February 19, 2010

Go Bananas - Cranberry-Banana Quick Bread

I love quick breads.  The kind that use up random ingredients, that don't require hours of rising time and that can be made on the spur of the moment.  I especially love banana bread, because that moment  of optimal ripeness for a banana is so fleeting.  All too quickly, it seems, the yellow becomes brown, the skin beginning to wizen and pucker.  If time and patience permit, let the bananas be.  Let them go until they are deep coffee brown, barely recognisable.  Remember that half bag of cranberries you threw in the freezer?  Take them out and let's begin.

Cranberry-Banana Quick Bread*
makes one large loaf, or two medium size loaves

1½ c. all purpose flour
1¼  tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
1 c. frozen cranberries, plus a handful more (can use fresh)
2 very ripe bananas, mashed
½ c. sugar
¼ c. vegetable oil
1 large egg, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla

1.  Preheat oven to 350°F.  Spray a 9" x 5" loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray. You can also use two 8" x 4" pans to make two loaves.

2.  In a medium bowl, sift flour, baking powder and baking soda.  Stir in 1 cup of cranberries.

3.  In another medium bowl, whisk remaining ingredients together until smooth.  With a wooden spoon, stir dry ingredients into banana mixture until just blended. 

4.  Scrape evenly into prepared pan(s).  Take the reserved cranberries and stud the top of the batter with them.  Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

5.  While the bread is cooling completely, put a kettle on for some soothing tea and put on your favourite CD.  Cut a generous slice or two, curl up on the couch and enjoy!

*The recipe can easily be doubled.  Either that or throw those brown bananas in the freezer for future baking