Public Service Announcement: Banana Soda Bread
I’m not much of a bread baker. Not for lack of interest or desire, but because of an insurmountable laziness (I know the 5-minute books are meant to be great, but really? Five minutes a day?). It seems like I would have to really overcome inertia to get some starter started. And I’m probably never going to get it together enough to get up in the morning and bake the bread I started the night before. And otherwise it’s pretty much an all day project, right?
It’s only a matter of time, really, until I get over it and start kneading and proofing and all that goodness. I mean, one of my first jobs was at an artisanal European-style bakery. Alas, I was too young to work as a baker (I begged, but strictly no under-18s allowed), but I caught the bread bug. Add to that the time I have spent in Germany, where the bread is really divine. I know – French breads and Italian breads are also great, but the graininess and heartiness and heft of German breads speaks to me.
In the meantime, however, I’m all about quick breads. I haven’t blogged about it, but I love making banana bread and fully intend to make some zucchini bread this summer. And you all know, of course, about the recent Soda Bread Phenomenon.
A couple weeks ago, I was about to whip up some soda bread when I caught a whiff of overripe bananas and thought, why not? And so my bananas and my Soda Bread (or Sweet Amandine’s Soda Bread, actually) got together and made sweet, sweet love in my oven. The result was staggering. Divine. Moist, yet hefty. Grainy and crunchy on the outside, but a little fruity on the inside. Oh, and I don’t know exactly why, (perhaps the extra moisture?), but this soda bread rose so much higher than my other efforts! No more flat, tough soda bread for me! Spectacular. Try it, friends.
Banana Soda Bread
recipe verry loosely adapted from Sweet Amandine
- 1 3/4 c all purpose flour
- 2 c whole wheat flour
- 3 T instant oats
- 3 T packed dark brown sugar
- 1 t baking soda
- 1 t salt
- 1 t vanilla extract
- 2 T (1/4 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 2 c buttermilk
- 2 bananas
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and butter a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan.
- Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk to mix well.
- In another bowl, mash the bananas (I like a potato masher for this job) and whisk together with vanilla and buttermilk.
- Cut the butter into the dry ingredients, until the mixture resembles a fine meal.
- Add the buttermilk/banana mixture to the dry ingredients, and stir to combine.
- Squish the dough into the prepared loaf pan, and bake until the bread is golden brown, and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. It should take between 35 and 40 minutes.
- Slice, toast, and slather with butter to serve.