Saturday, November 18, 2006

That doesn't look like banana bread

But it's just as delicious. It's another gorgeous batik fabric design. Not my color, but beautifully designed. It's one of a small but growing group of fabrics called "If I were going to do a clothing line, these are the type of fabrics I'd use".

The banana bread reference is because I didn't have a picture of banana bread (and wasn't about to not have a hot-out-of-the-oven taste in order to set up a photo). So this fabric is at least golden brown, and reminiscent of banana bread. And the real title of this post is I baked the first banana bread of the year today, hooray

"What", you say, "is the big deal about that? You can bake banana bread at any time." Well, not this kind. This is my very special, extremely tasty cranberry banana bread. It's also one of the few endeavors known to woman which are improved by procrastination…

It turns out that it's very important to the flavor that the bananas be very ripe, over-ripe, even somewhat brown. So if I have three bananas getting pretty ripe, and I save them for baking, waiting a few days doesn't hurt. The other things that make this bread more tasty than the standard are that half of the sugar is brown sugar, half of the flour is unbleached white and the other half is stone-ground whole wheat. Another time I'll tell the stories about how I know the types of flour taste different.

The cranberries are fresh cranberries, sorted very carefully so they are all hard and perfect with no soft spots. The bread is especially good the first day, while there is still a contrast between the tartness of the cranberries and the sweet banana bread. After the second day, the sweetness has osmosed into the cranberries. It's still good, but doesn't have the contrast.

Mina's Cranberry-Banana Bread

mash together:
3 very ripe bananas
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 c white sugar

stir in:
1 egg

premix & stir in
3/4 c stone-ground whole wheat flour
3/4 c unbleached white flour
1 t baking soda
1 t salt (scant teaspoon)

stir in gently:
1 c very carefully sorted hard perfect fresh cranberries, washed

Pour into a buttered loaf pan. (I use the glass type.) Bake approximately 1 hour at 325℉, until top is golden brown & toothpick comes out clean. If top is getting too dark, cover with foil for the last 15 minutes.

It is especially good hot with butter, or toasted for breakfast. (You might have noticed that there is no butter in it. That's correct. I used to put in melted butter, but then one day I forgot it while it was cooling a little, and left it out. I couldn't detect any difference in taste or texture, and the bananas keep the bread moist, so I haven't used it since.)

Try it out and let me know what you think.

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