You'll need to gather the following: (everything should be about room temp)
- 1 3/4 cups sifted all purpose flour. (I use unbleached.)
- 2 1/4 tsp double acting baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt (may be omitted for low sodium diets)
- 1/2 tsp good vanilla (not the weird fake stuff)
- 1/3 cup butter (5.5 tbsp)
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 3/4 tbsp orange zest (or lemon zest)
- 1 or 2 eggs. (I had jumbo eggs, so I used one. If you have small eggs, use two.)
- 1-3 ripe bananas
- spices to taste (I used (approximately) 1/8 tsp cardamom, 1/8 tsp ground clove, and about 1/2 tsp each of cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg. Ginger also works well in this recipe if you like ginger.)
- Optional: Planetary mixer
Step 1: Bring on the Mixer!
1.) Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (177 C)
2.) Cream butter, sugar, vanilla, and zest.
3.) Beat in eggs and banana until mixture is creamy, but not so long that it starts to separate.
Time may vary depending on mixer. Planetary mixers like mine will do this in under 90 seconds, hand mixers may take a lot longer.)
Scrape the sides back down, as needed before the next step.
Step 2: Add Dry Ingredients
Add flour, baking powder, salt and spices. Beat the batter until smooth and silky looking. (Again, time will vary depending on your mixer. In mine it takes just a couple of minutes.)
At this point, if you want to add nuts or other fruit, fold in up to 1/2 cup broken nutmeats or dried fruit.
Once your batter has reached this stage, you can give the beater to your assistant, should you have one. (I have a kitchen Igor.They're expensive, but incredibly useful.)
Step 3: Pour Into Greased Pan and Bake
I grease my pan by rubbing the wax paper that held the butter all over the pan, but any greasing method works.You don't need to flour the pan like you do for traditional breads.You can if you want, it won't hurt anything, but quick breads don't gain the same benefit as yeast breads do.
Pop the pan in your preheated oven, and bake for 45 minutes to an hour. When the top is golden and a knife will slide in and out cleanly, it's done.
Step 4: Cool, Cut and Eat
Allow the bread to cool a bit before cutting, it will create a much moister bread, and you won't burn your fingers.It will also crumble less.
Racks are optional, I just happen to have some.
Cut with a bread knife. Cut some for everyone else, or you'll have to hold them off with said bread knife.
Spread with butter, or peanut butter, fruit butters, or nothing at all.