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Do you work from home?  Do you have 30 minutes to mix and knead and 4 hours to wait?  Then bread making is for you!  Don’t get me wrong- there is nothing better than making fresh loafs of piping hot fluffyness, but it is labor intensive and you will have many misses before you have many hits.  I can tell you that the instant you have a hit one your hands, well, there’s no feeling quite like it 🙂

My first foray into bread making started simply with a luscious banana bread.  This is a batter bread and one of the best ways to make sure that you never throw away a banana ever again.  There are many variations that you can follow and I am particularly fond of the buttermilk version.

Trick- Many a times I have started to make this and realized that I had no buttermilk.  A fantastic substitution is to put 1 T. of either white vinegar or lemon juice into 1 cup of milk and let it stand for 5 minutes.

Ingredients-

1 1/4 cups Sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed very ripe bananas (3 to 4 medium)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 cup chopped nuts, if desired
 
Instructions-
  • Move oven rack to low position so that tops of pans will be in center of oven. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottoms only of 2 loaf pans, 8 1/2×4 1/2×2 1/2 inches, or 1 loaf pan, 9x5x3 inches.
  • Mix sugar and butter in large bowl. Stir in eggs until well blended. Add bananas, buttermilk and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt just until moistened. Stir in nuts. Pour into pans.
  • Bake 8-inch loaves about 1 hour, 9-inch loaf about 1 1/4 hours, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Loosen sides of loaves from pans; remove from pans and place top side up on wire rack. Cool completely, about 2 hours, before slicing. Wrap tightly and store at room temperature up to 4 days, or refrigerate up to 10 days.
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