Nothing is more rewarding or comforting than a thick slick of warm banana bread fresh from the oven. It is the ideal breakfast slice or a relaxing afternoon snack with a cup of hot tea. For some, banana bread may also bring back memories of childhood with the aroma wafting through Mom’s kitchen.
While you may think that baking homemade banana bread is a difficult task, it is one of the easiest quick breads to make – probably because instead of yeast to leaven the dough, baking soda is used. Because there is no yeast, there is no lengthy period waiting for it to ferment or the dough to rise.
All homemade banana bread takes is an appetite, a few overripe bananas, and a few minutes.
There really is nothing to this recipe and the longest part of it is the actual baking time (about an hour). If you have a well-stocked cupboard then you probably already have all the required ingredients, as they are all staples.
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup mashed ripe banana – about 3 medium bananas
1/3 cup butter or margarine, room temperature
2 tablespoons milk
¼ cup chopped nuts (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350°.
Combine 1 cup of the flour (keep the rest for later), the sugar, the baking powder, and the salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the mashed banana, butter, and milk and beat on low speed until everything is blended. Then, mix for about 2 minutes on high speed.
Add the eggs and the remaining flour, beating until completely blended. Stir in the nuts by hand.
Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan (about 8x4x2-inche pan) and bake for about 60 minutes.
Remove from the oven when a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean and cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and allow it to finish cooling.
The recipe yields one loaf, about 16 servings.
Tips and Tricks:
• Do not over mix the batter, as it can affect the moisture and density of the bread.
• If you don’t have any butter or margarine, or don’t have time to wait for it to become room temperature, you can use shortening.
• It is best to grease your loaf pan with butter or shortening. Non-stick spray never works as well.
• The nuts are optional. Try walnuts, pecans, or a combination of your favorites.
• Try sprinkling some sugar on the top of the batter right before baking. This gives the top outer crust a little extra sweetness.
• Serve sliced banana bread with butter or cream cheese.