Anything banana is considered my favorite food. I love banana cake, cupcakes, cookies, pies, custards and yes, banana bread. I used to ask my mother for a banana cake for my birthday, much to the chagrin of my sisters, Katie and Katrina.
So in keeping with my bread theme and going with one of my favorite top 10 food items, I am creating banana bread — 1980s style, based upon Bananarama's song "Cruel Summer."
With summer nearly here and fresh local produce on the grocery shelves, there is no better time than the present to pay homage to the banana.
— Scott C. Anderson is associate food service director and chef with Shepherd University dining services in Shepherdstown, W.Va., and Chef Ambassador to the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board.
Bananarama Oatmeal Bread
3 cups sifted unbleached white whole-wheat flour
1 cup steel cut oatmeal
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
2 cups ripe bananas, mashed
2 cups 2-percent milk – use whole for richer recipe
Preheat oven to 325 degrees (or 300 degrees for a convection oven).
Butter and dust two 9-inch-by-5-inch loaf pans with flour. Remove excess and set aside.
Blend together flour, oatmeal, salt and soda in a separate bowl. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl add butter, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla, cream until light and fluffy.
Crack eggs into separate bowl and add one egg at a time. Combine on low speed until fully incorporated. Add in bananas and beat until full incorporated and creamy.
On low speed gradually add in dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, 1/3 at time, adding in milk between the dry ingredients.
When you last add the remaining dry ingredients, blend together until fully combined, approximately 2 minutes.
Place equal portions of batter into each pan, gently tapping each pan to settle the mixture before baking.
Place into center of the oven and bake for approximately 45 top 50 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Remove from oven, allow to cool in the pan. Invert the pan to remove the bread.