Almost every weekend I bake. Lately I've been trying different recipes using my sourdough starter. At other times I baked yeasted artisan breads and sandwich breads. But one thing has remained constant: almost every time I have the oven heated for baking I make a batch of banana bread. I can safely say that I've made more batches of banana bread than any other bread.
I've tried a number of different recipes, but the majority of the time I fall back on the recipe below. It tastes great, it keeps well, it takes less than 10 minutes to prepare. You can't ask for much more than that.
This recipe is from the 1997 revision of the Joy of Cooking. There is at least one step in the Joy recipe (mixing the butter and sugar with a hand mixer for 2-3 minutes) that I skip. Doing so may make a slightly lighter loaf, but I find it unnecessary.
As I said, I've tried close to a dozen different banana bread recipes but I like this one the best. It is a little drier than recipes made with Vegetable or Canola Oil, but I like the flavor of butter and consistency of this bread better.
I've also found that we enjoy this a lot more baking it in small loaf pans rather than a regular bread pan. In the large pan I tended to have a harder time getting it to bake evenly, often resulting in overbaked ends and a gooey center. It also would go stale before we could eat the entire thing. With the small loaves, I bake 2 or 3 a weekend and freeze all but one. Every couple of days we pull a new one out of the freezer and never have any trouble with it going stale.
The other breads in the photo, by the way, are two whole wheat sourdough loaves and a sourdough rye. I haven't had a chance to even try them all yet. If they turn out good I will definitely share the recipes.
Makes 1 full-sized loaf or 2 small loaves
Preheat the oven to 350.
In one bowl, combine:
1/2 stick (4-5 tablespoons) butter, softened
2 or 3 very ripe bananas
2/3 cup sugar
Use a potato masher, fork, or spoon to squish the banana and mix the ingredients together. It is alright for there to be small (1 centimeter) chunks of banana in the batter, but you want most of the banana to be reduced to mush.
In another bowl, combine:
1 1/3 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
Combine the wet and dry ingredients and mix until the ingredients are blended together.
If you like, stir in additional ingredients here, such as chopped walnuts or pecans, dried cherries or apricots, or chocolate chips. A handful (about a half a cup) is about right.
Pour the dough into greased baking pans and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Small loaves take around 30 minutes, a normal-sized loaf takes around 50 minutes.
Remove from the oven. This bread is great warm, but it is excellent cold too.
After they have cooled for 5 or 10 minutes the loaves can be removed from the pan to cool. Once they are cool they can be individually wrapped and frozen.
Related Recipes: Better Banana Bread,Eggless Banana Bread
10 Minute Banana Bread
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That's funny -- the only banana bread I make is from "The Joy of Cooking". The JC one is a bit different than yours (I know it calls for grated lemon peel, but if I don't have that I use pure lemon extract), though I am sure it comes out just as good. I agree that the taste is much better with butter than oil. My family also likes the fact it stays lighter than traditional banana bread (maybe because of the lemon). All I know is that I love it the next day, toasted with butter and honey.
Thanks Floyd, great recipe! I used ww pastry flour, sucanat and sea salt. Delicious! I liked the idea for small loaf pans, too. Jen
What a simple recipe, Floyd - and it tastes very good. Took me longer to do the dishes than to put it together. Now I have a reason to buy the smaller pans. I bet one could use muffin tins too.
I toasted the walnuts to about 80% a normal toasting. Great Flavor.
Hi, my guess is that a slightly higher temperature will give you more color. How does your oven do with other recipes? Many home ovens tend to run a bit hotter or colder than the stated temperature.
A high humidity environment definitely affects bread, as I'm sure you know. Since you can't cut back on the liquids very easily, you might try increasing the flour by a tablespoon or two.
mamaste, I'd love to see pics of your bread. Do you see the FAQ at the top of the page? There's something in there that explains how to upload your pictures. I hear you on the HTML!
Floyd, I am making another batch of this bread now. I love it. It so happens that I had knee surgery yesterday and this recipe is about at the limits of my ability for the moment.
I have a method for storing old bananas I'd like to share, and many of you probably already do this - as the bannana gets the point where I have to make bread or throw them out, I place them in the freezer as-is, not peeled in a bag. When you need 2 or 3 for this recipe (I use 3), simply place them in the refrigerator the evening before you will need it. The next day it will be soft. Simply cut off the tip like a cigar, and it will easily squeeze out, dicard the skin.
I also store nanas that way..
I like the frozen banana idea, and will give it a try. May you have a speedy recovery - I know it's a lot of work, but well worth it.
The one drawback to this method of storing is that since the cell walls are pierced by the frozen water crystals it is difficult to achieve a chunky banana consistency once unfrozen, which is nice. However, if you like it puree'd, there is no easier way.
Thanks for the good wishes, I should say I "kneed" to get better : )
I use 1 3/4 cup flour, 1/2 cup butter (1 stick softened), 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 cup drk brown sugar and 1/4 cup white sugar and lastley...
1/4 cup natural peanut butter.
Otherwise, same recipe. GREAT FLAVOR! Reminds me of banana peanut-butter sandwiches I toast on a cold morning for breakfast. Moist, too.
I substituted oil for butter, increased egg and baking powder amounts and blitzed everything in a food processor.
20 second Banana Bread!
Turned out with a finer texture than the banana bread I normally make but can't beat it for quick and easy!
I subsituted the 2/3 cup of sugar with 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup honey. I baked them in mini fluted silicon moulds for 15 min on 200 deg C, reduce to 180 deg C and bake for another 5-10 min . When cooled I iced them with cream cheese topping & toasted almond bits. Mixture of Philadelphia cream cheese, icing sugar, lemon juice & zest. This is great!
I tried the topping with melted dark chocolate mixed with sour cream. Not as good as the cream cheese topping.
Mini Banana Bread
My girlfriend made this recipe last night and we are thoroughly enjoying it this morning for breakfast!
ben and meryl
This is a great recipe. Quick. Easy. Good results.
I made it for the second time this evening. Based on my first experience a couple weeks ago, I did make a few modifications:
1. I melted the butter. 1/2 stick from freezer. 2 minutes in the microwave.
2. I mixed in a KitchenAid using my new beater blade. No scraping down the bowl! Much time saved.
These are available from Sur la Table, KAF and, probably, other places. Highly recommended!
3. The first try, according to Floyd's recipe, tasted salty to us. I left out the salt entirely and preferred the result. I might sneak in a smidgen next time.
4. I used 1 cup of AP flour (WFM 365 Organic) and 1/3 cup Giusto's Organic WW Pastry Flour.
I used a generous handful of toasted, broken up pecans.
I used 3 pretty big bananas and 2 extra large eggs. As a result, the batter was wetter than the original and required 65 minutes at 350F. It probably could have used another 5 minutes.
The result was much lighter than my first bake. I did cream the sugar and butter well, which contributed as well as the increased proportion of banana and egg.
Next time, I think I'll try it with at least some brown sugar. (I used unrefined sugar this time.)
Used the recipe for my friend's birthday. I added walnut crumbs, flax seeds, raisins and quick oats. Took almost 45 minutes to bake those mini loaves but they turned out great. My friend got two loaves and she was very happy and said they were amazing! I kept one small loaf for my husband. He came home, had a bite and said "Wow, this is GOOD!".
Definitely will make them again. Thanks for the great recipe!
I cut a stock of bananas down last week and was giving bananas away to everybody. Kind of like trying to get rid of zucchini when you plant too much! The last were getting to that point and started freezing some for those in between stretches when the bananas aren't ready. This morning I came across Floyd's recipe and figured while the oven was hot already, I might as well give this recipe a go. Glad I did too! For a simple recipe the flavor is amazing. I did cut back the salt to just 1/2t.and added a heaping 1/4c of chopped walnuts. I used 3 dwarf apple bananas and will be interested in how the Williams will taste when they get ripe.
What?? You don't have bananas hanging on your lanai??
The top got a little flattened when it came out of the pan. Didn't have time to cool it down as there was a loaf waiting for the pan!!
Look at the nuts! Love nuts in my sweet breads!
Now that is a Banana bread. Very nice.
Perhaps you can help me understand something I have been trying to figure out about banana's. I know with oranges I can feel the weight of the fruit and compare each one and avoid the lighter ones. A heavier and juicer-er orange is likely to be sweet. Is there any way to determine the sweetness of a banana at the grocery? Here on the mainland we get them green and have to wait a few days for them to soften up. There are cosmetic differences like the curl and length but I haven't been able to connect anything to sweetness.
I apologize for this being totally of the map but it would help to know what fruit to bring home:>)
Hi Eric, sorry I missed your post! Bananas are always picked green. Even here I pick when they have filled out and look like they can't round out any more. It is hard to explain. When the bananas first form, they are quite angular in the cross section. and plump up as they mature. If you leave them on the tree until they turn yellow, the fruit flies have at them. When they are ready to come off the tree I just take a big pruning saw and cut the whole stem down and cut it up into small chunks to mulch. Like a salmon once the the flower appears the banana stem basically starts to die. Typically a banana will produce 12-20 leaves and then procuce a large purple flower and as the flower opens up you'll see little hands of bananas forming. I'm getting closer and closer to starting a blog and if I do, I'll put up a series of photos about bananas.
I didn't want to bug you about this and I'm glad to see your reply. What I really want to know is if there is any way to tell at the point where I see the fruit in the store, about starting to get full yellow with a little green. Is there a way to tell from the way they look which ones will be sweeter? There is a big variation in sweetness, even after they are ripe. Some are much better. Are there any clues prior to ripening to guide a person to select the sweeter fruits?
It really is just a hit and miss thing. The only way I eat bananas is let them start showing brown spots. I guess that's when the sugars are starting to set better. I know what you mean though about some ripen sweeter even before they show some brown. Funny thing about bananas here.... If you go to Safeway the bananas are all bought in from South America!
I made a loaf this morning very similar to yours, I found the recipe a couple of years on ehow.com. I made a few changes and thought I put up the recipe in case anybody is interested in a gluten-free version.
As a measuring device I used a cup that holds 200ml, not sure how that relates to the us measuring cup.
So the ingredients below can of course be swapped for wheat flour and sugar, the original recipe calls for sour cream instead of yoghurt.
1 cup gluten-free flour
2/3 cup ground almonds
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup Xylitol (sweetener suitable for diabetics )
1/2 cup soft margarine
4 medium sized bananas
2 Tablespoons nat. soya yoghurt
1 Teaspoon of Vanilla essence
2/3 cup toasted chopped almonds, walnuts
1. Combine flour, gr. almonds, baking powder and cinnamon.
2. Mash bananas and stir in yoghurt.
3. Cream sugar and margarine until it has creamy consistency, takes a good few minutes. Add the eggs, mixing in one egg at a time. Adding the mashed banana mixture and vanilla essence last.
4. Now I used a sieve adding in the flour and then folding it in with a rubber spatula. Adding in the chopped nuts in the end.
Preheated the oven 175 degrees (original recipe states 350 F), it took between 45 minutes and an hour.
And here it is.
I used to have a wonderful simple recepie for Bannana bread that was quick and practically failproof. I haven't been able to find it for years but this seems very similar. As I happen to have some VERY ripe bannanas ready to use I can't wait to try it and I love the suggestion someone made of adding ranberries! I think I will make one with and one without! YUM.
Adpated from pincupot, above. I made a few changes and I think it turned out great.
I tried it amd it was good, but I wanted a stronger peanut butter flavor, so upped it to 1/2 C and then added more to the dry ingredients to balance it. I made muffins this time and they are great! Thanks for the idea. Here is the recipe
Peanut Butter Banana Bread
1/2 cup butter (1 stick softened),
1/2 cup dark brown sugar and 1/4 cup white sugar
3 very ripe bananas
1/2 cup peanut butter.
I used 2 1/4 cup KA flour,
1/2 tsp salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional) I used a streusel topping on muffins instead
One large loaf or
12 muffins and
1 mini muffin pan
i baked my first batch of banana read today.. and i used a 'healthy ' version
but turns out that the oil(3/4 cup) for one cup of flour and 3 bananas was too much.. the bread seems soaked in oil... and not quite fluffy. I also didnt use eggs.
Id like it fluffier and less oily . Can you please help
Hi Charisma, I just came across your post. You're right about too much oil. And eggs help to "bind" the ingredients. Without eggs you will have a more crumbly bread. Try using one of the banana bread recipes listed here. For other reliable recipes visit http://allrecipes.com
Good luck, Mimi
Hi, if i need to make it eggless, do i omit the eggs altogether?
or do I also increase the proportionof bananas?
Thanks for the recipe.
I just made a batch for a superbowl part this afternoon. Looks and smells delicious! Unless I completely forgot to add an ingredient, I expect it will taste heavenly as well. Also, I added choc. chips to it.
What do you think about using bleached flour instead of unbleached? Will there be much difference? Only reason I ask is I want to make this without having to go to the store and I'm out of unbleached flour.
Bleached flour will work fine. Good luck!
All the positive reviews and ripe bananas, I couldn't resist. Thanks to the OP, seven years ago!
Just wanted to say thanks for this recipe! Made a loaf yesterday and yes it was easy & yes it was beautiful to eat! Thanks!
I'd also like to say thank you.
Made it today with a few adjustments inspired by the comments here.
Instead of cinnamon I added some lemon zest as well as some walnut bits, white chocolate chips and a little dribble of chocolate essence.
For the flour I used 50% plain white flour and 50% wholemeal. I used half the original quantity of all the ingredients and baked it in a bear shaped mould for 30 minutes.
Definitely our best ever banana bread recipe. Will reduce the sugar by 25% or so next time, but otherwise, perfect.
Just fyi, I've had quite a bit of success using bundt pans instead of bread pans for wetter quick breads. The flute in the middle of the pan guarantees every part of the bread is cooked the same. It is much easier to get an all-around moist bread instead of dry on the ends and soggy in the middle.
I've been making this recipe a lot lately. My latest twist is to do all the same as the original ingredients above, plus add a big heaping spoonful of Nutella into the wet ingredients before mixing it in.
Oh, and then I pour in some mini-chocolate chips before baking too.
The choco-banana combo has been a huge hit with everyone.
I just made three more loaves today to share with my friends :)
Funny you just posted this....I just made this recipe yesterday too :-)
I baked my batch in 2 mini pans since I have only 1 child remaining at home and large loaves tend to sit around and dry out....Well, one of the minis was gone by evening so my plan to give the other to a friend will have to wait for next batch.....There is only 1/2 of that left....Luckily my child is over 6' and still growing....
Did you adjust the salt down as some suggested to only 1/2 tsp? I think I will try that next time and see how that works.
Glad to see I wasn't the only one thinking bananas yesterday :-)
nope. I just left the recipe as is. We forgot to bring our measuring spoons when we moved so I am eyeballing it with the teaspoon stuff but generally it's come out pretty much exactly how we all like it. I made two huge loaves last week and gave one to a neighbor and then found the remaining loaf didn't even last through till the end of the next day, so this time I made more so I could still share!
There's nothing new under the sun... I know.. this has been done somewhere, but I love the smell of cardamon and added 1/4 tsp of cardamon to the recipe... You barely know it is there but it adds a different quality that compliments the cinnamon. I also love the smell/ taste of clarified butter so I do that with this recipe too..... and somehow a few chocolate chips landed on top! The bananas I used were so ripe the peels were hard to remove... It tasted so good!
Thank you for sharing this recipe!
I know this is an old old post, but I just wanted to say that after 3 tries I got it down perfect. Tried as someone said to make in a Bundt pan but it came out too dry--and I didn't like the ratio of brown "crust" to the soft top. So I ended up using the "Bread n Cake" pan with my Rival Crockpot, and got the prettiest little cake that's super moist. By this last try, I probably added twice the cinnamon, 1 tsp of vanilla, and quite a lot raisins--maybe 2/3 cup (no nuts).
I was in the mood to bake something this morning and made this banana bread. It turned out terrifically well. A few modifications from the original : I made this a one bowl recipe, used a potato masher and was sure to mix it well; I used whole wheat flour; I didn't have enough unsalted butter so used 2 tbsps of unsalted and 3 tbsps of salted with only two twists of the salt grinder; I only used 1/3rd of a cup of sugar; only a pinch of nutmeg. Truly delicious! Thank you!
Of course i would stumble onto this recipe a few days after my latest banana bread. Cinnamon isn't something i would normally want with my bananas, but reading through the comments and seeing how many folks include it in their variations i'll need to try out that addition.
This has to be the easiest baking I've done. I'm glad I found this recipe. Quick and delicious. I added chocolate chips and the kids love it. Next time I'm making this with walnuts or cashew nuts.
What size tins are small loaf tins?
Is the rule fill upto 2/3 a container to get the perfect rise?
The people at work want to pay me to make this. That is how good it is. i never get a slice, it is all gone.MJ
I just got took this loaf out of the oven and it turned out great! I added in extra cinnamon, nutmeg, and even a few pinches of all spice and it tastes great! Thanks for the good recipe :)