So I recently read on a list by TheKitchn that by the age of 30 you should have a solid go-to banana bread recipe under your belt. I wouldn’t take that statement to heart if you’ve gone past your twenties but it’s true that a good banana bread recipe is something that I would recommend everyone having at hand. It’s one of those things that always works as a quick housewarming gift, a cheap afternoon (or morning.. or evening..) treat or simply as a good use for those funky looking bananas sitting on your counter.
This recipe is one I’ve made for years and it never stays in the house too long. When it’s barely out of the oven, Félix is often desperately salivating for a slice as I tell him to wait a while for it to cool a little. Once I even made one as a gift for someone, left it to cool in the kitchen for about 2 hours, then came home to find he’d ‘accidently’ eaten a third of it thinking it was for us.. oops. It’s also another reason why I now regularly double the recipe to make two loaves at a time!
It’s perfectly good as it is, but I normally add chunks of dark chocolate, some chopped nuts, freshly ground spices or juice-plumped raisins. It also easily lends itself to whatever else may be lurking in the backs of your cupboards should you want to use up those dried fruits, nuts etc. Plus if you find yourself missing some ingredients, it has worked perfectly fine when I’ve realised I’m missing an egg* or want to use some wholewheat flour.
When I first made this banana bread, I used this brilliant recipe from The Fresh Loaf, but over the years have adapted it to have a bit less sugar.. plus I always add/change up the tasty extra bits you throw into it.
Makes 1 loaf (though you can easily double it.. then freeze it, or more likely.. eat it all)
3 large & super ripe bananas
50g unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs*
165g plain flour (or 80g plain & 80g wholewheat)
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
AND then add one of these optional additions..
– 90g dark chocolate, broken into chunks (you can use chips but we just prefer a fat chunky chocolate bits!)
– 75g raisins/currants, soaked for an hour in the zest & juice of 1 orange, plus 1/4tsp freshly grated nutmeg.
– 75g or 3/4cup chopped walnuts.
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F and line a loaf tin with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, mash up the bananas with a fork till there are only a few small chunks in it.
- Then add and mix in the butter, eggs & sugar.
- Sift in all the remaining dry ingredients and combine well with a large spatula.
- Mix in any extras you want (chocolate, fruit, nuts, spices)
- Pour into the prepared tin & bake for about 50minutes, till a skewer comes out clean after testing the middle.
- Remove from the oven & leave it in the tin for 5 minutes. Then take it out to cool further on a wire rack.
- Try not to slice it immediately when it’s hot, but wait to till it’s only slightly warm or at room temperature for serving. You can freeze it without any issues.. if you want.