Turkey Creek Lavender

Turkey Creek Lavender

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Cooking With Lavender: The Best (and easiest) Banana Bread

Good Morning Everyone,

I looked outside today and expected it to be sunny, but, alas, it was dreary. Which put me in the mood to bake. But then, again, I'm always in the mood to bake. I just needed an excuse. And since I have an abundance of overripe bananas in the freezer, voila! Banana Bread. Now, this is my go-to recipe for Banana Bread, but I will be making it extra special by adding 1 Tablespoon of my culinary lavender buds.

The key to baking with lavender is not to overdo it. It can be an overpowering flavor so it's best to go easy. Here at Turkey Creek Lavender we grow Provence as our culinary lavender. Even though the milder English lavenders are favored by some for baking, they do not grow well in my area., so, again, I am very judicious about how much I add to any recipe.

 Do you have things like this in your freezer? No? You mean you just throw your overripe bananas away? They do hurt when they slide out and land on your toe. Well, save them and make banana bread, or banana muffins.

I originally got this recipe years ago from a friend named Joanne. And I've made it ever since. I used to mix it in a blender or food processor, as her recipe suggests, but I found that you just have to stir it up in a bowl and it comes out just as good. Sometimes I seperate the ingredients, as I did for these pictures, but most of the time I just dump it all in a bowl and stir. The biggest TIP is that your bananas need to be overripe, and by that I mean brown...very brown.

The written recipe will be at the end of this post.
Peel and mash 2 medium ripe bananas in a large bowl.
Stir the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt together in a seperate bowl.
 Add 2 eggs, vegetable oil, and buttermilk to the bananas. (See note on buttermilk at the end of this post.) Stir to combine.
 
Now thoroughly stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
Measure out 1 Tablespoon of culinary lavender buds. Give them a quick chop to release their lavender goodness!
Stir the lavender buds into the batter.

Spray loaf pans with vegetable spray. This recipe makes 1 large loaf (9x5), or 2 smaller loaves. I prefer the 2 smaller loaf pans, 7 3/8 x 3 5/8 x2 1/4, so I can keep one, and give one away!
Divide batter evenly between the two pans (or fill the 1 larger pan). Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 to 45 minutes for the 2 smaller loaves, or about 60 minutes for the large loaf, until they are a nice golden brown and start to slightly pull away from the sides.
 
Voila! Let the loaves cool until you can turn them out onto a baking rack to finish cooling. Don't try to remove them from the pans too early or they will stick, which you probably already know, but just thought I'd mention it just in case.

Enjoy your warm loaf right away, maybe with a little butter, some coffee or yummy lavender tea!

And package the other loaf to give away.

The Best (and Easiest) Banana Bread

2 medium ripe bananas
1 3/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon buttermilk*
2 eggs
1 tablespoon culinary lavender, chopped slightly
1 cup nuts (optional) (TIP: I do not add nuts when I add lavender as it overpowers the subtle flavor)

*If I don't have buttermilk on hand I substitute 1/4 cup milk and 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray pans with vegetable oil spray. Measure the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt into a bowl, stir to combine. In a large bowl, mash bananas. Add the vegetable oil, buttermilk, and eggs, stir to combine. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Lightly chop 2 tablespoons of culinary lavender and stir into the batter. Pour the batter into 2 -7x3x2 inch loaf pans and bake 40-45 minutes, or one 9x5, and bake 60 minutes.

Enjoy! I hope you have a great day. I'm off to experiment with infusing honey for a later post.

CL


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