We measured out flour into a bowl and if you don't want to sift the flour 3X you don't have to but the outcome will be affected. If you were to measure one cup of flour and then sift it three times, on re-measuring you would find that you now have more than just one cup of flour. So by not sifting and then measuring your flour, you will have added too much. Sifting also helps to make the finished product lighter.
This recipe tells you to measure your baking soda and mix it with the sour cream. The reason is to break up the soda or dissolve it so when taking a bite of the finished product you don't run accross a clump of baking soda. We've all done it . . . bit into a cookie and a bitter tastes hits the tongue . . . bad!
We added the baking soda to the flour & stirred it in with a fork; this acheives the same goal.
So now you understand the purpose of sifting flour and you also understand why we mix the leaving very well with some other ingredient so it doesn't clump. If it is really clumpy, we sometimes even push it through a strainer to break it up some.
Click for more scientific explanation of Creaming.
You can set aside your flour mixture for now. The next step is to put the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat it until it is light and fluffy. This is called Creaming and is another very important step.
There are so many banana bread recipes available, and while exact ingredients are necessary, technique makes the bigest difference in the finished bread.
Now you may be a mix and dump kind of cook and you may be thinking that it tastes pretty good doing it that way. And you probably did enjoy it.
This is because you have never tasted it when done correctly.
Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well.
Add the sour cream & beat well; Gradually beat in the flour mixture.
Remember those black ugly bananas? Bananas are picked when they are 75% ripe. During shipping, the ripening process continues, involving a chemical change whereby protopectin is converted into soluble pectin. Starch is also converted into sugars of which 20% is glucose, 14% is fructose and the remaining 66% is sucrose. So mash up the bananas, with your eyes shut, if necessary.
It really will flavor the bread nicely.
Mix the banana thoroughly into the batter & set aside the mixer. Hand stir in the chocolate chips, vanilla & walnuts into the batter.
TweakWe sneaked in a little coconut and cut back a bit on the amount of chocolate chips. We used Mexican vanilla which imparts a wonderful flavor to baked goods.
A Tip on preparing the bread pan. So you've triple sifted the flour, creamed the butter & sugar, made sure there are no bitter lumps of soda to shock the palate . . . all the bases are covered.
But there is one more very important step; once the bread is baked we want to be able to turn it out of the pan in one piece!
Take a piece of paper toweling and generously rub butter all over the inside of the pan and be sure not to miss the corners.
Still not sure it will release from the pan? Then take an extra step and pour in a little flour and shake it around until all the butter is dusted with flour. Turn pan over your waste basket and rap on the back of the pan to knock out the extra.
Pour the batter into the pan, level out the top and put it in the middle rack in the oven. Set a timer for 50 minutes and check it by inserting a toothpick in the center. If it comes out with batter on it, Set the timer for 10 more minutes. After 60 minutes of baking, we found that the toothpick still did not come out clean. It took an additional 5 minutes of baking.