Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Banana Bread with Oatmeal Cinnamon Streusel

This bread is how I became a blogger. It's an interesting story, actually. I have collected quite a line-up of food blogs that I visit on a regular basis. One of them is Heidi Bakes. This woman knows how to tempt me. When I saw this recipe on her blog early last summer, I decided I had to make it. Unfortunately, I made it wrong. Really wrong. As in, bread batter all over my oven, wrong.  Fortunately for me, she is a patient, encouraging and understanding woman. She returned my questioning e-mails and was full of concern, compassion and helpful hints to baking success.

As we got to talking and sharing more about each other, I mentioned how much I would love to learn more about photography and how much I love to talk about food. Heidi promptly suggested that I could do that; that I could do what she and so many others were doing-- taking pictures of food and telling stories about them. She is basically my "blog-mom". With generosity and encouragement, she guided me into this uncharted territory, and while I'm still feeling my way around, I owe that first plunge into the unknown to her. Thank you so much, Heidi, for sharing your experience, your knowledge and your love for baking and making people happy.

So, about this bread. It's as delicious as it looks. This loaf has a nice, sturdy crumb that is moist without seeming soggy like some quick breads I've tried. The star of the show, however, is the oatmeal streusel on top. A generous amount of streusel, I might add. No point in skimping on the crowning glory, after all. Is there anything more comforting, more satisfying, than buttery clumps of cinnamon and sugar studded with oats? No, no there isn't. I hope you'll try this bread and I hope it reminds you, as it reminds me, that we can be an inspiration to someone. We can guide them. We can be the one to say "Yes, you can. Here's how."

Banana Bread with Oatmeal Cinnamon Streusel
adapted from Heidi Bakes

makes 2 8x4" loaves
3 c.flour
1/2 t. salt
 2 t. baking soda
5-6 ripe bananas
2/3 c. melted butter
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 eggs
2 t. vanilla

1/3 c. sugar
1/3 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. flour
1/3 c. rolled oats
1 t. cinnamon
6 T. cold butter, in cubes

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat bottoms of two 8x4" loaf pans with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, combine flour, salt and baking soda and whisk to combine. In another large bowl, mash bananas with a potato masher until smooth. Add butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla and stir until well blended. Add flour and fold in gently until mostly combined. Pour into pans. In another medium bowl, combine sugar, brown sugar, flour and cinnamon. Cut in butter with a pastry blender until medium size bits remain. Add oats and continue cutting in butter until crumbly and bits are pea-sized.  Sprinkle over batter. Place pans on a rimmed baking sheet and bake about 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until a toothpick in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pans, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

1 comment:

  1. Christina,

    What nice words about my blog! How touching. And I'm having a pretty crappy day today so that just makes me smile. Thank you. Your bread looks fantastic. It looks better than when I make it. Your stuesel topping looks perfect! Honestly! Perfect! I'm glad you enjoyed the recipe. I'm always on the lookout for a new banana bread recipe but ever since I first made it with struesel a couple of years ago, that's how I like it best.

    Oh, and your photos are fantastic. I'm not sure why, but my photography skills have actually gotten worse. We moved into a new house in November and the natural lighting is not good in this house so I'm having trouble finding a consistantly good photo taking area. It's so frustrating. I want to take a photography class but just havent gotten around to it. I try and read tutorials on photography or magazines or books but I think I just need to have someone actually physically show me. I'm just not getting it. My camera has so many bells & whistles & I know how to use maybe.....5% of them. No kidding. Most of the time I put it on "auto".

    I hope you are having a good weekend. I hope to bake something tomorrow. Not sure what. Most of the time I bake something lately I don't even bother posting it. I've been so busy and then the whole natural light issue....

    Ok, have a good evening! Beautiful banana bread!