Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Most Perfect Banana Bread

I often get asked to share my recipes.  Some recipes I spent years perfecting- like my sugar cookies- and won't give those out.  Others, like this one, I'm  more than happy to share.

This recipe is a family favorite.  I am never bummed to find that I bought too many bananas one week because I know banana bread is just a few days away.  And with my children, banana consumption varies wildly as one week they'll eat a dozen, the next week they won't touch them.  So if you find yourself with an abundance of bananas, here's a great way to use them up.  This recipe is adapted from the one found in The Joy of Cooking.

Have all of your ingredients at room temperature and preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.  
Cream together 1 1/3 C sugar and 1 1/2 sticks (12 Tablespoons) butter. 

It should look like this- suuuper creamy. 

Add 2 Teaspoons cinnamon, 1/4 Teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (ground nutmeg may be substituted), and 3 large eggs.  There really is no substitute for the flavor you'll get from freshly grated nutmeg but you can use ground in a pinch.
And now for the bananas.  If they have any green on them- they're not ripe enough.  
You want the bananas to have a fair bit of brown on them and definitely be on the soft side.  
You can cut away any brown spots on the fruit itself but brown skins are ideal.
You want 2-3 Cups of banana total, so 4-6 of them.  I used 7 but had to cut off a couple brown spots. 

Chop up the bananas and toss them into the bowl along with 2 teaspoons vanilla extract.
The mixer will chop/smash them further so don't worry if the chunks seem big.  

Mix it all up.  It should look like this.  

Dump 3 cups of flour, 3 teaspoons of baking powder, and 1 teaspoon of salt in.
Mix it until just combined, scraping bowl if needed. 

Scrape batter into greased loaf tins. Mine aren't even the same size.  
You could even use muffin tins with cupcake liners here if you'd like.  
(Just make sure to reduce baking time if you make muffins!)

Bake for 1 hour or until toothpick inserted into the center of each loaf comes out clean. 
Allow to cool for a couple of minutes before unmolding. 
 Let cool completely (or at least mostly) before slicing.  This will help it retain its moisture.

Banana Bread
yields 2 loaves

1 1/3 C sugar
1 1/2 sticks butter (12 Tablespoons)
2 Teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (ground nutmeg may be substituted)
3 large eggs
2-3 cups mashed ripe bananas chopped (4-6)
2 Teaspoons vanilla extract
3 Cups all-purpose flour
3 Teaspoons baking powder
1 Teaspoon salt
Optional- 1 Cup chopped nuts, any type.

Have all ingredients at room temperature.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease 2 standard loaf pans.  In a large bowl at medium speed, cream butter and sugar until very creamy.  Add cinnamon, nutmeg, and eggs.   Mix on low until combined.  Add chopped bananas and vanilla, beat until combined.  Add flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix on low until just combined.  Scrape batter into prepared pans.  Bake for 1 hour or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Cool slightly, then unmold.  Cool completely before slicing. 

*If you are not a cinnamon/ nutmeg fan replace those ingredients with 2 Teaspoons grated lemon zest and omit the vanilla. 

1 comment:

  1. I've never had any interest in making sugar cookies... but now that I know you won't share it I am desperate for them LOL!!! Making bread today and as luck would have it I can use the bananas from this weekend :)