BET YOU CAN'T HAVE JUST ONE PIECE! This recipe is the most delicious I have ever made, or developed. Of course the basis for a good Banana Bread was originally developed during the days when our ancestors used the palms of their hands to measure flour, and plain soda as rising agents. I would not recommend this; how things have changed and improved, and I am glad they did. Banana Bread is a staple in our home; unfortunately I must monitor my personal consumption because of health implications. I am happy to share my recipe with you and know you will enjoy it as much as my own family. To increase the number of loaves, simply multiply the recipe accordingly. Because BANANA/LEMON SENSATION freezes so well, I habitually bake these in large quantities; (up to a dozen loaves), preparing and cooking two at a time. Your oven may accommodate more than two loaves at a time, but I have found that any more than two loaves in an oven will result in uneven baking of the product. The loaves at the rear of my oven will overbake while the front loaves are lighter in colour, and will take a little more time for centres to cook. Suggest also making more than one loaf; a family of four will polish off an entire loaf at one sitting, because you can't have just one piece! Better make several, and put a couple away for future consumption. Kids will love the snack after school. You cannot hide anything; the aroma of baking BANANA/LEMON SENSATION tells all.
FOR THE LOAF
- 3 large very ripe bananas
- 1⁄4 cup soft butter or 1⁄4 cup margarine
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs, well beaten
- 1 lemon rind, of grated
FOR THE LEMON SAUCE
- 1⁄2 fresh lemon, juice of
- 1⁄4 cup sugar or 1⁄4 cup other artificial sweetener
- Preheat Oven to 350°F.
- Ovens will lose heat immediately the door is opened.
- A hint for retaining temperature without heat loss when oven door is first opened is to pre-set the oven to about 50° higher than required.
- As soon as pan (s) are put into the oven, close the door and immediately reset to required temperature.
- For BANANA/LEMON SENSATION, set the oven to 400°F and drop down to 350°, at the ready.
- "Prepare" loaf pan in the usual way using a light cooking/baking spray and light dusting of flour.
- Set aside for later use.
- In a small bowl, grate the lemon and set aside (If you have an aversion to lemon, skip this step).
- In a small saucepan, squeeze the fresh lemon half.
- FOR THE LOAF: In a medium-sized bowl, mash bananas well, with a fork.
- In a separate bowl, cream butter or margarine with 1 cup sugar.
- In a separate bowl, beat eggs really well.
- In a large bowl, combine mashed bananas, butter mixture, well-beaten eggs.
- Beat again.
- NOTE: If you are using a blender or food processor, please be aware of over-spills.
- Sift together (if you prefer sifting) flour, baking soda and salt.
- (HINT: Because of the lemon sauce, I do not add salt. If you do not use lemon juice, or lemon rind, salt may be added, in the quantity stipulated above) Add banana mixture to flour a quarter at a time, and mix well after each addition, by hand, with a large mixing-spoon.
- Scrape batter down sides of the bowl into the flour and mix well.
- At this point, add the grated lemon peel and mix well.
- You can never mix too much.
- Ingredients must be well-combined prior to baking.
- Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour. (my oven requires the full hour).
- Remove from oven and with your cake tester, test for doneness.
- Cake tester should come out clean, with no evidence of batter.
- Using your cake tester, puncture the loaf, all over the top, but not right through.
- While loaf is still hot, carefully spoon the lemon sauce over the surface.
- This will seep into the loaf through the punctures and add flavour to the Banana Loaf.
- Set on cooling rack until the pan can be handled easily, about 1/2 hour.
- Turn the pan over and tap hard on the bottom to loosen the loaf.
- Continue cooling baked loaf, until ready to seal and put away, or serve same day.
- THE LEMON SAUCE: In a small sauce-pan, over medium heat, combine lemon juice and sugar (or other sweetener) Mix continuously and bring to a boil.
- If you have an aversion to lemon, skip this step.
I did this exactly the way it was written, which was really easy given the instructions. With none of the lemon it would be a good plain old banana bread, with a really nice consistancy. Nver having considered the combination of lemon and banana before, I didn't really know what to expect. I made it last night, and sliced the whole thing into reasonable sized serving slices. My husband got up at 5 to catch the commuter plane to Paris, I got up at 8, and, lo and behold, half of reasonable slices are gone! The man ate half of a lemon banana bread at 5am! It is a winner! I, too, used a microplane zester on the lemon peel, and you can't really see it or feel it, but it is there. I will certainly make it again, and, like the woman said, why make only one loaf at a time?
I thought that I got to know Toolbelt through some recent email correspondence, but if you really want to know Toolbelt, you should make this recipe. She so wants you to make something good, and she so wants it to come out right, even if someone 10,000 miles away is making this dessert, that she give you the best directions. From overheating the oven to get just the right temperature when you open the door, to letting you that it is okay to go without the lemon sauce if you have an aversion to lemon, Toolbelt takes you through this recipe just so you will enjoy it in the end. Some chefs are very precise in their recipes, and you must listen to precisely what teacher says, but not Toolbelt, and that's what makes this recipes such a winner. Of course, I've never been one to leave a recipe well enough alone, so I had to play with this one as well. I added some freshly grated nutmeg to the banana batter, with just a tiny, molecular amount of freshly grated ginger. I also added lemon zest to the lemon sauce. If you have a Microplane Zester the zest comes out almost like fairy dust, and you can't even feel it in the sauce, just have the wonderful taste sensation in your mouth. I was invited to very good friends for the weekend and brought this as a Friday-night dessert. My friends all raved, and Toolbelt has been given honorary citizenship in their house. Elaine, this recipe was ta'im me'od (very delicious)!
Good recipe but the directions were way too fussy. There shouldn't be 32 steps to make a banana bread that involves dirtying every bowl in your kitchen. It took 3 pages just to print it! I used my KA mixer and creamed butter, sugar, added the eggs and zest and threw in the bananas whole. Dumped in the flour and soda and I was done. Life is too short, banana bread shouldn't be so serious.