Our family is growing in many ways... Growing in numbers, knowledge, parenting skills, growing in love, in our faith, growing our culinary skills (if you can call it that), growing without gluten (some of us), growing green...........

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Calling All Bakers! Help a mama out...

I'm not a quitter. I'm really not. Sometimes I need to quit but just won't. I think this is one of those times I need to just let it go. Stop trying. Because it's not working.

It's not me, it's you? Nope. It's YOU.

I'm saying this to a recipe.

That's ok, you can laugh.

So, I've become a fan of a once-a-month-cooking site and have found some really great recipes from it. No, I don't do the once-a-month-cooking thing, but I do like to make big meals and freeze for a bunch of meals later; I just do it sporadically. I don't think I could handle a day or weekend of cooking THAT much, nor do I have any days or weekends that are THAT open to begin with... But I found this new recipe for banana bread. Now, I have quite a few banana bread recipes. One is the one I've used for years, and it has not let me down. It's great. And a few friends passed on some recipes lately, as well. This one uses sour cream, though, so I thought I would give it a go.

The batter...OMGoodness!! It is the BEST batter I have ever tasted. Ever. I could sit there and just eat the batter. I kid you not. (I don't tend to worry about raw eggs in batter, but if you're concerned about that...we don't use eggs due to the toddler with the allergy.)

BUT maybe some of you can help. Maybe I shouldn't let go just yet. I know a lot of you all are good bakers. Great ones. Probably a heck of a lot better than me. You wanna give it a go? Or should I just quit? I do have other great banana recipes, after all. They just don't have batter that is this ridiculously yummy.

So, here is the recipe:

Banana Sour Cream Bread, 32 servings (remember, this is baking in big batches)
from Once A Month Mom and from allrecipes.com (this was the original, I believe)

3 1/4 cups sugar (3 cups for recipe, 1/4 cup for pan)
1 tsp cinnamon (for pan)
2 tsp cinnamon (for recipe)
3/4 cup butter
3 eggs
6 bananas, very ripe, mashed
16 oz sour cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt 
3 tsp baking soda
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 300 (or based on some reviews 325). Grease four 7x3-in loaf pans.In small bowl, stir together 1/4 cup sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon. Dust pans lightly with cinnamon/sugar mixture.

In large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Mix in eggs, mashed bananas, sour cream, vanilla, and cinnamon. Mix in salt, baking soda, and flour. Stir in nuts, if using. Divide into prepared pans. 

Bake one hour, until a toothpick comes out clean.This makes 4 loaves (made to freeze some). 

NOW....I have made this a few times now. Each time, I have done some in a loaf pan, some as muffins, blah, blah. I have read reviews to see what others have done to make it work. Apparently many have had the issue I have - it does not cook in the time it should!! Granted, I do not have pans the size this calls for, but I have made bread before and have adjusted the time based on that (and looking at reviews). I finally thought I had it down after using someone else's changes (2 cups sugar, 4 eggs, baking at 350) when the muffins came out ok. But the loaf...did not. She said to cook for 45 minutes, covering w/ foil for the last 15....I had to reset the timer in 10-minute increments so many times I lost count!! I did that the first go-round, and I'm not a big fan of cooking that way... Let's have a set time and get it right with that, yes?

This is ridiculous. I have made it using so many different oven temps, different amounts of time in the oven.300, 325, 350, even 375..might have tried 400 at one point? Sometimes I cooked just two muffins at a time to try out various times/temps with the same batter. Seriously, I should have given up long ago. (You're nodding your head and considering just not reading any further, I'm sure.) But the batter...if it weren't so stinking good on its own, it would be easy to let go of this recipe.

I will say, I do not use this much sugar! I used less and less each time. The last was using the 2 cups (instead of 3), and it really is still just as good. I tend to use as little sugar as possible without affecting taste. Do NOT skip the cinnamon/sugar mixture in the loaf pan, though. Oh my, that does make a difference! Didn't work well w/ my silicone muffin cups, though...mostly just stayed in the cups and didn't make that crunchy, sweet addition to the bread. We also like it with the walnuts sprinkled on top.

And even the times the bread has come out not completely cooked in the center, it was still good! None of us thought otherwise. Remember, no concern with uncooked egg because we don't use egg. And no, that should not be causing the problem here. I use egg subs ALL the time. Aiden is a big muffin fanatic, so I know this wasn't the issue.

So...baking friends. Feel free to give this a try and prove that it can, indeed, come out fully cooked and delicious. Feel free to tell me I should really give up. Feel free to tell my I'm being completely ridiculous and should have given up after the first try... I mean, is it really worth it? (But try the batter before you answer that question!)

1 comment:

Becky said...

I actually have this recipe in my recipe box on allrecipes.com I've made it once a while ago and I remember having to cook it longer than stated but since I only had two loaf pans so I cooked it in batches.. I don't remember it being a big deal. I can't try again because I still don't have an oven and anything I can do in the toaster oven won't help you in a regular oven.

How different (in size) is your loaf pan?