Banana bread is one of two ways I’ll eat bananas. The other way is just-barely-yellow – the way bananas are for the first thirty seconds after you bring them home from the store. This means I don’t buy bananas very often and when I do I inevitably have to toss of a few unless I remember to let them get brown enough to make banana bread.
This recipe only requires three bananas but if you find yourself with one very spotted banana at the end of a bunch, don’t throw it away. Put it in a ziplock in the freezer to await other overripe friends. When you’ve got three, it’s bread time! I find this is a great way to ensure that I’m not making banana bread every-other week. It’s all about moderation, you know. However, this recipe is so simple you’ll wonder why you don’t make it more often. It takes all of about 10 minutes to throw it together before letting it sit in the oven for nearly an hour, making this a great recipe for a day you want something delicious and low-key.
Note: If you do decide to use nuts (I didn’t) you can do whatever you want. Walnuts and pecans are traditional, but my friend Chelsea makes a killer banana bread with cinnamon-sugar-almonds on top. Oooh, yeah.
Banana BreadFrom the Joy of Cooking makes one (1) loaf
- 1 3/4 cups (230 grams) all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated white sugar
- 1 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 3 ripe large bananas (approximately 1 pound or 454 grams), mashed well (about 1-1/2 cups)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup (115 grams) walnuts or pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place oven rack to middle position. Butter and flour (or spray with a non stick vegetable/flour spray) the bottom and sides of a 9 x 5 x 3 inch (23 x 13 x 8 cm) loaf pan. Set aside.
If using them, place the nuts on a baking sheet and bake for about 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly toasted. Let cool and then chop coarsely.
In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nuts. Set aside.
In a medium-sized bowl combine the mashed bananas, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla. With a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, lightly fold the banana mixture into the dry ingredients just until combined and the batter is thick and chunky. It is important to not over mix the batter–you do not want it smooth. Too much mixing makes for rubbery, gross bread. Scrape batter into prepared pan. Bake for about 50-60 minutes until bread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.. Place on a wire rack to cool and then remove the bread from the pan. Eat!