Very Banana Bread
I have a few go-to banana bread recipes. This one is simplest: requires no eggs and packs a lot of banana goodness.
Usually I bake banana bread with eggs. But finding eggs that don’t come in environmentally repugnant styrofoam containers is extraordinarily difficult in Ann Arbor; Trader Joe’s is the only place I know that carries eggs in paper cartons, but TJ’s is a bit of a trek and I don’t have time to go every week. Along came this recipe.
The recipe below is for pure, simple banana bread. If you’re like me, you’ll want to toss in some nuts or sunflower seeds; see note after the recipe.
Very Banana Bread
Yields one 8.5 x 4.5 inch loaf
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
3 ripe, medium-large bananas
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1-1/2 cups flour
Preheat oven to 325 F.
Soften butter in mixing bowl (the microwave is your friend).
Add brown sugar to mixing bowl, and cream together (i.e., mix) butter and brown sugar. Pop open the bananas and add to mixing bowl. If you’re using very ripe bananas, they should mix easily into a smooth batter. If you’re using just ripe bananas, spend some time mashing them until you have a chunky but smooth batter.
Add in salt, cinnamon, and baking soda. Mix well. Add flour, and mix until all ingredients are evenly incorporated.
Scoop batter into greased loaf pan. I use a 8.5 x 4.5 inch pan, but a 9 x 5 inch pan should work as well, though the loaf will be shorter. Bake for 60-80 minutes, or until done. Check that the loaf is done by poking a chopstick or toothpick into the loaf; if it comes out clean, you’re done! Allow loaf to cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan. Enjoy the wonderful aroma of caramelized bananas while it lasts!
I always add sunflower seeds, walnuts, chocolate chips, and/or raisins into the batter before baking. Banana bread is very versatile, so feel free to toss in whatever suits your taste.
I love the taste and smell of butter, which is why that’s what the recipe calls for. Oil would work fine, but you’d miss out on the buttery aromas. It’s worth noting that at room temperature, butter is solid, while oil is liquid. Using oil in place of butter will result in a moister bread once the bread has cooled down, so there are advantages for each.
This recipe works pretty well with whole wheat flour; you’ll get a nuttier taste, but the texture will be slightly grainy-er. Using half all-purpose flour, half whole wheat flour is a good balance.