Comfort, something I have been craving as of late. I hate to associate a recipe as delicious as this with a situation less than desirable, but such is life. This is a space where I can be honest. Sometimes that means the stories will be less silly and more sad. Like this one. I’ve been trying to find the energy and interest in blogging over the last week, but I could not bring myself to write anything. I was angry and sad. If you follow me on social media, you may know that we put our dog down last week. She was pretty sick, but selfishly I could not bring myself to admit or recognize how sick. We had rescued her from a high kill shelter in the Houston area in May last year. Not even a year this pup was in our lives. She immediately fit right it. The cat, I’m sure, would beg to differ. But she was my best girl. In a house full of boys, she was my girl. So loyal, so nurturing, so protective, so perfect. Last week was a low I hadn’t felt in a while. Like someone removed my heart, put it in the garbage disposal, and laughed while they turned it on. Grieving is different for everyone, and I went all in. We’re all feeling better each day, although not many have passed. In times of grief I find that even some foods are comforting despite the lack of appetite. This banana bread recipe has been my go to for a while. It’s a pretty involved recipe,, but I promise all of the steps are all worth it. The caramelized bananas on the top make this bread extra special. It’s like warm banana-y hug which was what I needed last week. What I love most about this recipe is the deliciousness straight from the oven. You know how some .breads are simply best the next day. Not the case here. Just cool it enough to easily remove from the bread pan and you can enjoy it immediately.
Our sweet Sandi Dog.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray a 9x5 inch loaf pan with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Whisk together and set aside.
- Place 5 bananas in a microwave safe bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and make several slits to act as steam vents. Microwave on high until the bananas are soft and have released liquid. About 5 minutes. Transfer the bananas to a fine mesh strainer set over a medium saucepan. Let strain for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cook the liquid over medium -high heat until reduced to about 1/4 cup, about 5-10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. In a large bowl, combine the bananas, reduced banana liquid. Whisk together until mostly smooth. Whisk in the melted butter, eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla. Add in the dry ingredients and mix until incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth with a spatula.
- Slice the remaining banana diagonally into 1/4 inch thick slices. Layer the banana slices along both sides of the top of the batter, leaving a couple of inches in the center to allow an even rise. Sprinkle the granulated sugar evenly over the top of the loaf.
- Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 55-75 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool at least 15 minutes in the pan before removing. Continue to cool on the wire rack until warm.