Scientifically Sweet: The Best Classic Banana Bread

Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Best Classic Banana Bread

It amazes me how some parts of life can be so automatic that I forget they've happened. As if they just fly past my memory folder like ghost thoughts.

Did I set the alarm?
Did I lock the front door?
Did I remember to unplug my hair straightener?
Did I turn off the stove?

These things haunt me sometimes.

And every single time I've ever thought these thoughts, you can bet your bum that I did indeed lock the door, unplug and safely put away my hair appliances and definitely turned off the burners.

That's when I realize I NEED TO SLOW DOWN.

I think we all could benefit from a little slowness. And there's nothin' like some quality time with a spatula and a mixing bowl to relax the brain and bring down the pace.

Banana bread is like that night you drank too much and your friends had to carry you home - we've all done it at least once. It's easy to make and might not even need a recipe. There's no stress when it comes to this... it almost always turns out great.

This recipe in particular always turns out awesome!

Although any banana bread is a good banana bread, there are a few secrets to making it great.

Keep it real. Don't get too fancy. Focus on the bananas as the main ingredient.

TIP: Don't use frozen bananas.

But I have like 13 in my freezer? I know I know, but the best banana bread is made with ripe (not rotting) bananas. If they are frozen they become too watery and can make the bread quite gluggy. Have you ever seen that dense wet layer at the bottom of banana bread? That's what I'm talking about (not my bag, baby). Speckled ripe bananas are full of flavour and still have integrity to add structure to the loaf.

If your bananas are too ripe, but you're not ready to make banana bread yet, skip the freezer and just put them in the fridge. This will slow down their ripening and buy you an extra couple of days.

TRICK: Use brown sugar. It adds a more rounded and caramel-like sweetness that enhances the flavour of bananas.

TIP: Measure that flour right! Too much flour makes banana bread taste just like that - doughy. Carefully measure the flour accurately and resist the temptation to add more - a thick but wet batter is what we're after.

Oh! And, use butter! Duh.

Time to slow down the weekend. Be classic and go bananas.

Can I suggest toasted with a ssshmear of peanut butter? I definitely went there.

The Best Classic Banana Bread
Makes one loaf

3 large bananas, mashed
1 ½ cups (215 g) all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
¾ cup (165g) packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
4 tbsp (56 g) melted butter, slightly cooled 
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a 9x5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper and set aside.

Mash the bananas well with the back of a fork in a medium bowl.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in another bowl.

Using an electric hand mixer, beat together sugar, eggs, butter and vanilla until sugar is dissolved and the mixture is frothy. Beat in mashed bananas. Add dry ingredients all at once and fold them in until just combined. 

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 50-55 minutes or until the top is dark glossy brown and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.

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  1. I honestly can't imagine eating banana bread without chocolate chips in it. Your recipe looks delicious.

  2. I left my house Friday, got to work, and in a panic called my neighbor to make sure I had actually closed the garage door.
    I had.

    This must be a sign that I need to make this banana bread today!

  3. Oh thank you for sharing your recipe and tips! I recently made banana bread with frozen bananas and the whole thing was a soggy mess! Went straight into the garbage :( I grew up eating warm banana nut bread and butter, so I can really appreciate what you mean by slowing it down and getting back to what matters most.

  4. My husband made this 3 times in a week and everyone raved about it. Great recipe and easy to make.

  5. Fabulous banana bread!! I had a few really really ripe bananas so went on a search for a delicious banana bread recipe and chose this one - so perfect! Everyone loved it, even my insanely picky children! Thank you for sharing, will definitely be making this again (and again and again and again!)!!

    1. This is fantastic! I'm happy your family enjoyed it. Big love, Christina.


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