I’ve been on a 5 day “stay-cation” before I start a new job on Monday and I think it’s exactly what my body needed. I haven’t been setting an alarm in the mornings and have allowed myself to wake up naturally (well, as natural as possible with two hungry dogs barking and normally a 9AM wake-up call from Q), but still I’m sleeping in and just decompressing. I feel more energized and my body has just been able to kind of mellow out for a couple days which I think it really needed. I made this bread earlier in the week to bring in to my old job as one last “Koko Treat” (they have been the testers of many a sweet thing). And it was definitely another hit with the co-workers.
For this loaf, I took a basic banana bread recipe which we use as a “go to” in our house when we have ripe bananas. I added in blueberries and layered a banana over the top of the loaves for some extra flavor (and looks-wise it gives the loaves something special). We toasted the walnuts instead of putting them in raw and we used a potato ricer to mash our bananas which speeds up the process.
Blueberry Banana Bread
Makes 2 medium loaves
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 cup and 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 4 medium, very ripe, bananas, mashed (*we used a potato ricer to mash them)
- 1 medium ripe banana (for top of the loaf), sliced horizontally
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Toast walnuts in a toaster oven or on a stove top for 5 minutes. Set aside
- Heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease two medium loaf pans ( 7.5″ x 3.5″) and set aside.
- Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium sized bowl using your hands or a wooden spoon.
- In a large bowl, with a hand mixer, mix the melted butter and sugar and beat until blended. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then the 4 mashed bananas. Then, with a wooden spoon, stir in the walnuts, blueberries and vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture, a third at a time, stirring well after each bit.
- Scrape mixture into loaf pans. Only fill them 3/4 of the way. Layer your banana slices over the center of the loaf.
- Bake for 45-60 minutes. When they are ready, a toothpick stuck in the center of the loaves should come out cleanish.
- Let the loaves cool in the pans or 10 minutes. Remove loaves from pans (carefully) and let them cool on a wire rack.
Adapted from Nigella Lawson’s “How to Be a Domestic Goddess”
(I let my loaves cool outside for 5 minutes before taking them out of the pans since we were in a rush to get out the door.) These loaves were truly delicious and a great recipe to try for any beginning bakers.