Quick breads are an easy way to bake up something sweet even if (like me) you’re not much of a baker. I like to make one for a weekend treat or whip up a loaf as a hostess gift. I especially like playing around with quick bread recipes that incorporate a little booze. It’s an interesting way to work the flavour of different spirits or liqueurs into something besides a cocktail. It can also be a good way to use up those lingering bottles (hello, Limoncello!)
Banana Bread with Rum
2 cups (260 grams) flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup/180 grams sugar
3 large over ripe bananas
½ cup/120 ml vegetable oil
2 tablespoons dark rum
1/4 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
Preheat the oven to 175°C (350°F).
While oven heats, butter a loaf pan and then lightly dust with flour.
Combine the flour, baking soda, spices, salt, and sugar.
In a separate bowl, mash the bananas. Add the oil, rum, and vinegar, and stir to combine.
Fold dry ingredients into the wet ones taking care not to overmix.
Pour mix into baking pan.
Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (about 60 minutes in my oven, but perhaps shorter in others, so start checking at 40 minutes).
Recommended Drink Pairing: Chai tea (credit goes to Melanie Vaz for that pairing)
After the loaf cools somewhat but is still warm, I like to wrap it in plastic wrap. The loaf gets a little more moist. It also leaves the outside a little sticky rather than dry, which I also like. There seems to be some baking debate about this method – but it works for me.
Use really really ripe bananas. I let mine get almost all black. Store blackened bananas in the freezer until you’re ready to bake. Defrost them before baking.
Trust the toothpick test over the time for determining when it’s done. (My oven usually takes longer than recipe recommendations, so I monitor it closely towards the end)
Make it the night before if you can. The bread seems to benefit from sitting overnight before serving.
Serve it by the slice, warmed and topped with quality butter.
Next month: Limoncello Bread