Friday, April 8, 2016

Same Recipe: More Options

I would rather brown 3 pounds of hamburger than a pound ... no matter if I only need a pound for the recipe. I have a skillet just the right size for the job, and I know there will be less mess and less time invested in the next meal or two if I do a little extra initially.

I have long utilized the same principle when making drop cookies. I triple a basic cookie dough recipe. I divide the dough, stir in some add-ins, and it looks like I've made three or four different kinds of cookies. (Randy is not the only one who does amateur magic around here!) It's a great trick for cookie platters. I still make a few other kinds, but having four to six "different" cookies as a base speeds the process!

But it's been only recently that I've used the same principle when making banana bread. We like plain banana bread. But I've also been mixing in various add-ins for some variety to my tried-and-true Byers Banana Bread recipe.

Depending on how many bananas I have, I can double or triple the recipe. Then, just like with the cookies, I divide the batter and add different stir-ins to each portion. These could include dates and nuts, peanut butter chips, cinnamon chips, mini (or regular) chocolate chips, Craisins and white chocolate chips, brickle chips ... the possibilities are endless. I pour the batters into mini loaf pans. To make sure I know which "extra" is inside, I sprinkle the tops of the loaves with more of the add-ins.

The banana bread freezes well, so it's easy to pull out when we have visitors, during a busy time on the farm or on a day when you just "need" a little banana bread!

I've tried a lot of different banana recipes, but I inevitably circle back around to one found in my well-used Byers United Methodist Church cookbook. 
It  probably wins the prize for the most battered and stained in my whole cookbook collection (and I have an impressive collection).

It takes a rubber band to hold it together these days. On the inside cover, it reads:

A Book of Favorite Recipes
Women's Society of Christian Service of
The United Methodist Church
Byers, Kansas
My mom inscribed: To Kim from Mother, April 1972

The Byers UMC was my childhood church, so I love seeing the names of all the women I remember who shared pews and potluck suppers.
Banana Bread
3/4 cup oil
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups ripe bananas, mashed
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp. soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped (optional)

Cream together oil and sugar. Add mashed bananas, eggs and vanilla, mixing well. Combine dry ingredients. Add dry ingredients to the banana mixture, alternately with buttermilk, beating after each addition. Add nuts, stirring well.

Bake in large loaf pan or two or three small loaf pans at 325 degrees. The large pan takes about an hour to bake, the smaller ones, around 25-30 minutes, depending on your oven. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean.

This freezes well.

Recipe Notes:
  • The bananas in the photo aren't ripe enough for this recipe. They are just for decoration!
  • You can leave out the nuts. I always had to leave nuts out of part of it for Jill.
  • If you don't have buttermilk, you can use 1 tablespoon of vinegar, then fill the measuring cup to 1/2 cup. Let sit while you are preparing other ingredients.
Today, I'm linked to Weekend Potluck. Visit the hostesses and see tested recipes from across the U.S.


    1. You can get Pumpkin spice white choc chips?? I still haven't got my head around the peanut butter choc chips!

      Awesome photos of your banana bread loaves. I should give this recipe a go, minus all the add-ins that we can't get in Australia of course.

      1. I got them last fall. I think they were seasonal. I had them in the freezer. I do love the PB chips. Randy isn't as big a fan of them though.

    2. MMmmm! All those breads look good even though I am not much of a bread eater. I did make Banana bread two days ago and Bob says it is very very good. I put 1/2 cup applesauce in it too and no nuts. I love the old church ladies cookbooks.

      1. I sometimes use applesauce to "stretch" my bananas if I don't have quite enough. I like nuts in quick bread, but others in my family don't, so I usually do some both ways to try and make everyone happy.