I promised you guys an original recipe, and here it is: my foolproof, go-to, absolute favorite banana bread recipe. Moist, fluffy, just-sweet-enough banana bread that can be enjoyed alone, fresh out of the oven with a scoop of ice cream, or as a base for chocolate chips, walnuts, Nutella swirls, maybe a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg–it’s up to you! Go crazy!
The Food Network Kitchens’ version of this banana bread was the first recipe I ever followed where I had to make anything from scratch–actual flour, salt, butter, baking soda, etc. Since then, I’ve experimented and made my own alterations to it. To this day, it’s one of my favorite recipes ever and without a doubt the one I make most often.
I think my favorite part about this recipe is its resilience. In the dozens of times I’ve made it, I’ve abused it to no end, rushing through and skipping steps, switching out raw and brown sugar for the granulated white I usually use, doubling the salt, using anywhere from 3 to 6 bananas in varying degrees of ripeness, overbaking, underbaking–you name it, and I’ve probably done it. Somehow, though, the bread still comes out delicious. Like today! I don’t know where my head was, but I somehow used the 1/3 cup instead of the 1/4 cup the whole time, and didn’t realize it until the end–meaning excess flour and sugar. Oops. Good thing I went with 4.5 bananas instead of 4! Bananas are good at masking these things. 😉
But enough chit-chat! On to the baking!
Please tell me I’m not the only one who peels their bananas from the short end?
This recipe is simple enough that if you make it a couple times, you’ll have it memorized and down to 15 minutes of prep, max. Then just pop it in the oven and let the smell of warm banana bread blanket your house! 🙂
Adapted from Food Network Kitchens
Makes 1 8×8 loaf or 1 9x5x3 loaf
1.25 cups whole wheat flour (all-purpose works, too)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened (salted or unsalted)
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4-5 medium ripe bananas, mashed
+Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 8×8 pan. (Pam baking spray is your best friend here!)
+Sift flour, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl and set aside.
+In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. The more patience you have here, the lighter your bread will be.
+Add eggs and vanilla and mix well. Add mashed bananas and mix. Your batter will look curdled here; don’t worry about it! That’s normal. Make sure you scrape down the sides and bottom as you mix because the butter will tend to stubbornly stick to the bowl.
+Slowly add dry ingredients and mix until incorporated. You can do this with just a spatula to avoid over-mixing. Your batter should be lumpy and sticky–thicker than cake batter, but not as thick as actual dough. This is where, if you want, you would fold in about a 1/2 cup of chocolate chips, walnut pieces, etc.
+Pour batter into pan and bake for 50-55 minutes, or until the edges of the bread are dark brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
+Cool completely before slicing and serving. (Seriously, let it cool. I know it smells great, but this stuff will burn you badly if you’re impatient.)
+Cover or wrap in plastic to store. This bread will keep for up to a week, but it will never taste as good as the day it’s baked. (More importantly, where are you that homemade banana bread lasts an entire week?!)
I tend to skimp on the sugar. If you’re using really ripe bananas, they’ll bring more than enough sweetness to cover for the missing sugar.
If you make this, let me know what you think! Enjoy 🙂