Breads, Breakfast

The Best Banana Bread

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One household favorite that is loved and appreciated at any family gathering or bake sale is banana bread. While it’s a common bread favorite today, before the 1930’s this wasn’t the case. This is partially due to the mass production of leaveners such as baking powder, combined with the Great Depression pushing families to make every effort not to waste food.

When I was a kid cooking with my grandmother, she would talk about times from her childhood where families were struggling with food costs due to inflation and job loss. Her mother would make and bring baked goods such as banana bread, sandwich breads, or pies to friends and neighbors who were struggling during those times. She taught my grandmother the importance of saving everything they used, even aluminum foil!

While the reasoning for using overripe bananas was based in avoiding food waste, they are sweeter and better suited for baking than their perfectly yellow counterparts due to a higher sugar content. They also have higher amounts of magnesium and potassium for managing cholesterol, and antioxidants and vitamin C for immune health. Plus, brown-spotted bananas are just easier for mashing.

There are a lot of great banana bread recipes out there, but the best ones are moist with a firmer crust, are sweet, and are great plain or toasted with butter. You can even add chopped nuts, or raisins, or chocolate chips (my fiancé’s favorite) to the recipe if you prefer these. Feel free to enjoy for up to four days at room temperature, or keep up to three months in the freezer.


In a medium mixing bowl, mix together the “dry” ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. For this recipe, I ran out of baking soda and substituted baking powder instead. (See the tips below for more information!)

Whisk the “wet” ingredients in a large bowl: sugar, butter, eggs, and lemon juice. The best lemon juice is from fresh squeezed lemons, but bottled lemon juice works just as well.

Peel the overripe bananas and mash thoroughly. If you have a potato masher it works well, but if not a fork will do the job. Add the mashed bananas into the sugar mixture.

Slowly add the dry ingredients to the sugar mixture until just blended. Be careful to not to mix too thoroughly.

Grease a loaf or muffin tin, and lightly coat in flour to prevent sticking. Pour in the banana bread batter, and bake for 45-50 minutes until browned and toothpick or cake tester comes out clean.

The Best Banana Bread

Cuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy
Servings

8

servings
Prep time

15

minutes
Cooking time

45

minutes

Do you ever feel like your family goes through bananas more often some weeks than others? Stuck with overripe bananas no one wants to eat? This easy recipe uses overripe bananas, cinnamon, and lemons for the perfect balance of sweetness to acidity.

Ingredients

  • 3-4 overripe bananas

  • 1 3/4 cups flour

  • 1 tsp. baking soda

  • 1 tsp. baking powder

  • 1 tsp. cinnamon

  • 1/2 tsp. salt

  • 3/4 cup white sugar

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened

  • 2 large eggs

  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt).
  • In a large bowl, combine the sugar, butter, eggs, and lemon juice with a whisk or electric mixer. Peel and mash bananas in a small separate bowl, then add to the sugar mixture.
  • Slowly add in the flour mixture until moistened. Grease and flour a loaf pan or muffin tin, and pour in banana bread batter.
  • Bake 45-50 minutes until browned and cake tester comes out clean. Let it cool for about ten minutes in the pan, then move to a cooling rack to finish cooling. Wrap in seran wrap or aluminum foil, or freeze in a freezer safe bag.

Notes

  • Tip: If you run out of baking soda, substitute three parts baking powder for the amount of baking soda called for. For this recipe, I did just that as I had to make a grocery store run; instead of 1 tsp. baking soda and 1 tsp. baking powder, I used 4 tsp baking powder (3 tsp. substituted baking powder + 1 tsp. original baking powder called for).
  • Tip: This recipe can be stored in the freezer for up to three months. Air is the enemy with freezer storage: before storing in a freezer safe bag, wrap in seran wrap tightly. Remove any air from the bag when sealing.

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