Thursday, May 6, 2010

BANANA TEA BREAD with DATES


Here is a recipe for banana bread that I have been making for years and years and years. It comes from Craig Claiborne's "New York Times Cook Book," which I bought right when I was beginning to learn how to boil water. I learned so much, an enormous amount, by studying that cook book. This banana tea bread is a proper dessert to make for tea time, thus its name. Do you have displayed on your counter top some bananas that have ripened way too much? You know you really aren't going to eat those darlings, but still you are hesitant to throw them out. One solution is to use them in this recipe. It calls for ripened, mushy bananas. Not very appetizing on their own, but excellent when used to make banana bread! This recipe will make one loaf.
Ingredients:
1 & 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup vegetable or corn oil
2/3 cup sugar
3 mashed ripe bananas
2/3 cup coarsley chopped nuts
1 cup finely chopped dates
*very optional: If you are a chocolate fanatic, sprinkle some chocolate chips on top of the batter before baking. Some members of my family like this, but I find that the strong chocolate flavor diminishes the unique flavor of the banana bread.
Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Sift together the flour, baking powder, soda and salt.
  • In the container of an electric mixer beat the sugar and oil thouroughly to blend.
  • Add the eggs and beat well.
  • Add the flour mixture and beat well.
  • Beat the bananas into the batter.
  • Fold in the dates and nuts.
  • Turn into a greased bread pan and bake for about one hour.
  • For easy slicing the banana bread must be cold. Let it cool, then remove it from the pan and refrigerate.

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