Mertie’s Mondays: It’s teatime—cut the banana bread

Did everyone’s mom make banana bread with overripe bananas? Chris Hansen shares his banana tea bread recipe.

Go ahead! Be social!
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Kirtsy
  • Digg
  • Tumblr
  • del.icio.us
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Print
  • email
Have a slice?

I think that I mentioned that my Mom was a great baker. However, there was one thing she never baked: anything with yeast in it. She never got the knack of kneading and baking, and she never tried. I suppose she might not have had the time; she had three children to raise and five mouths to feed.

My grandma must have taught my mom how to bake what I call teabreads—that is, bread that does not require yeast to rise, but only has baking soda or baking powder in it to provide a little bit of lift to the batter. My grandma used to do wonderful cranberry nut breads or date nut breads. My mother’s forté was banana bread, for a good reason: whenever we bought bananas, it was almost inevitable that one or two of them went brown before we got around to eating them. We only had dates at Thanksgiving and Christmas, and my mom painstakingly stuffed each date with a piece of walnut then rolled it in icing sugar. She never baked with them.

banana
Photo by Jason Gulledge

As kids, we normally had cereal for breakfast. I suppose that nowadays kids have toast and coffee instead. We were told that coffee and tea would stunt our growth, and I never drank coffee until I was 14 or 15 years old. When we did have bananas, we would slice them onto the breakfast cereal. However, we would forget they were there, sometimes, and it was those times that Mom sprang into baking action.

I have gathered from the news media that a good way to get unripe fruit to ripen more quickly is to put it in a paper bag with a ripe banana and close up the bag. The banana gives off a gas which coaxes the other fruit to ripen. Of course, more often than not, you end up with an overripe banana; that’s what I had this morning (along with three ripe and luscious nectarines that were hard as baseballs when I bought them). So, it’s banana bread time.

Here’s the recipe that I use for Banana Nut Bread. Again, there are a thousand thousand banana bread recipes out there on the Internet; this is the one that I have used for (it seems) eons, and it works for me. Your mileage may vary and, if you aren’t happy with this one, search for another.

1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar or Splenda
2 large bananas, very ripe, mashed
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
The zest of 1 lemon, grated
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped nuts, lightly toasted

Preheat the oven to 350 deg. F/180 deg. C/Gas Mark 4. Butter (or oil; I use vegetable oil) and flour a loaf pan measuring 8-1/2″ x 4-1/2″, shake out the excess flour, and set aside.

Greased and floured pan
Greased and floured pan

In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar until light. Put the bananas in another bowl and stir in the eggs and lemon zest. Mix together in a third bowl the flour, baking soda, and salt.

Creamed butter and Splenda
Creamed butter and Splenda
Two mashed bananas
Two mashed bananas

Alternately stir the banana/egg and flour mixtures into the butter and sugar. Finally fold in the nuts.

Batter ready for the pan
Batter ready for the pan

Note that the batter will be very stiff. As the only liquid in it is the eggs and (some of) the banana, when fully blended it will be nearly solid. You’ll need all your elbow power to keep blending it.

Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake until the bread tests done, about 1 hour.

Ready to bake
Ready to bake

The relatively slow oven will give the bread time to rise. If the oven is too hot, the bread will solidify before it rises and you’ll end up with a doorstop.

To test this bread, I have my all-purpose knife, which I believe belonged to Mom. It was usually used to slice tomatoes and cucumbers, and I use it for that too. However, it has a thin scimitar-shaped blade which makes it perfect also for testing the doneness of a bread. You slide it into the exact center of the loaf and then withdraw it. If there is batter on it, the bread is not yet done. Only when it comes out clean is the bread done. You could use a skewer if you don’t have a suitable knife.

Baked and out of the oven
Baked and out of the oven

Cool the bread on a rack before turning it out and slicing. Makes 1 loaf

Ready to slice
Ready to slice

Don’t let it cool all the way, though. There is nothing tastier than a slice of newly-baked banana bread spread with butter or cream cheese with your afternoon coffee. Enjoy!

Have a slice?
Have a slice?
“At our best, the NFL sets an example that makes a positive difference,” Goodell said. “Unfortunately over the past several weeks, we’ve cheap nfl jerseys seen all too much of the NFL doing wrong. That starts with me. I said this before back on Aug. 28, and I say it again now, I got it wrong in the handling of the Ray Rice matter. And I’m sorry for that. I got it wrong on a number of levels: from the process that I led to the decision that I reached. But now I will get it right and do whatever is necessary to accomplish that.”Now to cheap nhl jerseys the scandals rocking the NFL. Embattled commissioner roger Goodell meeting with the owners on Wednesday for the first time to address the off field problem. As one of the game’s biggest stars, Adrian cheap ray bans Peterson was in court on chide abuse charges. Ryan smith has Cheap NFL Jerseys the latest. Reporter: Good morning. Adrian Peterson sat at this courthouse yesterday, not entering a plea to child abuse charges. Meanwhile in New York, ray bans sale commissioner roger Goodell tackling the same issues, beginning the first step in what could be a long process. While the NFL commissioner met with all 32 NFL owners for the first time this football season to discuss domestic violence We’re not going to accept this kind of behavior. My number one job is protecting the integrity of the game. Reporter: The fake ray ban sunglasses dark cloud of domestic abuse looming large over the NFL. There goes Adrian Peterson. Reporter: One of the league’s biggest stars, Adrian Peterson, faced his first court appearance Wednesday on charges he disciplined his 4 year old son by striking him repeatedly with a tree branch. How are you feeling this morning? Okay. Reporter: Peterson’s lawyer says he’s eager to fight the chargers and get back to football. He’s chomping at the bit to defend himself. He loves his children dearly. Reporter: This is a problem some believe the league struggled to address. Wednesday, Goodell trying to combat the stigma, showing the owners this video on spousal abuse. Think about the role you have to raise up a generation of men. Reporter: And vowing to make an effective policy. Peterson won’t have access to the child he’s accused of abusing during the case. He has a date, but the late date making it difficult to return to the field of play.Fuller said the witness arrived “seconds or minutes after the shooting.” But he refused to go into details about what she saw, saying she fears for her life. There may be a video of Wholesale China Jerseys what happened just before the shooting, according to Fuller. “We have reason to believe that a bystander recorded the events immediately prior to gunshots being fired, and that that footage was turned over to New Orleans police on the night that Mr.
Go ahead! Be social!
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Kirtsy
  • Digg
  • Tumblr
  • del.icio.us
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Print
  • email

Author: Chris Hansen

Expat American living in London, now a British citizen as well. I was originally from Marblehead, Massachusetts, and that's where my mom raised me, so my momfood comes from New England.

5 thoughts on “Mertie’s Mondays: It’s teatime—cut the banana bread”

  1. Were you my sister I didn’t know about? Based on your childhood breakfast description, apparently you were raised by my mother, as well :)

    The bread looks fantastic, and I don’t need to have kids to make it, do I?

    1. I might have been your brother… ;-)

      I don’t have any kids, and I make a loaf everytime we have browning bananas to dispose of. You may make a loaf anytime you like!

  2. I pass this tip along whenever I see a banana bread (muffin, pancake, etc.) post.

    Pop the overripe banana into the freezer overnight (or longer if you don’t feel like baking right away, we save our almost-goners for opportune moments). The skin will turn black, it’s okay, but when you defrost it (either in the fridge, on the counter or in the microwave if you’re in a hurry), just pop off one end and squeeze the pre-mashed banana out of it’s natural tube, straight into your recipe.

    The action of the ice formation during freezing does your mashing work for you (it even works, to some extent, on fresh bananas) and ensures an even distribution of banana pulp in your bread, etc.

Comments are closed.