Let’s talk about bananas.
I LOVE bananas.
Also peanut butter but that’s a discussion for another day.
Banana bread is brilliant. Eat it plain and pure, or studded with chocolate chips (or heck..any kind of chips), or raisins, or walnuts, or apples…ANYTHING! The possibilities are endless.
Serve it buttered, warmed, chilled, first thing in the morning, as an after dinner treat…again…the possibilities are endless.
There are as many banana bread recipes as there are ways to eat it, but no one does banana bread like my friend Erika.
Are you ready for this?
Remember those eggs from the pull-apart bread? Some friends are joining them to un-chill this time
Organize your life. (Or at least your banana bread ingredients….baby steps)
Let’s take a closer look at those bananas.
They should be beyond ripe. We’re talking black/slimy/rotting. Seriously. That’s when they have the banana-iest possible flavor and it really makes a difference.
I guess banana bread theoretically happens when you bought too many bananas and they went bad before you got to them. One of those “if life hands you rotten bananas….make banana bread” kind of a deals.
If you’re me, though, there’s no such thing as a banana you “couldn’t get to” so you’ll have to make a conscious effort to let them be til they’re in the properly rotten-delicious state. Bag ’em up, stick them somewhere room temperature and try to forget about them.
You’ll be happy you did, I promise.
Cream that butter and sugar (aka stir it until it’s creamy. an impossible task unless your butter has un-chilled properly…just saying.)
I like to toss in some vanilla with the wet ingredients. You can’t go wrong with vanilla.
Literally just mix everything together. Win.
AND THEN! for the secret ingredient: Cinnamon.
It’s not in the original recipe and not at all necessary but I love the extra fragrant, comforting something it gives the bread.
If you’re allergic to cinnamon (this is for you grandma) try nutmeg (you need less nutmeg than cinnamon…that stuff is strong) or leave it out altogether. The bread will survive and it will be as yummy as ever.
You should end up with something like a chunky cake batter. I like chunks of banana..they get all gooey in the oven…but let’s not get carried away.
Unless that’s you’re thing. Then by all means..carry away.
Pour it into your greased and floured bread pan. I have another little thing I like to do….
Slice another banana, (one that’s not quite as ripe so you can actually cut it), into really thin slices and arrange them on top (note: I was low on banana supplies…usually I would put more on top than is pictured here) then sprinkle some sugar in the raw on top.
The bananas carmelize in the oven and….yum. Just yum.
Pop that sucker into your 350 degree oven for like about an hour and BAM! It’s bananas. It really is.
Slice and enjoy =)
Banana Bread Recipe
Courtesy of my friend Erika, with a couple of Ellen twists
Note: I kept it simple this time. Straight up, no-nonsense, perfectly, amazingly delicious and classic banana bread. The beauty of this stuff, though, is the fact that anything goes. Experiment with add-ins…let me know if you hit on a good one!
**UPDATE: For super extra moist banana bread use one more tablespoon butter, substitute one cup of the flour for super finely ground oats (oat flour), and use all brown sugar! I also always add some vanilla. Delicious. Happy baking =)
4 tablespoons SOFT butter
3/4 cup sugar
3 medium rotten (seriously) bananas, mashed
1/3 cup yogurt (plain, vanilla or lemon are really yummy but feel free to go crazy)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
-cinnamon (I always put cinnamon in mine. to taste so however much you want. taste as you add)
1. preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. cream the butter and sugar
3. add bananas and mix until well blended and mashed (depending on how lumpy you like your banana bread)
4. beat in egg and yogurt
5. mix flour through salt in a separate bowl and add them to the wet mixture until blended
5. pour into 9 in. loaf pan
6. bake about 1 hour (check at about 45 minutes…don’t overcook!!)
7. keep in pan for 10 min. before removing, then cool on cooling rack
*if you’re feeling fancy, top the bread with thinly sliced banana and sprinkle with raw sugar (or just granulated sugar) before you bake it….the bananas get all caramelized and delicious in the oven