Banana bread is a staple in my kitchen, and the freezer is the banana graveyard. I only like to eat bananas when they are yellow with a hint of green, and I cannot bring myself to throw out an overripe banana so they end up in the freezer. The other day Lucy asked if she could throw out a few of the six bananas I had collected. The answer was a resounding ‘No!’ and last week, I used up four to make a loaf.
Now, I’ve used many banana bread recipes over the years, from the one I used to make during my undergrad for my roommates, to the vegan one I baked during the first few years of my doctorate (mainly because I rationed eggs since I couldn’t be bothered to go to the store). I was browsing Pinterest for new banana bread recipes a while back, and came across this article by the Guardian on how to cook perfect banana bread. I hate to be pedantic about the title, but I actually BAKED this bread. Nevertheless, this unique technique for making banana bread resulted in success, and this is now my go-to recipe.
About an hour before I want to bake I pull 3-4 bananas out of the graveyard so that they can thaw. There is nothing worse than trying to make banana bread with half-frozen bananas that burn your fingers when you squeeze them.
350g ripe bananas, mashed (peeled weight)
180g plain flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
160g light brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
4 tbsp. melted butter
I sometimes add chocolate chips, chia seeds, or walnuts. For this batch I added chopped dark chocolate and chopped pecans.
Preheat the oven to 170C and grease and flour a loaf tin.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and set aside.
In another bowl, add sugar, eggs, and melted butter and beat with an electric mixer until pale and increased in volume (this is the special technique). Fold in the mashed bananas and the dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in any extras.
Bake for about 60 minutes (check after 45 min and continue to test with a skewer until it comes out clean when inserted into the centre). This bread is more of a cake consistency and is moist and light. Also, as Lucy pointed out, it doesn’t give off that ‘baking soda’ flavour common with banana bread because, it doesn’t have any!