What a couple of weeks we've had with the loss of some precious, protected animals. While they're still heavy on our minds, we need a respite from the emotional strain that comes with worrying about our natural world. Sometimes a little sweet comfort can be found in baking and to that end, I want to share a simple, tried-and-true recipe that I know will be a hit. The best banana bread I've ever made is James Beard's recipe-- it's uncomplicated, luscious, moist, and just flat-out delicious.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick of butter, room temperature
1 cup of sugar
2 overripe bananas
2 large eggs
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup milk
1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2) Lavishly grease the bottom and sides of a 9 X 5 X 3-inch loaf pan.
3) Sift flour, baking soda, and salt into a medium-sized bowl. Mix well.
4) In another medium-sized bowl, using a hand-held electric mixer, beat butter until creamy. Gradually add sugar and blend with the butter. Add bananas and eggs and blend thoroughly. Finally, beat in apple cider vinegar and milk.
5) Gently fold the flour mixture into the wet ingredients, adding the flour mixture in stages until completely combined. Don't overmix.
6) Pour batter into loaf pan and bake at 350 for approximately 1 hour, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the bread. Allow to cool on rack for 10 minutes before serving, or cool completely and wrap in foil for storage in the freezer for up to 3 months.