One of my favorite things about the Carolinas is the weather. Its February and we are just getting the seasons first real snow scare. I commute to work, ice and snow would definitely be a scary situation for me so I haven’t really minded that we have avoided it this long.
As long as I can remember, when snow was expected you could walk into any grocery or convenience store and the bread aisle was a ghost town. There might be a lingering pack of squashed hotdog buns or some scary looking italian baguette that had lost itself long ago from the deli-bakery. I was never really sure if this was a Southern thing or if it happened world wide, but I felt the need to rebel and buy the more important things in case of isolation like twinkies, a couple of steaks, and a bottle of liquor.
Coincidentally, today is my day off. Also coincidentally I have a mighty load of overripe bananas that I acquired with the promise of baking a banana bread. So, I have my milk and bread, my snow storm survival prep is now complete. Just need a bottle of booze, you know for antiseptics and stuff.
Lemon Poppy Banana Bread
2 ½ cups of bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tsp baking soda
1 cup vegetable shortening
2 cups sugar
6 overripe bananas
1 tsp pure lemon extract
Zest of one lemon
2 tbsp. poppy seeds
Preheat oven to 350 and grease and flour 2 loaf pans or a large ring/bundt mold.
In a medium bowl,whisk together flour, salt and soda, set aside.
In a stand mixer (or by hand) mix the sugar and shortening until combined.
Add banana ( mashed if not using mixer), extract and eggs one at a time.
Mix until smooth.
Add flour to mixture one cup at a time and mix only until flour is incorporated.
Pour into bakeware and bake 45-50 minutes, until top is golden brown and a toothpick will come clean.
Allow the bread to cool about 20 minutes and run a knife lightly around the edges. Turn onto a cooling rack and allow to cool to room temperature. Store in airtight container.