I don't get many opportunities to bake from scratch at Deer Crossing Camp. Most quick breads (pancakes, cake and muffins, for instance) at the wilderness camp are made from baking mixes. Bridgford frozen bread dough is also used for dinner.
I enjoyed an opportunity to bake banana bread from scratch yesterday. Faced with four or five over-ripe banana bunches, I used the bread to replace the blueberry muffins that normally run on Monday of the first week in each session.
My assistant cook, Oyu -- she's from Mongolia! -- and I prepared a batch of banana bread during our opening day baking session. It took us two and one-half hours to bake carrot cake with cream cheese icing and French bread for last night’s dinner, along with the banana bread.
The banana bread gave me a chance to show Oyu how to scale ingredients in the bakery. It also shows her how to use over-ripe produce and to adjust the menu to fit a need.
The dry and wet mixtures may be prepared in advance if desired. Once combined, the batter should be baked without delay to avoid loss of volume.
3 pounds all-purpose flour
1 pound 4 ounces sugar
2-1/2 ounces baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
4 teaspoons salt
12 ounces chopped nuts (optional)
1 pound 4 ounces eggs
3 pounds ripe banana pulp, pureed
1 pound vegetable oil or melted butter
Thoroughly combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nuts in large bowl. Set aside.
Combine eggs, banana pulp and oil or melted butter in separate bowl. Add liquids to dry ingredients and mix just until flour is moistened. The batter will appear lumpy. Don't overmix.
Scale 1 pound 8 ounces batter into each greased 8-1/2 by 4-1/2-inch loaf pan. Bake at 375-degrees F. for 50 minutes, or until done in center. Cool and cut each loaf into approximately 15 (1/2-inch) slices.
The recipe yields 9 pounds batter. Six loaf loaves will give you approximately 90 slices of banana bread.
This recipe comes from the 4th edition of Professional Cooking (Wayne Gisslen, John Wiley & Sons: N.Y., 1999), page 711.
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