For a home cook, baking banana bread is sacred. Recipes are passed down in families and baked proudly through the generations. Everything banana bread is something you probably won’t order in a restaurant or even purchase in a bakery. It’s authentic home cooking because it’s quick to put together with familiar ingredients and a reliable way to use up spotty bananas. Here are all the secrets to jazz up this old favorite…
Spotty bananas: Bananas truly are among the prettiest in the fruit bowl. That is until the natural ripening process takes the whole bunch from yellow to black in what seems like a blink of an eye. It’s the sugar that turns them spotty, then black which means they’re just right for banana bread.
Double duty: When a recipe calls for melted butter as this one does, melt the butter in the loaf pan as the oven pre-heats. This will: 1) grease the pan so it’s prepped for baking 2) minimize cleanup.
Everything for everyone: Place your creative stamp on your own banana bread. Here are some fun ideas: The Big Kahuna (macadamias, mango, coconut, orange zest), The Playdate Powerhouse (milk chocolate chips, peanuts, raisins), The Happy Home Cook (apple, cinnamon, walnuts).
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (½ stick)
- 3 ripe bananas
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 1 ½ cups flour + 1 tablespoon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup chopped nuts (almonds, walnuts, peanuts, macadamias)
- ½ cup chopped dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, apricots, mango)
- ½ cup chocolate chips (milk, white, dark)
- ½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes, diced apple
- Zest of one orange, 1teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 325 F.
- Place butter in a standard loaf pan and place in the oven to melt while pre-heating (about 5 minutes). Alternately if you’re adding nuts or coconut into your banana bread, place on a rimmed baking sheet and toast while the oven is pre-heating (about 5 minutes).
- In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat bananas, sugar, egg and vanilla. With the mixer running, slowly add melted butter (this is important so the warm butter does not cook the egg). Add 1 ½ cups flour, baking soda and salt to combine.
- Add mix-ins but don’t exceed 1½ cups. Be creative and have fun or use up what’s in your pantry.
- The loaf an will have a thin layer of melted butter in it. Spread it around, then sprinkle the tablespoon of flour to cover the butter. Tap out any excess. Pour batter evenly into prepared pan.
- Bake 50-60 minutes until tester comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan then turn out onto a cooling rack.