If you have been following me on the blog then you know that baking is not my strong suit. I love desserts and baked goods but my creativity seems to be better suited in the savory world. However, sometimes inspiration strikes and you just have to run with it. Recently, I noticed I had some bananas that would no longer be suitable for just normal consumption. It wasn’t just one banana either. There were five or 6 bananas that needed some attention, STAT. As I stared at them I was faced with question of could I repurpose them or send them to the trash can. Before long I was trying to calculate how many days before trash day so I could properly dispose of them. Then without warning I heard in my head, “You are going to make banana bread.” And just like that I was on my way to my first ever batch of banana bread.
I went to the web and typed in “easy banana bread” and scoured a few recipes before I settled on one. Combine ingredients, prep baking vessels, and bake. Even I could do that! My recipe was selected and it was time to begin. Before we get to anything else here is the original recipe that I used. Of course, I made some changes which we will cover shortly.
Homemade Banana Bread
*This is not my recipe and full credit is given to recipe author with their recipe noted above.*
My changes reflect a double batch for this recipe.
5 or 6 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup or one stick, melted butter
3 cups all-purpose flour or gluten free flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Prepare two 9×5 bread pans by rubbing them with butter and or oil to keep bread from sticking when you remove the loaf from pan
Combines bananas, sugar, egg, and butter together in a bowl or mixer. In a different bowl, combine flour, salt, and baking powder together. Add flour into banana mixture until batter is just mixed and flour is combined.
Pour batter into your prepared bread pans.
Bake in oven until a toothpick or paring knife inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean, this will take about an hour.
It is that easy and was no fail for a first time banana bread maker, me!
Alright, time to talk about some of the changes:
Sugar. I personally am a fan of a little less sugar in baked goods. That doesn’t mean I don’t want a sweet banana bread, but I am always going to scale back on the sugar the recipe suggests. I think it provides better balance and ensures you can enjoy it without getting a sugar high. To accomplish that I actually use brown sugar in addition to some white sugar for the recipe. The brown sugar accomplishes a few things that play in our favor. First, you get the sweetness you need in order to make the bread delicious. Next, it provides some richness, caramel notes, depth, and a really nice color to the batter. This only helps the banana bread develop a nice crust and color when the baking is complete. This allows us to back off on the white sugar a little bit and use it to fortify the sweetness factor. By the way, I don’t have an issue with white sugar being used at all. I use white sugar in a lot of other applications such as coffee, tomato sauces, and other culinary applications. If you have read my blog you know I am a big fan moderation and balance. Especially when it comes to cooking I think that is the key to everything.
Flour. Believe it or not, I used gluten free flour to make all batches of banana bread at this point. I am a big fan of Bob’s Red Mill Cup to Cup or 1 to 1 baking flour. I can’t remember exactly how it is labeled, but the packaging is blue if that helps. This is my go-to gluten free flour option but, you can certainly use standard flour if you wish. I have family and friends with gluten issues so I try to make it that way. Honestly even the people who don’t have aversions don’t even notice what kind of flour has been used.
Baking Powder. While I was reading the reviews there were a lot of people who thought baking powder could have a greater impact on the recipe than baking soda. The powder does give the banana bread a little more lift while it settles and stays fairly flat with the baking soda. Therefore I vote for baking powder and I was happy with the bread when it came out.
Batter Distribution. The first batch I made produced a full size loaf where the slices looked more like bread size. In pan number two the slices were about the height of a biscotti cookie about 1/4 to 1/2 of an inch. The difference was noticeable and a little annoying to say the least. The good news was that the flavor of both loaves wasn’t affected and it ate just the same. On my second batch I poured the batter more evenly and ended up with slices about an inch or a little more, but again, smaller than what we imagine a slice of bread.
Recipe matters. As I noted off the top, I am not a baker and as result I almost forgot to complete the process of doubling all ingredients on the recipe. I had some ingredients that were doubled as they should be but some that weren’t. Luckily, I was reminded to double check that I had the right measurements. Remember, measure and make sure your math adds up.
Nuts. In all batches of banana bread that I have made I have done one with nuts and one without. The nuts are strictly for presentation and a little texture. However, if there are food allergies or aversions to nuts, then do not use them. I know there are people who have serious allergies to nuts that can be life threatening. Please, please don’t use them if you have someone in your family or someone you know that might have that issue. In fact, on a personal note, my godson is 2 years old and his parents and I are trying to mindful of what we give him at a young age. So, when they came over and I gave them some bread I asked if nuts were a problem. I hadn’t seen him have any issues, but I made sure to check with his parents before I sent them off with some. Because, in fact, his cousin who shares the same bloodline and DNA is allergic to all kinds of nuts. So, again, do what you need to do for your family and your own well being.
A few of you have reached out while I have been teasing posting this recipe about your love for banana bread. I am hoping some of you will make it and let me know what you think. You can always leave a comment, send me an email or reach out on Instagram. I can’t wait to hear from you!!