Monday, August 24, 2009

My Favorite Banana Bread














Banana bread is one those amazing recipes that seems to be universally loved, and for which there are thousands and thousands of variations. Everyone has their own spin on banana bread, and really - I can't think of a banana bread that I have tried and not liked. I am a huge fan. I have several favorite varieties - one has special additions like toffee and chocolate, another bakes into a batch of coconut topped muffins, yet another has a caramelly crumb topping, some are plain and some are chock full of nuts and fruit. This particular version is the recipe I make most often, and it is a real winner. I haven't met a soul who can resist eating more than one slice of this banana bread.

The first time I served this recipe to guests, the entire two loaves were gone in minutes. I had never seen banana bread inhaled so quickly. As soon as they ate a slice, they immediately went back for seconds, thirds, until every crumb was gone.

I can't claim credit for creating this recipe...that honor goes to Mysterygirl from Recipezaar, and the original version of this wonderful recipe can be found here.

My Favorite Banana Bread (adapted from Mysterygirl's version on Recipezaar.com)
(2 loaves, 12 slices each)

wet ingredients:
2/3 cup canola oil or sunflower oil
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups mashed over-ripe bananas (the darker the better), about 4-5 small bananas

dry ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1 small box vanilla instant pudding mix (4 serving size)*
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup chopped nuts, optional (I like walnuts or macadamia nuts)

Preheat oven to 325 F. Combine the wet ingredients in one large bowl, the dry ingredients in a smaller bowl. Slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet mixture, mixing just enough to combine. A few stray lumps are fine, larger ones can be poked with the back of your spoon. Just make sure there are no dry patches in the batter. Grease and lightly flour two 9x5" loaf pans and line the bottoms with parchment. Bake until the loaves are golden and a toothpick poked into the center tests clean, about 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes. Cover loosely with foil towards the end of baking time if the edges are browning too quickly.

Now I know this next part is really hard to do at this point, because you have the delicious aroma of freshly baked banana bread wafting through your house and all you want to do is dig in. Have patience! Allow the bread to cool in the pans at least until the pans are cool enough to touch. Then force yourself to wait the agonizingly long time it will seem for the bread to cool fully on wire racks. Cutting into this ultra moist banana bread too early will just make the bread fall to pieces. And yes, this would be from personal experience.

*NOTE: If you can't get the instant pudding mix, try instant custard powder, such as Bird's. Just use the amount of dry powder that would make 4 servings.

5 comments:

  1. What a tasty looking recipe for banana loaf Heather. I usually use the sour cream banana loaf from off of Recipezaar, but may give your version a try next time!

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  2. It looks wonderful--I am going to have to bookmark this one to try--I always have extra bananas.

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  3. Thank you both :) I have made the Sour Cream Banana Bread version as well and it is also very good.

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  4. I have a thing for banana bread and yours looks really wonderful!

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