The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Fairy Godmother's Banana Bread

steve baker's picture
steve baker

Fairy Godmother's Banana Bread

A few years ago I met my Fairy Godmother, and she offered to grant me three wishes.  She told me that the wishes had to be personal, that is, not things like feeding starving babies in Africa or the MN Vikings winning the Super Bowl.  Fairy Godmother explained that the babies and Vikings had their own fairy godmothers, (some obviously better than others), and they were careful not to step on each others toes, so to speak.  She also warned me that each wish would be granted with a provision.

My first wish was easy.  I asked for Good Health.  Nothing else matters much without good health.  

Fairy Godmother said that would be fine, conditional upon my not taking good health for granted, ie: not drinking, smoking, eating junk foods or abusing my body in any way.  Since I have always been pretty good about taking care of myself, (at least since I quit smoking), I figured that would be easy enough.

For my second wish, I asked for Good Friends.  Life has no meaning without good friends to share it with.

Fairy Godmother agreed, on condition that I also be a good friend myself.  This is also something I've generally tried practice anyway, so that was taken care of.

Then Fairy Godmother asked for my third wish.  I replied that with good health and good friends I didn't really need to wish for anything else.  Fairy Godmother informed me that rules were rules.  She could not grant just two wishes.  I needed a third wish.  That's the way it's always been.

I honestly couldn't think of anything.  I didn't want to get my fairy godmother in trouble though.  Finally I asked her if she had a good recipe for banana bread.

"Why, yes I do!" she exclaimed.  "I'll write it down for you."

As she wrote down her recipe, I asked her what condition would be attached to the third wish.

Fairy Godmother thought for a moment, then said, "That your friends and neighbors shall never want for banana bread."

So, every week when I bake banana bread using Fairy Godmother's recipe, I take some to my friends and neighbors.

For friends too far away for direct gifting here is her recipe:

Fairy Godmother's Universal Banana Bread

For one 9 x 5 inch loaf (double recipe to make three 4.5 x 8 loaves) (I usually make a double batch and bake one 9 x 5 and three 5 x 3 loaves because the smaller ones are nice for gifting)

All Ingredients  at Room Temperature

Pre-Heat Oven to 350 degrees

2 Eggs

1 Cup (10 oz) VERY RIPE Bananas*

1/3 Cup Vegetable Oil

1/4 Cup Milk

2 Cups Flour (AP/part Whole Wheat/KAF White Whole Wheat or, best of all Whole Wheat Pastry Flour)

1 Cup Sugar

2  teaspoons Baking Powder

1/4 teaspoon Salt

* VERY RIPE means as black as you can find.  If mottled yellow is the best you can do, lay them on a baking sheet, poke a few slits on the top side of the peel, and roast them at 350 degrees for 5-10 minutes, until they're black and leathery.  Let them cool and squeeze from peel.  (I freeze these in 10 oz portions)

Additions: (see other suggested adds below) (the important thing is that the additions be about Chip size and their total weight be not much more than 6 oz/loaf)

4 oz Chocolate Chips

1/2 Cup (@ 2 oz) Nuts

Procedures:

Mash together Eggs/Bananas/Oil and Milk (I use an old potato masher) Stir until well blended

Whisk together Dry Ingredients

Toss Additions lightly with a bit of Flour to coat them

Stir Dry Ingredients into Egg-Banana MIxture until just evenly moistened

Fold in Additions

Pour into well greased pan.  (If you use Chocolate Chips or Fruit it's a good idea to use Baking Parchment to line at least the bottom of your pan)

Bake about an hour, until center is dry to toothpick test, which will be 190 degrees  (about five-ten minutes less for 4.5 x 8 loaf, ten-twenty minutes less for 3 x 5's)

Cool in pan on rack for ten minutes.   Run a knife or spatula around the edges and remove loaf to rack to cool completely.

Here are some items I've used as Additions:

White Chocolate/Butterscotch/Cinnamon Chips/Toffee Chips

Raisins or Dried Fruit (Apricots/Dates/figs/Passion Fruit/Pineapple etc) in 1/4 - 1/2 inch pieces

Coconut/Dry Breakfast Cereal (flakes or shapes)/commercial Granola/Trail Mix

Sunflower Seeds/Soy Nuts 

Suggested Combos:

Semi-Sweet Chocolate/Toffee Chips & Sunflower Seed

Butterscotch Chip & Date

Dried Cranberry or White Raisin & White Chocolate Chip

Mini Chocolate Chip & Banana Nut Crunch Cereal

Experiments:

Pomegranate Arils & White Chocolate Chip (very good)

Raisin & Fruity Peebles Cereal aka Josephs Banana Bread of Many Colors (fun for kids)

Prune and Licorice (very ... interesting?)

HAVE FUN!

clazar123's picture
clazar123

Love the story-love the recipe (I have a similar one) and love the interesting list of additions.

This is going to be fun!

EvaB's picture
EvaB

mottled!

I usually use a food processor, I got a great recipe with my first one (unfortunately have lost (not totally) the book that came with it and have had to use other recipes) and it makes a nice single loaf. Have never added anything like chips or raisisns. But have considered it! Have added nuts, and that is ok!

I am thinking about making muffins and then I can gift the muffins, or freeze them if too many to eat up!

 

steve baker's picture
steve baker

I use an old potato masher that belonged to my gf's grandmother.  It has square holes a bit less than 1/4 inch.  I mash and then stir the wet ingredients together with it.  I like a bit of texture in my quick breads.

You can never go wrong with chocolate chips in banana bread.  Especially dark chocolate, in the mini chip size if you can find them.  Butterscotch chip and chopped date is also very popular.

This week I'm giving the bananas a break becasue I got 20 pounds (!) of carrots.  I've got a Carrot/Currant Quick Bread in oven right now.

Another thing I'd always heard, but never tested, was allowing quick breads to "season" in the refrigerator for a few days to improve the flavor.  So far, I'm inclined to say it works, especially for more complex flavor combinations.

Best Wishes  SB

carefreebaker's picture
carefreebaker

would you please share the recipe? It sounds like a great combo and something my family would enjoy.

thank you

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

around here too and bake it often though not once a week.  Bananas are not ready until mid next week I would guess but we retard some in the freezer at all times for smoothies and Banana Bread.  Banana bread smoothies are also my apprentices favorite.  She just can't get enough bananas.  Thanks for sharing your story and favorite fairy's recipe.

franibroussard's picture
franibroussard

Thank you for this recipe! I've made it three times in three weeks (I swear that my husband is letting the bananas turn black just so that I will bake this!) we've added chocolate chips to one batch, and oats to another. If you add oats, add a tad more liquid. Perfection!