banana bread

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After much deliberation on the best way to store my recipes, I decided use this space to assemble my favorites; the ones our family uses repeatedly, the ones friends ask for and then ultimately become recipes of their own. I want to collect and photograph them to create a living recipe journal for my reference and to share. Perhaps I’ll have even more to share.

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Most people have a beloved banana bread recipe and I am no exception. First glance at the the ingredient list may make you think coconut is an odd addition, but it makes a tropical pair with the banana and helps to keep the loaf superbly moist.

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banana bread diptych

Banana Bread
Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook
Makes two loaves

Many times I substitute whole wheat or spelt flour for 1/2 cup of the all-purpose flour. Rarely do I have buttermilk on hand, but always keep buttermilk powder in the fridge. King Arthur carries buttermilk powder and Saco brand is widely available at supermarkets. At our house, the powder is used for biscuits, pancakes and as a topping for popcorn. A kitchen scale makes easy work of equally dividing the batter. If using a convection oven, start checking the bread after about 40 minutes. After cooling, the bread can be wrapped well and frozen.

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature
Zest of half an orange
2 cups sugar
1 1/3 cups mild oil, such as vegetable or canola
1/2 cup buttermilk or whole milk plain yogurt
2 tablespoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups, (about 3 medium), coarsely mashed bananas
1 cup flaked or shredded coconut, toasted
1 cup pecans, toasted and roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
Grease two loaf pans, either 8″ x 4″ or 9″ x 5″, and line with parchment
Add flour, soda and salt to a medium bowl and whisk to combine
In a large bowl, whisk eggs, sugar and zest until the mixture is pale yellow
Add oil, buttermilk and vanilla and whisk to combine
Switch to a spatula and stir in the dry ingredients until a few streaks of flour remain
Add the banana, coconut and pecans and stir until just mixed
Evenly divide the batter into the prepared pans and smooth the tops
Bake for about 50-60 minutes
Take the loaves from the oven and cool in the pans for 5 minutes
Remove the loaves from the pans and place on a cooling rack to cool completely

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