Just a while back, after years of mourning that I rarely came across banana bread at coffeehouses or food shops anymore, the thought suddenly struck me. . .Why don’t you bake it yourself? Duh. Why it took me so long is a mystery to me—other than the fact that although I’m pretty competent in the kitchen, I don’t tend to bake much. It’s an area of influence I’ve traditionally left to my wife.
Sooooo, I researched banana bread recipes and came upon one from The Kitchn.com which is easy and down-to-earth and makes a scumptious loaf. The recipe is quite adaptable (although don’t ever axe the baking soda). Which means if you don’t have milk, you can use yogurt. If you don’t have butter, you can use margarine or oil. You can add nuts. Feel free to fool around; that’s what I’ve done. I’ve tweaked it to my liking and I’m offering you the tweaked version along with some useful tips.
For me, it’s really important to keep things as simple as possible. So I mix by hand and throw most of the ingredients directly into one bowl. If you want to bake from scratch, but are scared to get your feet wet, this banana bread recipe is a terrific way to start!
Banana Bread Recipe
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup white sugar; 1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon canola/corn oil (for moistness). Never olive oil.
2 large eggs
3 (or 4) medium-sized bananas, very very ripe
1/4 cup milk (or buttermilk, or yogurt w/dash of light cream)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour; 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
8 x 5-inch loaf pan
Whisk or fork
(Above: Henckels Pro S paring knife inherited from my Mom. It’s experienced a reawakening after being sharpened by Seattle Knife Sharpening. The Henckels Pro S series is featured on one of KKG’s most popular pages: Best Chef Knives — Six Recommendations.)
1. Preheat oven to 350º with oven rack in bottom third of oven. Spray inside of pan with nonstick spray.
2. Melt butter in a microwave or on low heat over stovetop.
3. Whisk together butter and sugar(s).
4. Crack eggs into bowl. Whisk until combined and smooth.
5. Whisk milk and vanilla (and veg oil) into batter.
6. Mash in bananas (after peeling). Mash with your whisk, or a fork, or squish in your fingers. Leave them as chunky or smooth as you like (I much prefer some chunk).
7. Add flour (both types), baking soda, and salt. Measure into the bowl and switch to using a spatula. Gently stir until they are just barely combined and you can’t see anymore dry flour.
8. Pour batter into the pan. Using your spatula, scrape all the batter from the bowl and smooth out the top of the batter in the pan.
9. Bake for 55 to 65 minutes—until the top is dark brown and when you insert a toothpick in the center it comes out clean. After 55 minutes, check every 5 minutes. If the center is still wet and the top is getting too dark brown, drape foil over the top to protect. (TIP: Don’t be afraid to let the crust get dark—that’s the nature of the beast. It’s better to have a dark, thick crust than gooey bread.)
10. Place on a cooling rack. Let sit for 20 minutes or so before slicing.
– only use white sugar (1 cup)
– don’t bother with extra teaspoon of oil
– only use reg flour (2 cups)
– don’t mush up bananas too much
– if using thinner pan, cook less
– KKG cooktime, 60–65 minutes in a convection oven
REMEMBER: Make sure the bananas are super-ripe—I like them black. Yes, black! The riper they are, the more flavor.
As one who has had the extraordinary KitchenKnifeGuru banana bread nearly out of the oven, I can attest to it’s divine awesomeness! Thanks for sharing, Nate!
You’re welcome, Christine. Glad it was a success :)