Bananas over home baked bread  Ever since my Enid-Blyton-reading days, my one recurring fantasy has been to wake up in the morning to the smell of freshly baked bread! Oh well! since my husband does not bake much and definitely does not wake up before me, that remains a fantasy. :) But, I have had a fancy for baking since an early age and now, with the US kitchens coming furnished with ovens, I indulge in the sport regularly.

One of the house-favorite dishes that comes out of that oven is the quintessential "Banana Bread". It is a classic breakfast-cum-dessert that brings out the best in the fruit and the flour :D...Bananas are my and the hubby's favorite fruit and is found in abundance in our house. Which, also means they very often ripen far sooner than can be consumed. (So what's new! everything is bought in excess in our house and then I look around for ways of not wasting them. I do the same with apples too. Check out my fruit-saving method for that :) )

So, anyway, I use a very simple old-fashioned recipe. It takes just 15 minutes from counter to oven and then you can take a quick power-nap. In less than an hour, you will awakened by the lovely, sweet aroma of baking bananas. As the bread goldens, I make myself a cup of masala tea. As the kettle whistles, its time to take out the bread and let it rest for a bit and cool down. By the time tea is ready, I am ready for a wonderful treat of warm, fresh out of MY oven banana bread :)).. Yummmm!!!

I really like this bread, actually it's more a cake than bread - its easy to make, has a long shelf life (i.e. if you keep yourself from gorging on it! ya right! like that's going to happen) and is always a hit! You can make a quick breakfast of it (I always pack some for my husband when he is travelling) or a tea accompaniment (like I do) or even a simple dessert with vanilla icecream or the new Ben & Jerry banana-strawberry-fudge. And, I'll let you in on a secret - It's great for picnics! Everyone thinks you put in a lot of effort into it... all for just 15 mins! haha...

I firmly believe, the joy of baking is in simple recipes with big taste :)

Homemade Banana Bread

3 ripe bananas, mashed - I use the non-organic ones, they are sweeter
1-1/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup melted butter
1 egg, beaten
1 tp vanilla essence
1 tp baking soda

Turn the oven to 350°F for pre-heating. While the oven readies, mix the butter with the mashed bananas. Mix in the sugar and then fold in the egg and vanilla. Add the baking soda and then gently mix the flour into the mixture. You don't need a mixer for this but make sure that there are no lumps in the mixture.

Pour the mixture into a buttered loaf pan and set in oven for about 50 minutes or till the bread passes the toothpick test. Let cool for sometime, slice and serve warm with chocolate syrup and ice cream! :))



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