Recipe: I strongly hold the belief that banana bread can be easily made anytime and anywhere, using either a mixer or a fork, in a loaf pan or a muffin tin - as long as you have a few bananas that are ripe and freckled. I am convinced that banana bread accounts for at least 50 percent of the purpose of bananas. Let us know How to Make the Perfect Banana Bread Recipe?
Here is a very basic and very forgiving recipe that takes all 10 minutes to whisk together. An hour of waiting while your house fills with tempting aromas and then you’ll be snacking on your very own slice of warm, fresh-baked banana bread.
- Cooking spray
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 medium bananas, very ripe
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts or chocolate chips (optional)
To begin, preheat the oven to 350°F and prepare the loaf pan. Place a rack in the bottom third of the oven and line an 8x5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper, allowing excess to hang over the long sides to create a sling, and then spray the inside with cooking spray. If using nuts, toast them in the oven for 10 minutes while the oven is preheating.
Next, melt the butter in the microwave or over low heat on the stovetop. Alternatively, for a more cake-like texture, soften the butter (but do not melt) and cream it with the sugar in a stand mixer in the next step.
Combine the melted butter and sugar in a large bowl and whisk until combined. If using softened butter, cream the mixture in a mixer until fluffy. Add the eggs and whisk until completely combined and the mixture is smooth.
Whisk the milk and vanilla into the batter and then add the peeled bananas to the bowl. Mash the bananas into the batter using the end of the whisk or a dinner fork to achieve the desired texture.
Measure the flour, baking soda, and salt into the bowl and gently stir with a spatula until the ingredients are just combined, and no dry flour is visible. If using nuts or chocolate, fold them into the batter.
Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan, using a spatula to scrape all the batter from the bowl and smooth the top of the batter.
Bake the banana bread for 50 to 65 minutes, or until the top of the cake is caramelized dark brown with some yellow interior peeking through, and a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean. Baking time may vary depending on the moisture and sugar content of your bananas.
Cool the bread in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove the loaf by grasping the parchment paper sling and placing it on a wire cooling rack. Let it cool for another 10 minutes before slicing.
Banana muffins: To make muffins, line a muffin tin with paper liners and fill each cup to roughly 3/4 full, and check for doneness after 20 minutes. Makes 8 to 10 muffins.
Storage: Wrap leftovers tightly in plastic wrap and store at room temperature for several days, or wrap the bread in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil and freeze for up to 3 months.
Makes 1 (8-inch) loaf
47 minutes to 1 hour
Only Use the Ripest Bananas
The key requirement for baking banana bread is to use ripe bananas. Once the peels have begun to develop freckles and the fruit is slightly too soft for snacking, it's the perfect time to use them for baking. Allowing the bananas to ripen even more, until the peels turn brown and the fruit easily falls apart when peeled, will result in a stronger banana flavor and richer bread.
Let's also take a moment to discuss mashing. Personally, I prefer to leave some banana chunks in my bread and keep things simple by mashing the bananas directly into the batter in one bowl. However, if you prefer a completely smooth texture and dislike chunks, I recommend mashing the bananas into a pulp in a separate bowl before mixing them into the batter.
A Very Forgiving Recipe
The recipe provided below is a classic that has stood the test of time, appearing in countless church and community cookbooks over the past 50 years with only minor variations. It calls for common pantry staples such as white all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, butter, eggs, milk, and baking soda.
Despite its simplicity, this recipe is quite forgiving. You can substitute up to half of the flour with whole wheat or another favorite whole-grain flour. You can also experiment with different types of sugar, such as brown sugar, which will yield a denser, moister bread. In addition, you can replace the butter with margarine or oil, and the liquid component can be almond milk, kefir, buttermilk, or even water. While one egg is enough, I have yet to test the recipe without eggs, though I suspect it would still produce a delicious loaf suitable for snacking.
The bottom line is that even if you are missing one of the ingredients (with the exception of baking soda), you can still make this banana bread recipe. Furthermore, you can let your imagination run wild and modify the base ingredients to create a unique and flavorful bread.
Using a Mixer vs a Fork
If it weren’t already clear by this point, the implied subtitle of this recipe is “don’t fuss; make it easy.” If you find it easier to make a recipe like this in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, then that’s the method you should use. Personally, I prefer to make it by hand in a bowl the way my mother taught me — that feels somehow easier to me even though the same number of bowls get dirtied.
If you use a mixer, you have two options: you can melt the butter as directed and follow the recipe exactly, or you can leave the butter softened and cream it with the sugar. Creaming the softened butter and sugar will make your banana bread lighter and more cake-like with a finer texture; melted butter makes the bread denser and less crumbly.
What If I Don’t Have A Loaf Pan?
In case you don't have a loaf pan, you can utilize this identical recipe to prepare eight to ten banana muffins. Simply place paper liners in a muffin tin and fill each cup approximately 3/4 full. After 20 minutes, check to ensure they are done.
So, how do you go about making your banana bread? Does your recipe resemble this one, or do you employ a distinct method? And the most crucial question of all: do you prefer your banana bread plain, or do you like to add chocolate chips or nuts?