June 30, 2008

if you can't have a cuddly pet...

...a sourdough starter's the next best thing. I've neglected him more often than I care to admit (perhaps I'm not ready for the aforementioned cuddly pet...), but Eb is still getting it done for me. His latest achievement? Banana nut bread.


Even though I often claim to never have bananas too ripe to eat, it's been unavoidable with all the traveling I've been doing lately.


(banana goo, anyone?)

So, I decided to kill two birds with one stone--I satisfied my hunger for homemade banana bread and made use of Mr. Ebenezer.

In looking for a recipe, I kept coming across the same one and therefore assumed (correctly, as luck would have it) that it must be a winner. I made a few additions [cinnamon (of course), nutmeg, and cashews] and went the mini-loaf route rather than making one big brick of bread. The less time the oven is on in this heat, the better.

The end result was quite different from your typical banana bread--the sourdough flavor really added a unique and interesting component to it. The next time the fates align and I have both banana goo and a hungry starter simultaneously, you'd better believe I'll be making this bread.


Spectacular Sourdough Banana Nut Bread
(based on this recipe)

1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 cup mashed banana (aka banana goo)
1 cup Eb
2 cups unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (we wouldn't want it to overpower the cinnamon, now would we?)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup chopped cashews
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, cream together the shortening and sugar; add the egg and mix until blended. Mix in banana goo and Eb. Stir in vanilla.
In a separate bowl, stir together flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, and baking soda.
Add flour mixture and cashews to the wet ingredients, stirring until just blended.
Pour into greased 9 x 5-inch loaf pan or mini loaf pan.
Bake for 1 hour (about 35 minutes for mini loaves) or until toothpick comes out clean.
Slather with peanut butter (
AWESOME suggestion, Elle!) or strawberry jam or just stick your face into a loaf and chew.

31 comments:

Peter M said...

How novel, you even have a name for your starter.

I'd like one slab, smeared with butter and a large coffee, double-double (please).

April in CT said...

I'm having my first cup of morning coffee and just tried to bite into my screen. Do teeth marks fade off an LCD monitor?

It looks scrumptious!

Trisha said...

Gee that looks too yummy to be diet!

Albany Jane said...

Yum, I can really see the tang of sourdough being a nice component against the sweet banana.

Cathy said...

Wow this looks great - I have always used walnuts but you may have converted me as I love the idea of using cashews.

I am with Peter - buttter on top and a big ol cup of coffee does it get any better.

Cheers
Cathy
www.wheresmydamnanswer.com

Sharon said...

Dear Grace,

I'd personally like this option, please:
Stick your face into a loaf and chew.

Thanks!

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

I think that is the funniest first sentence of a blog post I have ever read! LOL!

dobetter said...

Very interesting. I would have never thought of combining a sourdough starter and bananas. Looks quite fabulous. Well done!

Deborah said...

I've never seen anyone do a banana/sourdough combo. Sounds interesting and delicious!

noble pig said...

That's exactly the kind of fuzzy pet I want! I need to get one, but I want part of yours. So feed half of it and put it in a plastic baggie and ship it to me, kay!

I'll be waiting!

Lisa said...

You are so funny, and I totally agree! Whenever I have a sourdough starter I am burdened by guilt about my neglectful nature. They remind me it is a good thing I don't have pets. They also make me wonder how I have children who thrived until they were old enough to move away from home.

Thankfully, sourdough starters are also forgiving. In the end they do make some wonderful baked goods. This sounds like a fabulous recipe. Next time I have a sourdough starter I'm trying it!

Gigi said...

Sour dough starter in banana bread! You're a genius! The bread looks so good. If only we weren't living on opposite coasts, I'd be at your house with over riped bananas. :)

The Blonde Duck said...

I have yet to try a sourdough starter, but I've always wanted to. That looks delicious!!

Would you mind stopping by my blog and voting on my story, "Missing Wings?" I'm trying to decide if it should be in short story installments or turn it into a book. Right now, the votes are tied! I'm incredibly indecisive, so I need help! Thanks!

Kevin said...

That banana bread looks really good! Banana bread is one of my favorites. I like the cashews in this one.

Cheryl said...

Nice work! I haven't worked with sourdough starter since elementary school, but I'd really like to get one going. Sourdough pancakes were always my favorite. I never would have thought to pair banana bread with sourdough, but it sounds delicious!

ovenhaven said...

I'd totally opt for that bread over a pet anytime! Only if it looks exactly like yours, thank you very much. Hehe :D

Elle said...

If you're sending cuddly fuzzy (well, I hope not fuzzy) pieces of Eb out, I want one. ;) My pets won't even be jealous of him!

Emiline said...

I love banana bread. This looks great!
And I would slather it in peanut butter, cause I love that combo.

Ann said...

Now, see... THAT'S a pet. It feeds you, doesn't need to be taken for walks, and waits patiently when you get busy. :-)

LyB said...

I love the addition of cashews in a banana bread, it looks so good! I'll have to make a starter soon, this sounds too great to pass up. :)

Sarah said...

Now THAT is a good way to start a Monday morning! Delicious!

giz said...

Pssst...if you want more bananas - let me know - I think I have 2 huge bags frozen ... and I'm not even travelling. Love love love banana bread.

Pam said...

Yum! I accidentally let my starter die, right after he celebrated his one year birthday!

Sandy said...

Yes, I neglected mine too. To the point where I had to toss. Probably will start some up again in the Fall ...

Looks delish!

Krysta said...

i love that you used a sourdough starter. very good and I'm sure very tasty!

cookinpanda said...

Gorgeous photos. I wish I was more adept at baking. I would love to try this some day...

My Sweet & Saucy said...

That is too funny! I love that you named your starter!

Leslie said...

I never would have though of banana sourdough! I will have to try this next time!!!

The Blonde Duck said...

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Y said...

How cool. I've never had anything sourdough but bread. Would love to try making something like that. Unfortunately Sully the sullen sourdough starter is no longer with us.. :( (Hello Eb!)

Jeff said...

Trade you a 8 week old kitten for a sourdough starter? He can entertain himself for hours by chasing his tail but hates sleeping at nighttime.

Awesome job! That looks so awesome and one day I hope to make bakable things this good (started experimenting over the weekend).