Monday, February 27, 2012

The February 2012 Daring Bakers' Challenge

   The Daring Bakers’ February 2012 host was – Lis! Lis stepped in last minute and challenged us to create a quick bread we could call our own. She supplied us with a base recipe and shared some recipes she loves from various websites and encouraged us to build upon them and create new flavor profiles.
     And this is what happened...

    I love yucky bananas. And the yuckier the better.  I'm a sucker for banana bread. It's moist, melts in your mouth, and has a perfect crunch with pecans. But I wanted to go with something new...
   So out go the pecans and in comes the chocolate - oh yeah! Do I have your attention now? Thought so.
   You'll need three bread pans. If you don't have any, go to the dollar store and grab some disposables. (Line them with foil and you can reuse forever.) You also need to either unbutton your jeans or put on some sweat pants. I'm just saying. Here's the recipe I used for the challenge, I hope you'll try it:

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

6 ripe bananas
4 eggs
4 c. sugar
1 1/3 c. vegetable oil
1 c. sour cream
1 1/2 c. mini chocolate chips
4 c. all purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla

To start, heat your oven to 325 degrees and find your oldest 6 bananas.
 Some might think these are too old to use, but they are perfect. The black skin means they are full of extra sugar so don't worry about what they look like. Trust me on this one.
   Mash up your bananas. You can use a potato masher or a fork. Kids love doing this job. Add in the eggs, sugar, oil, and sour cream. Blend it all together until it's smooth. Now it's not gonna look too inviting right now.
  I promise it gets better. See?
 Chocolate makes everything better. (It's kinda like bacon that way.) So mix in your chocolate and smile.
   In a medium bowl, mix together your flour, baking soda, and salt. Take your flour mixture and add it to your banana mixture. Once it's all mixed up, add in the vanilla.
Now we're talking. Doesn't that look pretty? Get your 3 bread pans and grease and flour them. And I mean give them a really good coating. This is very critical or when you try to take your loaves out of the pan, they won't cooperate. At all. Trust me. Lots of grease and flour or you'll be eating your bread with a fork and the pan will be your plate. (It's not as wonderful as it sounds.) Divide the batter evenly into the three pans.
Space your pans in the oven to where there is at least an inch of space between the inside walls and the three pans. There should be an inch of space between all three pans as well. This lets the heat get to your loaves evenly. Cook for an hour and resist the compulsion to open the oven door and peek. Let the pans cool for about 15 minutes and then turn the loaves out onto a wire rack to finish cooling. These taste best warm, so dig in. You can wrap the extra bread up in plastic wrap and freeze for breakfasts or desserts later. Or you can lock the doors, grab a glass of milk, and enjoy.

   I hope you'll give this bread a try.

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