Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Basic banana bread

My family goes through a bunch of bananas very quickly. My husband and I each like to eat them at least once a day, and Addie eats them as a snack or breakfast on occasion. We eat so many bananas that we often have to make a mid-week trip to the grocery store to buy another bunch. Sometimes we buy so many bananas that we don't eat them all before they turn brown.

That's when I freeze them. I had a stash of about 5-6 bananas in my freezer when my husband made the suggestion for banana bread. I turned to my The Best New Recipe cookbook to try their recipe. Since the people behind the cookbook test and re-test various recipes and publish the best one, I knew that what they included in the cookbook would be the ultimate recipe.

I pulled out 3 frozen bananas and thawed them in the microwave. Then I proceeded with the recipe and had my banana bread baking within 10 minutes. I had to run an errand while the bread was baking so my husband got to be the lucky one to take it out of the oven. Obviously, he snuck a slice before I had returned home.

This bread was just as expected - it was soft, moist, and full of bananas. It is a solid banana bread recipe and would be great with some add-ins of your choice: nuts, cinnamon, chocolate chips, etc. I happily ate this bread for breakfast for several days - along with a fresh banana, of course.

Basic banana bread
  • 2 cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (5.25 ounces) sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 very soft, ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt (can substitute with plain yogurt)
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 6 TBSP (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

Generously grease a standard 9x5x2 inch loaf pan. You can coat the sides and bottom with flour and tap out the excess. I used a silicone loaf pan and did not grease it.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix together the mashed bananas, yogurt, eggs, butter and vanilla.

Slowly add the banana mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients. Mix with a wooden spoon or spatula until the batter has just come together - do not overmix.

Transfer the batter to your prepared loaf pan and smooth the top.

Bake in your preheated oven for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The top should be a golden brown.

Turn off the oven, remove the pan from the oven and allow it to cool slightly before serving.

Bread should be stored in an airtight container (or covered tightly in plastic wrap) at room temperature and will keep for about 5 days.

Yield: One 9x5 inch loaf

Source: Ever so slightly adapted from The Best New Recipe by Cook's Illustrated Magazine, pages 685-686

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