Just like last year, the minute National Banana Bread Day came around, it carried me back to my Home Economics class more years ago than I care to admit. Home Economics Class was an elective class designed for young girls but open to all students. It’s something they need to reintroduce before those skills are lost forever. Lord knows our young people need to develop real life skills.
Maybe it was a California Thing. Maybe it was a sixties long hair freaky people thing. All I know is that the first thing I learned to bake in Home Economics was Banana Bread. I can remember shelving the whole bread baking days for the convenience of store bought loaves until Kiddo came into my life. There is something about baking with grandkids that is special. While I cooked with my children, baking is something that has taken years to appreciate. In my old age, I love to bake. I love the way the kitchen smells when baking – be it breads or cakes or cookies. There is a feeling of nostalgia that takes hold even if you didn’t grow up in a home filled with baked goods.
My Dad was the baker in our house. Sometime around early November, he began baking for Christmas. Dad worked construction back then, and winter rains kept him home, out of work, with time on his hands. So he baked. And he baked. And he baked. The he froze his cookies – hundreds and hundreds of cookies – peanut butter and pinwheel were his most popular. Dad baked so many cookies that we actually had a commercial baker’s rack for cooling trays upon trays of cookies. Dad had a welder buddy make him cookie sheets that filled the entire oven and just fit on the cooling racks. My sister is a baker like Dad. Except she believes in healthy cookies made from spinach and things that have no business being in a cookie.
Wow, wandered off a bit. Today isn’t cookie day – it’s Banana Bread Day. So let’s get to baking . . .
Streusel Banana Bread
3 tablespoons Flour
3 tablespoons Sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
1 tablespoon cold Butter
Heat oven to 350-degrees. Lightly spray 9-inch by 5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray, set aside.
In small bowl, stir together flour, sugar and cinnamon. Pinch pieces of cold butter into flour mixture until crumbly and looks like wet sand. Refrigerate until ready to use.
6 tablespoons Butter
4 very ripe Bananas
1 cup Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1/4 cup Milk
1-1/2 cups Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
Melt butter, let cool to room temperature. Meanwhile, mash bananas and set aside.
Once the butter has cooled, in a large bowl mix mashed bananas, cooled butter, 1 cup sugar, the egg, milk and vanilla just until combined.
In another bowl, stir together 1-1/2 cups flour, the baking powder, salt and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Fold banana mixture into flour mixture just until combined, taking care not to over mix. Spread batter in the prepared loaf pan, smoothing top. Sprinkle streusel topping evenly over top.
Bake in center of the heated oven for about an hour or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool banana bread in the pan on cooling rack 5 minutes. Remove bread from the pan; cool at least 15 minutes before slicing.