As promised, I will write about the one thing I find myself baking all the time — banana bread! Instead of tossing overly ripe bananas, or even eating them for that matter, I make banana bread out of them. This is the single-most important factor in a successful loaf of banana bread. Near-rotten, very brown, very spotty bananas. They simply have a deeper banana flavor and will come through in your bread better.
I’ve discovered that recipes using vegetable oil vs. butter tend to be tastier and more moist. You could also add various nuts like pecans or walnuts. This recipe is the best I’ve used so far — it turned out more like banana cake, which is fine by me.
Butter, for greasing pan
1 cup flour, plus more for pan
3⁄4 tsp. baking soda
1⁄4 tsp. kosher salt
1 cup sugar
1⁄2 cup canola oil
1⁄3 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
2⁄3 cup chopped pecans
3 very ripe bananas, mashed
Heat oven to 350°. Grease a 9″ x 5″ x 2 3⁄4″ loaf pan with butter and dust with flour; set pan aside (see link for full recipe).
This recipe uses only vanilla for additional flavoring, but I added a few dashes of ground cloves for that extra oomph. Cinnamon works nicely too. First, whisk the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl. Then in a mixer, beat the eggs, oil and sugar together for a couple minutes until it becomes fluffy and pale yellow. This is an important step — beat the living daylights out of the eggs, sugar and fat (oil, in this case) until enough air is incorporated. This will make your bread or cake light and fluffy.
Use a fork to mash your ripe bananas and mix into the egg and sugar mixture. Then slowly stir in the dry ingredients. Once the flour is combined, stop right there. Don’t over beat the batter, or else your bread will become tough.
Pour batter on a greased loaf pan and bake for about an hour or so. The most delicious fragrance of baked banana bread goodness will soon permeate through your house — I guarantee it! Enjoy!