I have never been a big fan of bananas, but for as long as I can remember banana bread has been one of my favorite treats. As a kid I would beg my grandma to make it for me constantly and loved when a visit to grandma’s resulted in my very own loaf of banana bread to take home. Now I’m known to be the one to make loaves for people to enjoy.
For this week’s edition of Saturday Sweets I am sharing my favorite recipe for an almost cake-like banana bread – a perfect afternoon snack or even breakfast on the go!
The key to a great banana bread is to use the ripest bananas possible. I have heard if you put them in a paper bag in the oven (while it’s off) it will speed up the process. I haven’t tried it yet, but if you do and it works let me know! I have a friend who loves bananas but once they get their very first spot they become too ripe for her – it works out great for me because she passes them my way and I’m always well stocked with ripening bananas. My method to ripe bananas is to bring them home and forget about them for a couple days until I’m really craving fresh bread and that’s when I remember I have perfect bananas. Bananas also freeze really well so once they are ripe you can peel them, stick them in a Ziploc bag and put them in the freezer. You can even mash them before you put them in the bag. To defrost just put the bag in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes and you will be all set.
· 2 cups flour
· 1 teaspoon baking soda
· 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
· 1 egg
· 1 1⁄8 cups sugar
· 1⁄2 cup vegetable oil
· 2 tablespoons buttermilk – protip: measure two tablespoons of regular milk and add 1⁄4 teaspoon of vinegar, let sit for a few minutes – instant buttermilk!
· 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract
· 4 ripe medium-large bananas, mashed
· 1⁄2 cup chopped walnuts
· 1⁄2 cup chopped walnuts, plus some more for the top
· Preheat oven to 325. Grease a 9x5x3 loaf pan and dust with flour
· Blend the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside
· Mix the egg, sugar, and vegetable oil until combined
· Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and when blended, add the buttermilk, vanilla, and mashed bananas; mix well
· Fold 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts and pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
· Top the batter with remaining walnuts
· Bake for 45-60 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean
Once you take the bread out let it cool for about 10 mins before flipping it and putting it on a wire rack or even a cutting board to cool. If you let it cool all the way it’s less likely to crumb when cutting, but sometimes it’s hard to resist. I personally love cold banana bread so I keep mine in the fridge. You can always switch up the kind of nuts or even add chocolate chips! In the winter I like to add a bit of cinnamon for some nice warmth and I have even gone as far as adding a few heaping spoonfuls of Nutella into the batter while I mix it, because I can.
Go wild with it! Happy baking! Have a great rest of the weekend!