About the Recipe: My grandmother always had banana bread in her house. My grandfather, who played collegiate football at the University of Kentucky and took up endurance sports as an adult loved two things; banana bread and honey. So being the loving wife she was, she always had both on hand at any time. This made visits to grandma and grandpa's house sweeter than they already were.
During the fall and winter months, nothing brings back those fond holiday memories like a good batch of banana bread. I learned how to make my own, because let's face it, sometimes the hands of bananas I buy ripen at varying rates. So to avoid wasting over-ripened bananas, this recipe is a great way to still put them to use.
- 2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- Pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 3-4 ripe to overripe bananas
- Optional: walnuts
Instructions: The first thing I always do is grind those overripe bananas into a paste using a fork. The more you mash them, the more they turn almost to liquid. You want them to be almost liquified for the recipe. DO NOT use regular yellow bananas and don't use bananas that have begun to mold.
More brown = more yum.
Next I add the brown sugar, melted butter, egg, vanilla extract, salt, and baking soda. Some recipes call for you to beat the egg first or to add all these ingredients in using a certain order, but I've never found that to yield particularly different results. Also, I mean, who has the time to add all those ingredients individually? I'm all about being efficient in the kitchen. Throw them all in there and mix 'em up nice!
I always add the flour last because this is when you're going to actually have to pay attention and stir it all into your batter. It thickens the batter up to more of a bread consistency. If the batter is still runny after adding the flour, you didn't add enough. If it's thick like pizza dough, you used too much.
Walnuts (or a nut of your choosing) are optional. I use walnuts because I need Omega 3 fatty acids ALL the time and I enjoy a little crunch when I'm eating banana bread. If you're allergic to tree nuts, I advise against adding nuts to your bread :D
Mix it all up and pour the batter into whatever oven-safe receptacle you'd like. Most people use a bread pan, but I love using muffin tins. Mainly because it's an easy way for me to partition the goodies so I don't eat all the banana bread in one sitting and because the cooking time decreases significantly. Whatever you use, be sure to spray the pan/tin down with an anti-stick spray or you'll be forking most of your bread out of the tin later.
The oven should be set to 350 degrees and although most recipes give you a time the bread should cook, your nose and eyes should be able to tell you when it's done. When your house starts to smell heavenly, it's time to go check on the bread. When you see a golden, raised top, you can probably get it out to check on it. Stick a knife in the center and when you pull it out, if it's clean, it's done! If it comes out gooey, put it back in the oven and give it a little bit longer.
When done, enjoy with a hot cup of coffee or espresso! They pair well!