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Banana Bread Formula from Childhood

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Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Banana Bread Formula from Childhood

When I was a child, our home didn't typically have desserts and junk food around.  My father was a health nut (and still is at 72), so any unhealthy food would be frowned upon.  Hiding a bowl of chips and eating them quietly became an art form that my brother and I mastered through the years.  My mother did however bake banana bread often and it became a 'healthier' dessert for our family.  Less sugar and relying on very over ripe bananas to provide the sweetness...using olive oil in lieu of butter/margarine gave it that nice richness without the 'bad' fat.

This recipe is still a go-to for winter time comfort in my home.

 

Formula

Mama's Healthier Banana Bread

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • Few drops of vanilla extract
  • 3 large or 4 small frozen bananas, mashed
  • ¼ cup oil
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

 Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine all dry ingredients and wet ingredients in separate bowls.  Pour wet mixture into dry and stir just until combined (do not over mix).  Pour into greased, disposable foil pans.  Bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into centre comes out clean.

No, not mind blowing, but a nice formula for those who like this bread but would like it to be a bit healthier.

John

 

 

Comments

carblicious's picture
carblicious

Thanks for sharing the banana bread recipe.  Will have to try this weekend.

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Please share the results!

John

run4bread's picture
run4bread

thanks for posting this. I look forward to trying it very soon. I have been wanting a healthier version.

My recipe (Sunset Favorite Recipes II) has a lot more oil and sugar. I've wondered about reducing the oil, would it feel too dry. Your recipe adds an extra banana so that probably keeps it moist. My recipe also has a cup of whole wheat flour, which gives a nice flavor and healthy component. I also add chocolate chips, an important health-giving ingredient! Especially since I don't eat walnuts. The chips add texture and flavor lost by leaving out the walnuts.
Thanks again!

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

I assure you that this recipe yields a very moist loaf.  Not dry in the least.  Try this formula the way it is, and if you like it, you can add in your whole wheat flour, but add about a tbsp extra water to the formula.  I have also tried it with whole wheat flour and love the results, but I needed to compensate the hydration.

Good luck and please share your results.

John

Mebake's picture
Mebake

i love banana loaf, and yours looks great!

Fine whole wheat flour can be used in place of white flour, but you may want slightly more liquid to it.

Well done, John and thanks for sharing the recipe.

-Khalid

Buster1948's picture
Buster1948

I was weaned (with some success) on banana bread, and love it. Will try your recipe, but am curious about the "frozen" bananas. Does freezing them somehow enhance their ripening? What's up? Thanks.

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Sorry for the late reply.  I don't believe the freezing process enhances the banana in any way.  I just usually keep over ripe bananas in the freezer for smoothies and baking.  They last a long time when frozen.  Also, when frozen, once they thaw a bit, they become almost a puree consistency.  This just makes it easier to incorporate into the batter instead of having to mash it up.  All in all, it is mainly just a preferred storage method.

Good luck!

John

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

John, it is funny, but it was banana bread that got me started baking. I purchased some lodge cast iron loaf pans to replace the non-stick pans we had in the house, hoping it would make a great banana bread and also keep me from eating non-stick coatings over the years.

Once I had the loaf pans, I was determined to bake bread in them.  I baked very few loaves of bread (maybe 3 yeast breads) before switching over to the combo cooker and sourdough.

With that important background, I wanted to say that I also made banana breads to test out the pans and when I made those banana breads I added chia seeds and hemp seeds, to boost the nutritional profile of the bread.  Chia seeds are essentially flavorless, but they add a wonderful crunch factor to the bread.  Not sure why that is appealing in a banana bread, but I enjoyed it a lot.  If you have chia or hemp seeds, toss some in on your next bake and see how you like it.

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Hi David.  Actually, that is a good idea.  We do have chia seeds in the house.  My wife is a health nut.  She recently made a chia seed pudding.  It's crazy stuff.  When added to water, chia seeds turn into a jelly like blob, similar to cooked tapioca.  The pudding was interesting.  Not bad.  Interesting!  I will try it in my next banana bread, but i'm a bit scared at what it will do!

John

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

1Tbsp of Chia to 3Tbsp of water, soak for 5 minutes or so, and you can use it to replace one of the eggs.

The chia pudding is okay. I made it once with cocoa and probably honey, liked it but no so much that I ever made it again.

If you don't want to use it as an egg replacement, you can also just sprinkle the top of the loaf with the seeds before baking. They will not gel. Even mixed in raw, they don't gel, so no worries there. Or if they do gel, you won't know it after the bake.

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Thanks for the info.  We made a vanilla chia pudding.  I think I'll stick to my classic pudding a few times a year :)

Happy baking.

John