Oh Banana “Bread”. How delicious art thou.
There’s a reason why even people who don’t like bananas (shame on you) like banana “bread”. It’s soo goooooood. It’s moist and not too sweet, the perfect accompaniment to a hot beverage or a cold glass of milk, and I think I speak for more people than just myself when I say that we fool ourselves into thinking it’s mildly healthy. I mean, there’s a lot of fruit in it. Really.
It’s also very easy to make. No machinery needed, just a bowl and a spatula. I even know someone who makes banana “bread” without a recipe every single time. I don’t know if I would go THAT far, but it just goes to show how no beginner baker should be intimidated by banana “bread”. It is pretty unintimidating. The Aquaman of coffee cakes, if you will.
This recipe is very close to my heart because it’s the first one I ever experimented with as a young, kitchen-obsessed teen. The version below is one I adapted from my mama’s big blue recipe book. So make sure that when you make it, you put a tonne of love in there. Just load it on. I swear it makes things come out better.
You start by mashing up some ripe bananas. I’m sure many of you know by now, the riper/uglier the banana, the sweeter and mushier, resulting in a more moist and flavourful product.
Cream together some butter and sugar until fluffy, then add eggs one at a time. By the time you add the third egg, the mixture will look significantly curdled. This is perfectly normal, keep going!
Sift the dry ingredients together overtop of your wet mixture and stir until just combined.
With any cake-like recipe, the point at which you start adding flour is when you want to start being very economical about your stirring. You want everything to combine into one smooth batter, but with the least amount of stirring possible. Overmix the batter and you risk developing the proteins (gluten) in the flour, which will make your cake tough and dry instead of tender and moist.
Fold in the mashed bananas all at once along with any other goodies you want in there. Toasted walnuts or pecans, chocolate chips, dried fruit, fresh blueberries, go for it. I went with classic banana flavour this time around but I’ve been known to throw a handful of chocolate chips in there.
Pour the batter into a lightly greased loaf pan (grease and flour if you’re really concerned about it sticking) and bake until golden brown and beautiful:
What are the quotation marks about, you ask? Well, as you may have noticed, banana “bread” is not so much a bread as it is a coffee cake or muffin. Sometimes they’re referred to as “quickbreads”. A very good friend of mine has a father who, having once tasted authentic, yeast-risen banana bread, can’t stand the fact that the quickbread version has stolen the ultimate title of “banana bread” with glowing popularity. So, Mr. Lum, until I perfect a recipe for the true banana bread you so crave, those quotation marks are there for you.
View and download the full printable recipe: