If you can find me a baker, amateur or professional, that has not attempted a banana bread at least once, I will find you Titanic. Possible, but highly improbable !!! This universally popular, adorably easy and unfailingly delicious breakfast/snack staple can perhaps boast of as many ‘unique’ recipes as there are bakers 🙂 True to my point, I too have my own ‘secret’ recipe that never fails to wow anyone who takes a bite of it. Banana is a staple fruit in my house and is consumed almost daily. While I adore it as it is, its vesatility makes playing with it in recipes a pleasure. Pancakes, cakes, muffins, breads, smoothies, shakes, desserts, salads, side dishes – it is an amazing fruit that can be enjoyed in an amazing number of ways. But, per my husband, nothing beats the taste of a banana bread. Hence, my interest in baking it often. The secret to a terrific banana bread/cake, I feel, is a really ripe banana and/or addition of a ‘moistening agent’ like sour cream or yoghurt. I don’t go for a sour cream/yoghurt addition unless I have to bake the bread but have only firm bananas with me !!! In such situations, I just add 1/2 cup of either sour cream or yoghurt and maybe increase the amount of sugar by another 3-4 tbsps. And then of course you can add nuts/chocolate chips and other stuff to pep it up further. The other thing about a banana bread/cake is that it freezes amazingly well. Which means, that extra batter will actually serve you very well in terms of instant gratification :D. The recipe I am about to share with you,my ‘secret’ one is taken from many sources and then modified/edited/amalgamated to come up with this version of mine. In its as-it-is form, it is closer to a cake than bread, or maybe a rich bread for breakfast and snack. However, you can always reduce sugar, eggs and butter by a little to suit your taste and health concern and come up with a healthier bread version. I do that when I know I will be the one eating it rather than my husband. But when I bake it for him, then I bake it without any changes. You might want to start with this version and then tinker with it to figure out your ‘secret’ version 😀
Ingredients: For a 9″ loaf 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon fine salt 3 large eggs, at room temperature 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature 1 cup sugar 3 very ripe bananas, peeled, and mashed (about 1 cup) 1/2 cup toasted walnut/pistchio/almond/chocolate chip/macademia/hazelnut/pecan pieces
Method: 1. Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl, set aside. Whisk the egg with the vanilla and set aside. 2. Lightly brush a 9 by 5 by 3-inch loaf pan with butter/baking spray. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 3. In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or with an electric hand-held mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (or just use a fork/rubber spatula/hand blender whisk attachment to do so) . Gradually pour the egg mixture into the butter while mixing until incorporated. 4. Add the bananas (the mixture will appear to be curdled but don’t worry) and mix well. 5. Mix in the flour mixture until just incorporated. 6. Fold in the nuts, if using. 7. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean. Cool the bread in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Turn the bread out of the pan and let cool completely on the rack. Wrap in plastic wrap. The banana bread is best served the next day and/or can be frozen very well upto 3 months!