After getting altitude sick last week, I started to look online at remedies for a cure. It was horrible and I had to find a way to acclimate A.S.A.P. I discovered that we have to drink 2.5 times the amount of water we would drink at sea level, eat lots of carbs (no complaints on that one!), take iron supplements and eat foods high in potassium, i.e. bananas.
J.O. will tollerate bananas and although I enjoy them, I’m a bit fussy on their “prime eating” time: to me they can not be fully yellow and more than 3/4 green. Yes, I know, I have on average a one day window for this taste. But we bought the bananas, thinking they would be an easy snack…they weren’t. In the end, we both decided to go for the excuse to eat pasta with no regrets and leave the bananas behind; this now gave us a plethora of over ripe bananas. In comes, baking banana bread!
Now, not to toot my own horn, but I make a pretty mean quick bread. By that I mean, any bread that does not involve yeast (look for a post to come on my raised bread recipes). This recipe makes a moist (hate that word, but it’s the best description) not too dense bread. Perfect for brunch or a morning snack. We make quick bread often, whether it be berry bread, apple or banana. The following recipe you can substitute the bananas for any fruit of your choice.
Now, before I give you the recipe, I have to tell you about my first experience with baking at a high altitude (6728 feet above sea level). I knew that this was going to be an adventure and some things were going to have to change, so I researched baking at high altitudes online and these were my rules:
1. Increase the amount of liquid in the recipe by one tablespoon for every cup
2. Decrease the amount of baking powered/soda by two teaspoons for every three.
3. Decrease the amount of sugar one tablespoon for every cup.
4. If the recipe calls for both baking powder and baking soda, only use one and then use a sweet milk instead of an acidic (condescended vs buttermilk).
5. Raise your oven temperature 10-15 degrees.
6. Lower you baking time by five minuets for every thirty instructed.
Ahhhhh….Holy Guacamole! Are you kidding me? Why would people even attempt to bake up here?! Pure craziness.
Well, I was up for the challenge…I mean I had to get rid of those bananas and plus I wanted to try mixing in berries for a banana/berry bread.
In all honesty, it turned out pretty darn good. I think the next time I will bake for a little longer because I have a larger than normal bread pan. Either way, it just took a determination
You will need:
3 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour (if you use wheat, add 1 extra tablespoon buttermilk)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 tablespoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, shortening or oil at room temp
2 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
4 large eggs
3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk (FYI, if you don’t have buttermilk, use 1 cup milk + 1 tablespoon white vinegar)
2 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (3-4 bananas)
1 cup berries of your preference (frozen work just great)*
Juice from 1/2 lemon*
1 tablespoon white sugar*
*This is only if you want to make one loaf a banana/berry loaf.
Making the bread:
1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Sift the flour, baking powder, soda, and salt together and set aside.
2. With an electric mixer (if you have a paddle attachment use that), cream the butter and brown sugar together until smooth and creamy.
4. Now you will mix in the 1/3 flour mixture, then 1/3 buttermilk, then 1/3 bananas, repeating until all ingredients are gone. Mix until flour is just absorbed and batter is smooth.
5. In a sauce pan over low heat, bring berries, white sugar and lemon juice to a simmer. Let them condense and smash with a potato masher.
6. Grease two loaf pans. I prefer to brush the pans with a mixture of three tablespoons melted butter and one tablespoon flour, but cooking spray works just fine. Fill one pan 2/3 full with batter. If you plan on making both pans banana, fill both and proceed to step 8.
7. With remaining batter add in berry mixture. Pour into the reaming pan.
8. Bake for roughly 45 minutes, then reduce heat to 325F and bake an additional 15 min or until loaves are springy and a golden brown.
9. Let loaves cool for 10 min in the pan before you turn them onto a rack for an additional hour.