Monday, June 14, 2010

Banana Bread

Banana bread is one of the easiest things to make, requiring very few ingredients and little time. It is delicious plain or toasted, buttered or not buttered, just about any way you can imagine. The only thing is, banana bread never tastes like bananas. There is still a sweet, fruity, vanilla flavor, but it is certainly not the same as raw bananas.

You can dress up a simple banana bread by adding toasted coconut, chocolate chips, or just the traditional nuts- walnuts. Walnuts are the easiest nuts to add to breads and cakes because even if there is no time to toast them prior to adding them to the batter, they don't end up with an off texture. Pecans, for instance need to be toasted or they feel almost soggy when baked into breads like this one. Also keep in mind, the nuts you add do not need to be in tiny pieces. When the bread is cut, whatever is added will be sliced as well. How easy is that?

Banana Bread

Adapted from Danielle Bean

Makes two 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 loaves

3 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp baking soda
3 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 cups ripe bananas, mashed
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs

1 cup walnuts (or other nuts, chocolate, or toasted coconut) coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease two 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 inch loaf pans. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, beat together milk, oil, eggs, and mashed banana. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture; mix just to moisten. Add chopped nuts etc. and mix just until incorporated. Pour batter evenly into prepared loaf pans. Bake in preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Let bread cool in pans for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.


  1. Banana bread -- the ultimate grab and go breakfast. Yum!

  2. I really like this banana bread (or is it cake?) recipe by David Lebovitz

    1½ cups (210 g) flour
    1 teaspoon baking powder (I always use Rumford)
    ½ teaspoon baking soda
    ½ teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    ¾ cup (150 g) sugar
    2 tablespoons (55 g) melted butter (salted or unsalted)
    1 large egg white
    1 large egg, at room temperature
    1 cup (250 ml) banana puree, made from about 2 very ripe medium-sized bananas
    ½ cup (125 ml) sour cream, regular or low-fat (I used fromage blanc)
    ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/3 cup (60 g) chocolate chips or 3 tablespoons (30 g) cocoa nibs

    Butter a 9-inch (23 cm) square pan and line the bottom with a sheet of parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350F (180 C).
    1. Sift together in a bowl the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Mix in the sugar.
    2. In a large bowl, mix together the butter, egg white, egg, banana puree, sour cream, vanilla and espresso, if using.
    3. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and stir in the wet ingredients with a spatula until almost mixed. Add in the chocolate chips or cocoa nibs and stir until just combined, but don't overstir: stop when any traces of flour disappear.
    4. Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 40 minutes, or until the center feels lightly-springy and just done.
    5. Cool on a baking rack.

    Storage: This cake will keep well for 3-4 days, or can be frozen, wrapped in plastic wrap, for a few months.