Thursday, February 21, 2008

Banana loaf

"When baking, follow directions. When cooking, go by your own taste."
Laiko Bahrs

I agree with Laiko Bahrs. Whenever I bake, I find that if I add all the ingredients accurately the dish turns out awesome. I find that I can experiment with the the nuts I choose to add to my breads, muffins and cakes however, the basic ingredients flour, water, yeast need to be precise.

Cooking on the other hand allows room for experimenting and I love to experiment in my kitchen laboratory.
I'll give you an example. My friend from Toronto Rama Garg who was living in Columbus in the late 1990s and early 2000s gave me a recipe for banana loaf.

Instead of adding 1 tsp baking soda I goofed and added 1 tablespoon baking powder.
When I tasted the loaf I could smell the aroma of baking powder in it. The loaf was still edible. That day I learnt from that experience, that baking is something that has to be perfectly accurate. Feel free to comment on any baking/cooking blunders or tips. You might wonder why I am sharing my mistakes. Well, I feel that mistakes teach us to improve ourselves and help us better ourselves. It might get a few laughs later when we think about it. Laughter is the best medicine. So I laugh at myself and then never make that blunder again. That's how I grow into a better human being.

After that day, I made this loaf many times and it always turns out perfect. There was a time when it became a favorite dessert in my family. I have taken this loaf to staff appreciations at my daughter's school and potlucks and everyone loves it. Sometimes, people ask me for the recipe at these events and I find myself jotting it down on a piece of paper for them. Now, with this blog, the recipe can be enjoyed by many more.


2 ripe bananas (mashed)
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup pecans
1/2 cup walnuts
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt

Combine flour, oil and bananas in a mixing bowl. Add sugar, nuts baking powder and salt and mix thoroughly with a serving spoon. You can also use a hand held blender to mix the ingredients. Follow instructions on the blender to use it.
Pour the mixture in a greased and floured loaf pan. Other baking dish is fine too if you do not have a loaf pan handy.
Preheat the oven.
Bake at 325 degrees Farenheit for one hour. Check if its done by inserting a tooth pick and if it comes out clean then it is ready. Turn the oven off.
After it has cooled, cut slices and serve in a platter.

Serves six.

Happy Baking!

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