I couldn’t take the responsibility for creating and destroying another yeast based civilization two days in a row, so today, I decided it was time to venture into the world of chemically leavened quick breads. Alternately, I realized my uneaten bananas were on the verge of creating new life of their very own. Only you can decide which answer you believe.
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1 tbsp vanilla
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
Since I’m known for neither sanity nor work-life-balance, I’m hard at work on Wood for Sheep: The Unauthorized Settler’s Cookbook. If those words mean anything to you, then yes, it is indeed as awesome as it sounds. If it’s mostly gibberish with a freakish implication of rural beastility, let me assure you that I’m working on a cookbook based on a boardgame. It’s wholesome. And no, I don’t live in my mother’s basement.
One of my edible boards is made entirely of assorted quick breads. Protip: making five distinct quickbreads actually takes a lot of time. Luckily, you can make a loaf or two a day and freeze them. They’ll thaw out just fine when you’re ready to assemble your Big Board of Nommy Delights.
Banana bread is a good place to start because, much like your favorite ex, it’s both embarrassingly easy and incredibly forgiving. Skin the mostly forgotten, mottled bananas you can’t remember why you bought last week. The closer they are to black the better. Mash that carby paste up with a fork. Now add the egg, vanilla, and both brown and white sugar. You can add a tablespoon of melted butter if you think this desperately needs some fat. I won’t judge you.
Beat the mix into a gooey submission. When you no longer have any hope of distinguishing individual parts, cover the whole mess with flour. Sprinkle the baking powder and salt on top. Good people would mix the flour, baking powder and salt in another bowl then add the nicely blended solids to their banana paste, but really, why dirty an extra bowl? Just try to spread the salt and baking powder out when you’re sprinkling it on top of the flour.
Now put your elbow into it and really mix this stuff together. Once it’s pretty much lump free, go butter the heck out of a pan.
You’ve got a couple options here. If you’re cooking banana bread for funsies, go get a loaf pan. If you want to make your own Settler’s of Catan edible bread board, go grab a 9 inch round cake pan. Oh, and make sure you have a hex shaped cookie cutter. (I found loads of affordable options on Amazon, though you can buy one the exact size of a Catan tile from the Settlers website.)
Whichever version you’re making, butter the heck out of the pan first. You want this to come out smoothly and easily. Teflon doesn’t cut it. This isn’t health food. Go a little crazy with the butter.
If you’re baking a normal human shaped loaf, go ahead and sprinkle an extra ⅓ cup of brown sugar on top. You’ll thank me later. It makes a gorgeous crust.
If you’re working on a hex map, you want to keep your future fields plain and golden. Just pour in the batter.
Bake your banana bread at 350F for 38-40 minutes. Start testing around 35 minutes by poking a wooden toothpick into the thickest part of the middle. When it comes out clean, your bread is done.
If you made a loaf, go ahead and stuff it straight into your face. However, if you’re making a Catan board, let the pan cool completely. I mean it. Leave it alone for at least an hour. Really, you’re best off making two loaves so you can eat one right now and leave the other unmolested. Fresh out of the oven, this smells almost irresistibly good.
After an hour, you can loosen the edges of the loaf with a rubber spatula. It should fall right out of the pan. Well, it will if you used enough butter. If it doesn’t ease right out, it’s your own damn fault. Butter. Lots. I’m not kidding.
I got five hexes and a bunch of scraps out of my loaf. Eat the scraps, freeze the hexes, and spend the next four days making your hills, mountains, forest and pasture.
It’ll be worth it when you see that edible Catan map.
Bitchin’ Bread Battle: Enter the Madness
Bitchin’ Bread Battle Day 1: Nutella Challah
Bitchin’ Bread Battle Day 2: Banana (Catan) Bread
Bitchin’ Bread Battle Day 3: Rosemary Garlic Bread
Bitchin’ Bread Battle Day 4: Ood Rolls
Bitchin’ Bread Battle Day 5: Not Quite King’s Hawaiian Rolls
Bitchin’ Bread Battle Day 6: Make it Dough
Bitchin’ Bread Battle Day 7: Wookie Pull Apart Bread
Bitchin’ Bread Battle Day 8-11: Settlers of Catan Bread Board
Bitchin’ Bread Battle Day 12: How NOT to Make a Sandworm
Bitchin’ Bread Battle Day 13: Valentine’s Day Anatomical Human Heart Pull Apart Bread
Bitchin’ Bread Battle Day 14: Nutella or Cinnamon Roll Hearts
Bitchin’ Bread Battle Day 15: Outback Copycat Bread
Bitchin’ Bread Battle Day 16: Return of the Sandworm
Bitchin’ Bread Battle Day 17: Vegan Popplers
Bitchin’ Bread Battle Day 18: Woodbury Bleeding Zombie Victim Loaf
Bitchin’ Bread Battle Day 19: Alien Xenomorph Pretzel Bread Eggs
Bitchin’ Bread Battle Day 20: Aperture Laboratories Bleeding Summer Strawberry Lemon Bread
Bitchin’ Bread Battle Day 21: Roasted Garlic Bread in Meatloaf Grease
Bitchin’ Bread Battle Day 22: Wonder Woman
Bitchin’ Bread Battle Day 23: Watermelon Bread