Tuesday, October 16, 2012

baking banana bread

Baking banana bread is an act of patience for me. The people I live with like to eat their bananas more green than yellow, so we buy them that way and they disappear fast. We rarely have browning, saggy sad bananas to reincarnate into baked goods around here.

That means I have to plan ahead. I buy already-yellowed bananas for the sole purpose of baking, keep them away from my housemates, and wait at least a week for them to turn. I know some people deem them fit for baking the moment brown spots appear, but my mom always waited really long, dangerously long, so that they were brown inside and out. That meant soft, sweet bread with flecks of black speckling each piece. I rarely wait that long, partly because my roommates are ready to throw them out, and partly because I just can't.

And then there's the actual making. You have to actually mush the things. One time, in a hurry, or maybe I was distracted, I used bananas that weren't actually very ripe, and I didn't mush them enough. Big chunks of soft banana hung out in the slightly spicy, slightly chemical-tasting bread (this was a mix, when I first went gluten free). Though I was so glad to have some form of bread to eat, I almost threw the thing away. This was not banana bread. So my point is, you really have to mush them. When you think you're done, keep mushing.

I suppose the rest of the process is standard - mix the dry, mix the wet, mix them together. But I swear, those last 45 minutes when the loaf is baking feels just as long as the weeks it took for the bananas to ripen. I try to distract myself, this time by writing about it, which is only helping a little bit, since I'm still thinking about that loaf that's baking, full of mini chocolate chips and with some very ripe bananas in there. I'm gonna go check the timer...

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