I’m back on the grid now after recovering from my 12 day December baking extravaganza and the bustle of the holidays. It was great being back in Minnesota with Matt and getting a chance to catch up with friends and family. Somehow even with a week it seemed like there wasn’t enough time to do everything and see everyone. It was a wonderful trip, but still ended with teary goodbyes to my parents at the airport. No judgment on teary goodbyes, even at 28.
I came back from Minnesota armed with some great new tools for my baking blog. I received the book Food Photography by Nicole Young, which I’ll be putting to use to try and produce some mouthwatering pictures for you in the upcoming months. I also received a pastry mat and a cookbook by Michel Roux, French-born chef and restaurateur. Pastry making is something that totally intimidates me, so I’m looking forward to tackling my nemesis.
My original plan for January was to cook all fat-free and healthy dessert recipes to cater to health conscious readers trying to adhere to their New Year’s resolutions. I was on track when I made this low-fat recipe for banana bread. But then Matt offered my baking skills for a dinner party with friends, so I decided to jazz it up a bit with a butter glaze for the top. So if you’re looking a healthy recipe, just omit the glaze and enjoy the pure flavor of this moist banana bread.
Banana Bread Ingredients
2 large eggs
¾ cup sugar
1 cup smashed ripe bananas (about 3 medium)
⅓ cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 ¾ cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter
1 c. powdered sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 ½ to 2 teaspoon milk
⅛ teaspoon salt
Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F.
Lightly grease 8 ½ x4 ½x2 ½-inch pan and dust with flour. Using an electric mixer; beat eggs and sugar in large bowl until thick and light, about 5 minutes. Mix in smashed bananas, buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt over mixture; beat until just blended. Transfer batter to prepared pan.
Bake bread until golden brown on top and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Turn bread out onto rack and cool. Once cooled, mix ingredients for glaze together and pour over bread.
Heather’s Helpful Hints
I’m sure you’ve heard warnings against over-mixing your batter. The reason why is that over-mixing flour activates the gluten, a protein that can give baked goods a firm and elastic structure. While this may be delicious in a chewy pizza crust, it’s not as desirable for muffins and quick breads. Instead, mix your wet and dry ingredients just until they are incorporated. A few lumps in your batter won’t hurt you.