I may have mentioned before that I grew up with a mother who wasn’t really fond of the kitchen. She is a kind hearted, warm woman who is a fantastic mother- smart and thoughtful and funny and loving. She even has a great palate and an excellent appreciation for good food. But she hates to cook. Don’t get me wrong, we didn’t exactly starve growing up, and rarely could we afford to eat out. Instead, we sat down every night as a family, talked about our day, and ate my mother’s begrudging food. She made a lot of tuna casserole. She has no problems opening a jar of Prego and boiling some spaghetti noodles. She likes to roll chicken breasts in bread crumbs and parmesan, hand you a few sliced, raw carrots and call it dinner.
But her banana bread… it more than made up for everything else. Her banana bread is so good it made us forget about all those overcooked pork chops. A slice of banana bread on the way out the door in the morning, slathered with butter, eaten on the way to school- there is no better way to start the day. It’s dense and just sweet enough, with no chocolate chips or sugar toppings. The recipe comes from a battered James Beard cookbook, Beard on Bread. To my knowledge, no other bread recipe in the book has ever been attempted, but the entry for Banana Bread was so stained and wrinkled from use that the book would just fall open to that page.
Recently, when we had a few bananas that had gone way past ripe, I decided to change the recipe to banana muffins and substitute wheat flour for some of the white. I figured this would make me feel a little less guilty about basically having cake in the morning. As for making the bread into muffins, I decided this would be an easier way to store, as opposed to wrapping a loaf in cling film.
Make sure you sift the dry ingredients well; otherwise, the baking soda has a tendency to stick to the banana clumps, making the bread taste bitter.
Banana Wheat Muffins Recipe
- 1 cup all-purpose white flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup bananas, very ripe, and mashed into a paste
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
- Combine flour, salt and baking soda and whisk or sift to mix well. Set aside. Cream butter, sugar, eggs together and fold in bananas. Mix together the milk and the lemon juice- it will curdle a little. Add this to the wet mixture. Slowly fold, in stages, the dry with to the wet. Blend well. Pour into baking cups (or, if preferred, a well greased 9x5x3 bread pan) Bake for 350*F for one hour.
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