this to surprise my dad.
Since I was a little girl, whenever there were bananas that were even one day past perfect my father would take my hand and guide me to the fruit bowl and say “Kate, you know what THAT means right!? … BANANA BREAD”!!! I always loved baking this for him, and filling the house with the warm smells of bread and seeing his joy as I would pull that loaf out of the oven, hovering as all good taste tester seems to do, barely waiting for it to cool before cutting thick slices and serving it up to one very happy man!
Like clockwork, whenever the weather in Seattle is grey, ahem most of the year, my ache to bake exponentially increases. Even if I don’t particularly WANT a baked good at that moment, sacrilege I know, I just can’t calm the urge until I’m mixing up the dough and filling the house with the smells of a bakery then fending off the taste tester as I try to pull it out of the oven.
Truth be told, I simply LOVE baking! For myself and more so for others to enjoy . While I can’t have you all in my kitchen this moment eagerly awaiting the “ding” of the kitchen timer indicating that fresh baked goodness is ready to being it’s futile attempt to cool before being devoured, I CAN share with you by posting this tried and true recipe!
This recipe yields one large loaf or three small individual loaves. Personally, I prefer to use smaller individual size loaf pans and because they’re easier to gift and look cuter on a plate (true story!). I’m not allowed to freeze bread in our house but these loaves freeze quite well for future rainy day enjoyment or to give as a hostess gift for a last minute dinner party! They also make great muffins!!
My loaves are in the oven now so here’s a sneak peek of THIS batch. (Photos below are previous completed batches)
Banana Walnut Bread
From:The Good Housekeeping Cookbook
- 1 3/4 c. flour (can use Whole-Wheat or Gluten-Free)
- 2/3 c. white sugar
- 1 tsp. double-acting baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 c. shortening
- 1 cup mashed bananas ( 2 ripe bananas)
- 1 small banana, cut into chunks
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup walnuts (my own addition)
- 1 fresh orange, squeezed (my addition)
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F
- Grease and flour ( or non-stick spray) your baking pan(s)
- In a large bowl, mix the first 5 ingredients
- Cut in the shortening using a pastry blender (or two knives scissor-fashion) until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs
- Stir in the remaining ingredients until just blended
- Bake in pre-heated oven as directed below:
Large loaf pan: 55-60 minutes
4 Individual Loaf pans: 30-40 minutes
- Cool in pan on wire rack