Friday, July 11, 2008

You Can't Miss What You Can't Measure

I normally don't measure ANYTHING on this recipe. I just sort of know what it's supposed to look like as I'm mixing it up, and toss in what ever dried fruit I happen to have. I actually had to use measuring spoons and cups for this one I'm posting today. If you hand mix it versus using a mixer (like I did) the texture of the bread turns out more uniform and it rises more evenly, but I'm not trying to win a blue ribbon at the state fair or Top Chef. I just like to use any excuse to play with my red stand mixer.

Irene's Banana Bread

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together in one bowl:
1/4 cup softened butter or margarine (not spread)
2 large eggs
2 or 3 large ripe bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup of orange juice
1 tablespoon orange zest, just the zest and not the rind.

Mix together in another bowl then add to the wet ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup of sugar

Then fold in:
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
1 cup dried cranberries or whatever dried fruit you happen to have - be sure and chop larger pieces of dried fruit, such as apricots, into smaller pieces.

Coat a bread pan with cooking spray, and dump the entire mixture into the pan.

Bake for about an hour -- It depends on your oven and which type of bread pan you use. My stoneware pan usually requires more time. I usually test for done-ness with a toothpick at about an hour, and add 10 minutes at a time as needed.

If I had planned things better, I would have started making this recipe earlier in the day. I ran out of natural lighting, and didn't take the time to plate my bread all fancy so it would look extra pretty. It's a good thing I even got this picture (below) last night. The banana bread is now history.

Yesterday's song:
Going Down - JJ Cale



AKA Alice said...

I'd never thought of adding dried fruit in banana bread, (my default add-in is chocolate chips) but it looks completely yummy!

barbie2be said...

george clinton?

i never thought of adding cranberries (which i love) because i have this strange aversion to cooked raisins and cranberries remind me of raisins in texture.

my assignment this weekend it mock hostess cupcakes. you know the chocolate ones with the white squiggly line on the top and the white cream inside.

Michelle said...

Yummmmm! Mail some my way, huh?

Irene said...

AKA Alice,
I forgot to mention, you sort of need the zest of a citrus fruit because some of the dried fruits are too sweet in banana bread, which is sweet all by itself. Orange goes well with cranberry, but I've used lemon, too.

Good guess. Ditto to what I mentioned to AKA Alice about the citrus. You can also microwave the cranberries in the 1/4 cup of OJ before throwing them into the batter. OMG, mock hostess cupcakes! Mmmmmmm!

I wonder how many points a slice is?

Lynne J. said...

Hi Irene! *waving*

Wow! This your banana bread looks delish! I may have to give this a try. Thanks for sharing.

I found your blog from Miss Rachel.

I'll be back! :)