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Banana bread is a soft, sweet loaf that has been popular since the 1930s. This quick and easy banana bread recipe is straight from my grandmas’s recipe box. It uses only ingredients that you’re likely to have in the store cupboard already.
Baking a banana loaf is the ideal way to use up any unloved brown bananas. Once you’ve mastered banana bread, you’ll never throw an overripe banana away again. Feeling fancy? There are lots of variations on this simple version of banana bread, including pumpkin banana bread, chocolate banana bread and banana bread pudding.
INGREDIENTS TO MAKE BANANA BREAD
You will need:
- 2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup soft butter
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 or 4 bananas
This recipe requires three or four bananas. But, as bananas vary in size quite a lot, two huge ones or five tiny ones could suffice. You should have just over a cup full or banana puree when they’re mashed up.
Pro Tip: Bananas need to be really ripe. Don’t even think about baking with yellow bananas. The skin needs to be mostly brown. Even completely black bananas could be good for baking, just give them a sniff to make sure that they don’t smell bad and you’re good to go.
INGREDIENT SUBSTITUTIONS & ADDITIONS
EGGS: Eggs aren’t essential for this recipe. So, whether you’re vegan, have an egg allergy, or just don’t have any left, don’t worry. Banana is a common substitute for egg in many recipes so just add an extra half a banana (1/4 cup when mashed) and it’ll turn out just fine.
APPLESAUCE: For a healthier banana bread, switch your butter for applesauce.
CINNAMON: No cinnamon? No problem. Just leave it out for a more plain-tasting banana bread. Or for an interesting flavour you could use ground ginger instead.
VANILLA: Vanilla extract enhances the flavors of all the other ingredients, so leaving it out will make your banana bread a little bland. If you don’t have any vanilla to hand, there are plenty of other things you could add to give a flavor kick…
DRIED FRUIT: Raisins, sultanas and dried cranberries all work really well with banana bread. Larger dried fruits like apricots can work too, just be sure to chop them up before adding to your mixture.
CHOCOLATE: Who doesn’t love chocolate and banana? A large sprinkle of chocolate chips makes for a tasty addition or you could swirl chocolate spread like Nutella through the batter before baking.
NUT BUTTER: Another classic combo for with bananas is peanut butter. Alternative nut butters like almond, cashew or walnut butter will work equally well.
HOW TO MAKE BANANA BREAD
STEP ONE: Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
STEP TWO: Take an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pan and either grease and flour it or line it with parchment paper.
STEP THREE: Peel and mash the bananas.
STEP THREE: In a small bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
STEP FOUR: In a large bowl, place the butter and sugars and whisk until fluffy.
STEP FIVE: To the sugary butter mixture, stir in the eggs, vanillaand mashed bananas.
STEP SIX: Pour the small bowl of dry ingredients into the large bowl of wet ingredients and mix briefly until just combined. Take care not to overmix the batter.
STEP SEVEN: Pour into loaf pan and bake for 1 hour and 25 minutes. To check if it’s ready, insert a toothpick or thin sharp knife. If it’s ready, it should come out clean.
STEP EIGHT: Leave to cool in the loaf pan for a few minutes, then transfer onto a wire rack and leave until completely cool. Slice and enjoy!
STORING THIS RECIPE
If you don’t eat your banana bread right away it will go bad within a couple of days at room temperature. You can store at room temperature in an airtight container for 2 to 3 days. To prolong the life of your beloved banana bread, you can store it in the fridge or freeze it.
IN THE FRIDGE
Once your loaf is completely cool, wrap it in foil or place it in an airtight container and it will keep in the fridge for up to a week.
IN THE FREEZER
Banana bread freezes well for up to three months. You can freeze slices or the whole loaf. Make sure it’s tightly wrapped so that no air can get to it to prevent it from drying it out.
To thaw, place it on the countertop with the foil intact. It will take about 30 minutes for a slice and four hours for a whole loaf to defrost. If you’re impatient, you could use the defrost setting on the microwave, place it in the oven as it warms up from cold or even pop a slice straight into the toaster.
TIPS FOR MAKING Moist BANANA BREAD
It can take up to three weeks for bananas to turn ripe enough to make banana bread. If you just can’t wait that long, you can ripen your bananas quickly by roasting them in the oven with the skins on at 300 degrees for 30 to 60 minutes.
If you have the opposite problem and your bananas are almost black but you’re not ready to bake yet, simply place them at the back of the fridge and they’ll be happy to wait there for another week until you have the time.
Banana bread is so easy to make and children love to join in. Once you’ve made this easy banana bread once, don’t be surprised if they refuse to eat the bananas in the fruit bowl so that they’ll go brown and you’ll have to make more!
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Grandma’s Banana Bread
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup butter soft
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3-4 bananas about 1 1/4 cups mashed
- Preheat oven to 325, grease and flour OR line with parchment paper loaf pan.
- Combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon – whisk.
- Combine butter and sugars until fluffy, then add eggs and vanilla, then stir in mashed bananas.
- Add dry ingredients to wet and mix until just combined.
- Pour into loaf pan and bake for 1 hour and 25 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.leave in pan few minutes, then cool completely on a rack.
- To get more height with your slices, use an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pan.