Everyone needs a good banana bread recipe, right? Kids love it, it can be breakfast or dessert, and what else are you going to do with those nasty looking bananas? Wait... I actually have other ideas. Stay tuned for smoothie posts.
I've tried many recipes. I thought I needed spices and seasoning. I thought I could do with less oil or butter. I was WRONG. This recipe, adapted from allrecipes.com seemed to be just right. It is simple but it's good.
I don't like to wait for loaves to bake when I make quick bread. It seems to take way too long - even after I trouble shot myself away from my ridiculously pricey Le Cruset loaf pan that I could not use for the life of me. Everything was raw on the inside and dry or burned on the out. My husband's grandmother "Mimi" was cleaning out her cabinets one day and gave me this FANTASTIC item. Four mini loaves strapped together for simple baking! Yes, make muffins if you don't want loaves. If you have something cool like this, use it! This recipe makes 3 minis for me. I simply fill the 4th pan with water while I bake.
Preheat your oven to 350° F(or 375° for muffins)
Ready for my kitchen hack method? I don't like to dirty a bowl for the dry ingredients. If you are accustomed to that, by all means keep it up.
I cream the butter and sugar (in my Kitchen Aid stand mixer) then scrape down the bowl. I toss in the two bananas and mix until they are thoroughly broken up and combined. Next, add the two eggs and mix completely.
Now, to the wet ingredients (wince) I toss in the flour, then salt and baking soda directly on top of it. I use the back of a spoon or my fingers and lightly fluff the dry ingredients together to prevent the salt or baking soda from forming a clump in the wet ingredients. I know it sounds crazy, but it hasn't failed me yet.
After fluffing up the dry ingredients, mix them with a few quick strokes into the wet. I learned the muffin method from Alton Brown on Good Eats many years ago. Do not over mix your muffins, people. It is not good eats. If you don't know the show Good Eats, find it somewhere. It is the best cooking show I've ever watched. In 2018 there is going to be a follow on show released called Return of the Eats. More on that another day.
Scoop your batter into your vessel of choice. Large loaf will take close to an hour. My minis are about 40 min. and a muffin at higher temp is likely to cook in 15-20. Yes, check for doneness with a toothpick. When it comes out of the center clean, you're good. Don't forget that you can use your meat thermometer on your bread too. Banana bread should be pulled around 200° F.
I have a batch of this in the oven now and it smells delicious. If you want to stir in some chocolate chips, do it. My husband likes them but I prefer to keep my bread and my chocolate separate. If you make minis (below) you can add chips to just one!