I am almost finished with reading “The Chaperone” by Laura Moriarty. What a cool name to have! Anyway, I would give it 4/5 stars. I love that it is a page turner with some twists and turns. It is really interesting to learn and remember how times have changed from 100 years ago. I wouldn’t quite recommend it for book club, but a great read for a long airplane ride or on vacation. The main character, Cora, seems a little unbelievable towards the end…. But maybe that is just me…
I wish I could do more battles like this! I have wanted to do this for quite some time especially with banana bread. Banana Bread is one of the #1 searches all over the internet and one of the top searches for King Arthur Flour per their blog. And of course it is – we all have bananas that have turned more brown than we’d like. We all have a day where we need to make something quick and easy to bring to someone’s house or just have something to snack on.
First, I found the most popular banana bread recipe on the web (or at least the one google thinks is #1). Since it didn’t win our “battle”, I don’t want to insult or hurt any feelings of who made it. She labeled the recipe the “best” banana bread ever, so of course I had to try it and figured we can’t tell if it is the best unless we test it against another banana bread recipe. The only thing I will say is that the “Best Banana Bread” recipe has 1 cup of mashed banana in it. Photo is below:
Second, I looked up one of King Arthur Flour’s most popular banana bread recipes: Whole Wheat Banana Bread. I’m a big fan of whole wheat and I figured why not. This recipe has 2 cups of mashed banana.
Who won? King Arthur Flour! Out of our entire extended family trying the breads blindfolded at the dinner table, the “best” banana bread earned 1 vote and the King Arthur Flour bread earned 4 ecstatic yes votes – myself included. The differences:
1. “Best” actually wins for looks. The top is very smooth and the color very even. King Arthur Flour’s banana bread had crevices on top – which didn’t look bad per se. Just not as smooth as the other loaf. But even with a whole 1/2 cup more sugar in the “best” banana bread, we still preferred the other one.
2. King Arthur Flour wins for taste and texture. The banana flavor was much stronger (because of the 2 vs. 1 cup of banana), the bread less gummy and overall a better loaf.
**Note on flour** As I have noted before, it is always best to weigh your flour. Perhaps that might be part of why the “best” recipe didn’t work out for me. The flour was measured in cups instead of ounces. King Arthur Flour tends to be on the low end of ounces. You may “scoop” 1 cup of flour which actually might be 1 and 1/4 cups if you have not weighed the flour.
- 2 cups ripe bananas (4-5 bananas, very brown in color)
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil or applesauce
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 3 Tb. milk
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 cup (4.25 oz.) whole wheat flour
- 1 cup (4 oz.) AP flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
- 1. Prep a 9x5" loaf pan with Baker's Joy spray or grease.
- 2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- 3. In a medium bowl, mix the wet ingredients: mashed banana, oil, sugar, eggs, milk and vanilla
- 4. In a great big bowl, mix the dry ingredients: flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt and walnuts.
- 5. Add wet ingredients to dry. Stir until just barely combined.
- 6. Put in oven for 60-70 minutes. I put foil on the top after about 40 minutes to avoid the top getting too brown.
- 7. Cool in pan for 15 minutes. Remove carefully and cool on wire rack.