Friday, October 30, 2015

Fall comfort food

Fall is our favorite time of year. Lafayette Park is full of beautiful trees changing color, the air is brisk, and we can cozy up by the fireplace with a good book.

Fall also means it's time for comfort food. One of Stacy's time-honored breakfasts is making banana bread French toast. It's an unexpected way to prepare a traditional recipe, and our returning guests frequently request it!

Here's the recipe:

Banana Bread

1 ¼ cups sugar
½ cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1 ½ cup mashed ripe bananas (3 to 4 medium)
½ cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

1. Move oven rack to low position so that the tops of the pan(s) will be in the center of the oven. Heat oven to 350°. Grease the bottoms only of 2 loaf pans 8 ½ x 4 ½ x 2 ½ or one loaf pan 9 x 5 x 3 inches with shortening. (I only use one pan.)
2. Mix sugar & butter in a large bowl. Add eggs & blend. Add bananas, buttermilk, & vanilla. Beat until smooth. Stir in flour, baking soda, and salt until just moistened.  Pour into pans. (I combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and then slowly add them to the wet ingredients.)
3. Bake 8-inch loaves about 1 hour, 9-inch loaf about 1 ¼ hour until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes in the pan, then run a butter knife around the edges and place onto a cooling rack. Cool completely before slicing.

For French toast, just whisk a couple of eggs in milk or half and half, then batter thick slices of the banana bread. Cook on a lightly buttered griddle heated at 350 degrees. If you'd like to serve the French toast with caramelized bananas, just set a few slices of banana on the griddle and heat until golden (about 2 minutes on each side). Serve with warm maple syrup.

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