Aside from pie, I am not allowed to bake desserts at my house. There are several good reasons for this. My wife is better at it, she enjoys it, and I have a way of, well, let's say taking over projects. Some people might call me a bit obsessive, I like to say focused. To me, figuring out every tiny little detail, historical fact, or exact technique is a good time. Apparently, not everyone feels similarly. Fortunately, with baking as with life, my wife manages to gracefully sidestep the manic, obsessive, focus that I employ so well, while still getting things done beautifully.
This banana bread is a perfect example. She did not spend five hours on the internet researching caramelization rates of bananas, nor did she throw flour across the room and curse when we had a bit more batter than expected, she also didn't throw a tantrum and give up when she realized we didn't have any shortening. She just made beautiful, fragrant, delicious bread.
It tasted fantastic. The slight tang of the sourdough complemented the caramelized banana beautifully. We slathered it in honey butter and as we took our first bites, speech gave over into primal grunts of approval followed total silence, because really, words fail.
This recipe comes from The Complete Sourdough Cookbook via buddye at The Fresh Loaf. We made a couple of adjustments, the original calls for nuts (the kiddos eschew nuts in bread, grr) and we didn't have shortening so we substituted butter. Also we doubled it to get two loaves instead of one. Here's what we ended up with:
2/3 cup butter
2 cups sugar
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsps baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp salt
2 cups mashed banana
2 cups discarded sourdough starter
2 tsp vanilla extract
Cream together the butter and sugar, add egg, and mix until blended. Stir in bananas and sourdough starter. Add vanilla. Sift flour, measure again with salt, baking powder, and soda. Add flour mixture to the first mixture, stirring just until blended. Pour into two greased 9x5" loaf pans. Bake in 350 degree oven for 1 hour or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool before slicing. (Yeah right, not gonna happen)