When I’m shopping for groceries, I always find myself drawn to buying a bunch of bananas. I’ll think to myself, these bananas look so fresh and they’d be so great for breakfast and lunches to go, and the best one – even though I always let them go bad this time will be different! And yet, in a few days, I’m inevitably left with one bunch of overly ripe bananas sitting untouched in the fruit bowl. You too? Well, thankfully some brilliant housewife way back when decided to create this thing we call banana bread, and bananas everywhere are better for it!
So given the banana situation at my house today, I wanted to share my favorite banana bread recipe with you. The brown sugar really adds dimension to the bread, and it’s dense, moist, and oh so flavorful. So put on your apron, and let’s get baking!
Recipe adapted from Allrecipes.com here.
Here the ingredients you’ll need:
Oh yeah, and this…because I’m still getting the hang of planning ahead and baking with a camera hanging precariously around my neck!
- 3 ripe bananas
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup butter, softenend
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cups half and half
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan. The pan can be glass or metal, but I prefer my non-stick metal pan.
Peel the bananas and drop them together into a Ziploc bag, making sure to seal it tightly before placing it on the counter. Using the heel of your hand, mush the bananas until they are evenly mashed, then set the bag aside.
Just look at those necked little bananas. They look so silly! Ahem…now place the brown sugar, sugar, and softened butter into a large mixing bowl and cream the ingredients using a hand mixer on medium-low speed until fluffy. Cut off a corner of the Ziploc bag and squeeze the mashed banana out into the bowl along with the sugar mixture.
Add the egg, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and half and half and mix on medium-low speed until the mixture is well blended. You’ll see a few lumps from the banana, but as long as the rest of the ingredients are combined well, you’re golden. In another bowl, combine your dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, mixing well to evenly distribute. My Grandma B. makes wonderful banana bread, and when I was just a kid she taught me that the trick to giving your banana bread the best texture is to always mix your dry ingredients beforehand and to gradually mix in the dry ingredients into the sugar mixture a little bit at a time. With that said, I always suggest turning your mixer to low and adding about a quarter of your flour mixture in at a time, blending until smooth each time.
Next comes the walnuts. If you ask me, banana bread ain’t the real thing unless it’s got lots of nuts! Add your chopped walnuts into the batter and mix until evenly distributed. Now you’re all ready to pan up! Spread the batter into your greased loaf pan…but don’t scrape the bowl too well because you want to have plenty left to lick out of the bowl! My guilty habit…
Bake the banana bread until the top is a light golden brown – about 45 minutes or until a toothpick or knife inserted into the middle of the load comes out clean. Once you pull your bread out of the oven, remove it from the pan (it should slide out very easily if your pan was well prepped) and let it cool on a wire rack for about 30 minutes. Enjoy!
With a cold glass of milk and some fresh blackberries from the backyard, it’s the perfect afternoon snack!