Banana Bread

Banana Bread Recipe
Photo by Scott Bartolomei Edmonds. Plate by Scott Bartolomei Edmonds.
Ripe banans that become spotted and dark often get neglected in our kitchen. These sweet and fully flavored bananas are the perfect base for banana bread.
There is nothing more comforting than curling up in the couch on a Sunday morning, reading the paper, drinking coffee and enjoying a warm slice of banana bread with just a little bit of butter.
This recipe makes a very moist bread that is sweet, but not too sweet. It’s very easy to prepare, but you must bake it for close to an hour, so you need to either plan ahead or be very patient.
Banana Bread
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
3 medium overripe bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Coat a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with oil. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder, cinnamon and salt. In a separate bowl, combine the sugar, eggs and oil and whisk until creamy. Add the mashed bananas and vanilla and blend until smooth. Stir in the dry ingredients until well incorporated.
2. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake in the middle of the oven for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the top is springy and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the loaf cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning it out onto a rack to cool.
Makes 1 loaf.

Popovers

Our good friends Justin and Sarah took us to The Bistro at the Cliff House in San Francisco a few years back. It was our first day in San Francisco after a long drive from Wyoming. Great company and a wonderful birthday feast in honor of Sarah’s father greeted us. Of all the good food The Bistro served, most memorable were the popovers that came piping hot to the table by the basketfuls. This was the first time I tried popovers. The memory of this event solidified around these light pillows of bread and now every time I make them I remember that day with our friends. Cheers to Sarah and Justin for sharing such a great experience!
Popovers are easy to make. This recipe came from Food and Wine.
Popovers
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 tablespoons rendered beef fat (from the roast) or melted butter
1. Preheat the oven to 425°. Put a large 12-cup muffin pan in the oven to heat. In a medium bowl, combine the milk with the flour, eggs, salt and 1 tablespoon of the beef fat. Using an electric mixer, beat until very smooth.
2. Remove the hot muffin pan from the oven and add 1/2 teaspoon of the beef fat to each cup.
3. Return the muffin pan to the oven and heat until the fat is very hot, about 5 minutes. Carefully and quickly pour the popover batter into the muffin cups and bake for 20 minutes; don’t open the oven door. Reduce the heat to 350° and bake for about 20 minutes, until the popovers are golden brown and puffed. Serve right away.
Makes 12 popovers.