Something that I find oddly appealing is to watch the slow ripening of bananas. Maybe it’s because they ripen obviously; more obviously than other fruits. They go from green to yellow, and finally, to brown. Maybe it’s because I know I’ll get banana bread at the end of it. This following recipe is my favorite because it gives a moist and tender bread that is not too sweet but also doesn’t involve any weird additions (like mascarpone) that could stop a home baker from making it immediately.
The following recipe is adapted from: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/banana-bread-recipe.html
Equipment: standard loaf pan about 9”x5”
¾ to 1 cup of sugar; half brown sugar and half white (I don’t like my bread overly sweet so I go for a scant ¾ cup but if your bananas are not super ripe or you like extra sweetness go for the full cup.)
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature (if you don’t want to wait microwave unwrapped in a bowl for 10 second intervals turning the butter after each until soft (20-30 seconds)
2 large eggs
3 VERY ripe bananas
1 scant tablespoon milk (basically a small splash)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter or spray with cooking spray your loaf pan.
Cream the sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add and mix in vanilla.
In a small bowl, mash the bananas with a fork. I like to mash to a moderate amount so that there are still small chunks of banana. No big chucks though, but not a puree. Mix in the milk and cinnamon. In another bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Add the banana mixture to the creamed mixture and stir until combined. Add dry ingredients, mixing just until flour disappears.
Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Set aside to cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Remove bread from pan, invert onto rack and cool completely before slicing.
This recipe makes a beautifully moist and flavorful product that is perfect spread with just a little butter. The top becomes crisp while the inside is incredibly soft. I love this for breakfast, tea time, and as a dessert. I really hope you try it out!