banana-y banana bread

June 9, 2010 § 21 Comments

My stepfather is an incredible cook. I don’t know what he does, but whenever I’m visiting, the most amazing plates of food come out of that kitchen. What I find especially impressive, though, isn’t the exotic meals I’ve never tried before, but when he turns out a classic dish that is somehow better than every other version I’ve had. He makes a romaine salad that I can’t stop eating – I just eat more and more, and it’s only lettuce! A man who can make lettuce addictive is someone I want to learn to cook from.

To that end, I always pay close attention when he doles out the occasional cooking tip. Apparently the secret to the salad is fancy sherry vinegar, and his chile-rubbed salmon is so amazing because he grinds his own chile powder blend. I’m ashamed to admit that I haven’t yet actually tried making these things, since they don’t contain butter or sugar, but I’ve scrounged some baking wisdom as well. When I mentioned that I was making banana bread, I got not one but two rules for banana bread, which I will now follow like scripture:

1. You have to use really ripe bananas. Sort of alarmingly overripe. Really, they should be brown enough that you’re kind of embarrassed if your friends happen to come over and spot them in your fruit bowl, because you know then they’ll think you’re a slob who keeps rotting fruit lying around the kitchen. But once you explain that it’s for purposes of banana bread, all will be forgiven!

2. Add an extra banana to the recipe. I absolutely love this change, since it makes for a really banana-y, moist bread. If you prefer a cakier texture, though, then this might not be for you. Also, I’ve already added a banana to this recipe, so I suppose this rule no longer applies – although I’m curious to see how far it could be stretched…

Extra Banana Bread – adapted from The New Best Recipe

This makes an ultra-moist, banana-y loaf, crunching with toasted nuts. If you prefer a cakier texture, drop the bananas back down to three, but I’ll be sad!

    2 cups (10 ounces) flour, plus more for dusting the pan
    1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped coarse
    3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces) sugar
    3/4 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    4 very ripe bananas, mashed well
    1/4 cup plain yogurt (optional, I may try leaving this out next time)
    2 large eggs, beaten lightly
    1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan; dust with flour, tapping out the excess.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt.

In a medium bowl, mix the mashed bananas, yogurt, eggs, butter, and vanilla with a wooden spoon. Lightly fold the banana mixture into the dry ingredients with a rubber spatula until just combined and the batter looks thick and chunky. Fold in walnuts as carefully as possible. Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan.

Bake until the loaf is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with very few crumbs, about 55-70 minutes. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. (The bread can be wrapped with plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days).

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§ 21 Responses to banana-y banana bread

  • Mitch says:

    Have you ever tried to substitute the eggs for 1/4 Cup Applesauce and 1/2 tsp baking powder? I’ve done it to substitute eggs in other recipes but I don’t know how it would turn out in this. If you have, let me know! I definitely want to give this a try.

  • Laura says:

    Hi Mitch – I haven’t tried it, but I’m curious to know how it works out, so let me know if you do!

  • Jennifer says:

    Why did you decide to leave the yogurt out next time?

  • Laura says:

    Hi Jennifer – I’m thinking of experimenting with leaving it out just because the extra bananas make the bread so moist already that I’m not sure it needs the extra liquid. On the other hand, the yogurt provides a nice tanginess, so it might be good to include it anyhow. I’ll report back once I’ve tried it, or if anyone else does, please let me know!

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  • Mary says:

    Oh yum! I love my banana bread to be really banana-ey :) I will definitely be trying this recipe!

    xxMK
    Delightful Bitefuls

  • Amanda Hyer says:

    Try substituting your yogurt for sour cream – it makes all the difference in the world, and brings out an amazing addition of flavor to the bread, but not overly moist =) I can’t make anything banana-ee without sour cream now.

  • Hugo says:

    This is exquisite. Thanks for sharing these recipes.

    Best regards

  • Lili says:

    I used your recipe (but added a touch of honey). It was. AMAZING. So moist and delicious. I didn’t even get to eat that much of it (my family got to it). Thanks so much for posting.

  • Brittany says:

    I’ve got 4 ridiculously embarassing ripe bananas in my kitchen bowl, just as you describe. So I guess they’ll be perfect for this! Ps. How exciting that your uncle is such a great cook! It always gets me excited to meet/hear of people that are amazing with whipping up stuff in the kitchen.

  • Brittany says:

    Your method worked PERFECTLY! It’s now my rule too ;)

  • CLG says:

    Delicious recipe. I did try it with the applesauce instead of the eggs and it came out fine. Don’t know if it came out the SAME, but it did come out.

    I also used 1/4 cup of greek yogurt instead of normal plain yogurt. Greek Yogurt tends to resemble sour cream more in flavor and use than plain yogurt, so using sour cream instead of plain yogurt would probably work as well.

  • Sheree says:

    I’ve tried plenty of Banana Bread recipes but this is the best (to date). That extra banana makes a surprising difference. I also made it without the yoghurt. Still really moist.
    Thanks

  • Katie says:

    I used sour cream instead of yoghurt because I didn’t have any yoghurt. It came out very banana-ny and moist and the banana smell was beautiful. The only thing was I cooked it in three small bread pans and the sides were not as crusty as I would have liked. Not sure what to do to fix that. Otherwise, fantastic recipe. Thanks for sharing the tips.

  • Mercy Coleman says:

    Hey I love this recipe….I did a little extra though and added some cinnamon and honey to the mix and it turned out great! You can also drizzle the honey on top of each individual slice if its not in the mixture already…it kicks it up a thousand. I’m truly a fan of moist bread and cakes and this is just as moist as I love it to be. Thanks for sharing this!

  • Leann says:

    Haven’t tried the recipe yet but wanted to let everyone know that if you freeze the bananas first this makes them more sweet and you can use less sugar.

  • Emily says:

    I am allergic to bananas, so I substitued strawberries (that I had picked last summer and froze) I also added a little cinnamon and used whole wheat flour. It turned out phenomenal!

  • Liz says:

    I only had 3 overly ripe bananas, so I used banana flavored yogurt instead of the plain. It was really good, thanks so much for posting this!

  • lisa says:

    I usually do 4 to 5 Bananas no yogert and sometimes add blueberries or add a crumb topping

  • Debbie L. says:

    I am a cook for a small hospital. We seem to always have over ripe bananas!! I used your recipe with a couple of different twists. After greasing my bread pans I sprinkled cinnamon n sugar in the bottom of the pan and I added 1 t. caramel sauce to the batter! Excellent!!

  • Jen says:

    Very Delicious! I just made this recipe because I didn’t want to waste my 4 over ripe bananas and it’s very yummy! I think I over cooked it but it’s still awesome. Very moist!

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