One of my guilty pleasures when it comes to baking and/or eating what others bake in their spare time is some banana bread. Regardless of how its served, whether a standard loaf or spiced up and contains other fruit besides bananas, this quick bread just simply slays me every time. And that's pretty funny considering I'm not really fond of bananas.

Back in my younger days, my grandmother's friend would bake up some banana bread and share it with her on a Sunday afternoon. Again, I wasn't really into bananas at the time (and I'm still not) but the moist and somewhat nutty aroma eventually drew me in to take a bite out of the quick bread and I was instantly transported to another dimension where bananas could be enjoyed in a deviously delicious way I had never imagined before.

Nowadays, I'm a blogger who tends to share what I've learned and after becoming a Culinary Arts graduate not too long ago, I've been writing up a storm of recipes here on this site for readers everywhere. Today, I humbly share with you my little recipe of banana bread with some fun variations for you to try.

The power of bananas

Banana bread is a quick bread (baked goods leavened with chemicals) made with real bananas in the batter which is mixed by using the creaming method associated with butter cakes. The butter is rubbed into sugar--preferably brown sugar but granulated sugar or a combination of the two will do. Once the creaming is done and the egg is incorporated into the mix, the banana mash is then stirred in followed by the spices and lastly, the flour.

The following recipe for banana bread has been simplified with the use of self-raising flour, as opposed to baking powder or baking soda coupled with an acidic agent to leaven the product. The tool of choice will be a stand mixer if you have one but take care not to over mix the batter. As such, this recipe will be fast, simple and might make you a fan of bananas if you aren't already.

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The recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 stick (60 g) unsalted butter (1 tbsp more for greasing the loaf pan)
  • 3/5 cup (75 g) brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 tbsp (60 ml) milk
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 3/5 cups (200 g) self-raising flour
  • 3/8 cup (45 g) walnuts, chopped
  • Powdered sugar for dusting

Directions:

  1. Preheat an oven to 190°C. Grease a 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan.
  2. Cream the butter and the sugars together in a stand mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the egg and continue creaming until fully incorporated.
  3. Mash the banana in a bowl with a potato masher or a fork. Add the mashed banana, milk, cinnamon, and vanilla extract to the stand mixer and beat on low speed until fully incorporated. Do not overmix.
  4. Sift the flour over the mixture and fold it in with the wooden spoon. Stir in the chopped walnuts until fully spread throughout the batter.
  5. Transfer the batter to the loaf pan and bake for 1 hour or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Remove and cool on a rack for 15 minutes.
  6. To remove the banana bread from the loaf pan, carefully flip it over the rack.
  7. Dust the surface with powdered sugar, cut and serve with ice cream. Can be refrigerated and will last for up to 4 days.

Serves: 8

Variations

  • Spiced - Substitute mixed spice for the cinnamon.
  • Chocolate Chip - Stir 4 ounces of chocolate chips into the batter after the flour is added in Step 4.
  • Strawberry - Stir 1 cup (8 fruit) strawberries into the batter after the flour is added in Step 4.
  • Coconut - Stir 1/2 cup shredded coconut flakes into the batter after stirring in the flour in Step 4.
  • Pumpkin - Add 1 cup of pumpkin puree with the other ingredients during creaming in Step 3.