I've been around the block. I know what's up. I've tried banana bread with cake flour, with whole wheat flour, with nuts, with raisins, with rolled oats, with white sugar, with brown sugar, with dulce de leche, with pecans, etc. I've seen it all.
So I think it's about time I shared my knowledge with you.
The recipe I will share is adapted from my grandmother's recipe. I can remember one night last year when I desperately called home searching for it, and had my dad read the steps out to me so I could copy them down. I make this bread all the time, and my copy of the recipe is now stained with batter spots and the ink is bleeding off the page.
I've changed a few things over the months (more nuts, less sugar...), but the general ideas remain the same.
Recipe: Banana Bread
3 ripe bananas (the skin should have lots of brown specks)
1/3 cup applesauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 pinch salt
1.5 cups flour (I used half whole-wheat and half all-purpose)
1/2 cup chopped nuts (walnuts and pecans work well)
Variations: You could add 1/2 cup of rum raisins to the mix, if you're into that. Or blueberries, or chopped apples. Zoe claims chocolate chips also work well, but I don't know if I buy it.
- Prepare your loaf pan. Either butter the pan and dust it with flour, or line it with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350°.
- In a large bowl, mix applesauce into mashed bananas.
- Add sugar, egg and vanilla.
- Sprinkle baking soda and salt over the mixture, then incorporate the flour and nuts. Be sure to work quickly! If you mix it up too much or stall, the bread won't cook properly.
- Immediately transfer the mixture into your pan and bake for 45 to 60 minutes, or until the bread is a nice, dark brown color.
- Let it cool for at least 15 minutes. This is important. The bread is still cooking even though it's out of the oven, and if you cut into it right away it might not ever finish. Ever.
- Eat and enjoy along with a glass of milk.
* * * Update: I have modified the recipe once again! Testing has proven applesauce an adequate substitute for butter in this recipe.