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.
Going Down - JJ Cale