One of the best, most delicious transformations of produce from “eww put it in the compost bin” to “Mmmm” has GOT to be turning overripe, blackening bananas into banana bread. They say “when life gives you lemons…” but I like lemons… However, when life gives me rotten bananas… Mmmm Banana Bread!
This recipe has been a favorite with friends and family for years. My children used to request banana bread for their in-school birthday treats. Imagine! Requesting banana bread instead of cupcakes or donuts! The recipe does not ask for a lot of added sugar – the sweetness derives from the bananas. It yields a dense, moist, full-flavored treat. I call it Diba’s Banana Bread because my son, Madiba can consume an entire loaf pan solo in one day.
DIBA’S BANANA BREAD
PREPARATION FOR ONE LOAF
- Heat your oven to 3500 F.
- Grease a loaf pan and set aside.
- Prepare your electric mixer for creaming butter and sugar
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup salted butter (divided)
- 2 cups enriched, unbleached all purpose flour
- 1-2 tsps baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- nutmeg seeds for grating or 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 2 large eggs
- 5-7 medium sized bananas – overripe or at least speckled (more the better)
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, OR
- 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- In a large mixing bowl, measure out your dry ingredients (EXCEPT THE SUGAR)
- Grate a generous amount of nutmeg into the bowl with the other dry ingredients
- Mix with a large spoon to blend thoroughly.
- In your electric mixing bowl place the butter (divided) and brown sugar
- Cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until well blended, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula from time to time.
- After 5-7 minutes, add one egg. Continue mixing until the egg is well blended into the batter (2-3 minutes)
- Add the 2nd egg. Periodically scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure the batter is well mixed. Continue to beat at medium-low speed for 2-3 minutes.
- In the meantime, peel and mash the bananas. You should aspire for at least 2 3/4 to 3 cups of mashed banana.
- Add the mashed bananas to the batter. Mix gently with a spatula or on the lowest mixer speed until well combined.
- Slowly add the flour mixture (1/2 cup at a time), mixing gently to combine well. DO NOT OVER MIX.
- Pour into the greased loaf pan, scraping all of the batter from the mixing bowl.
- Place on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 60 minutes.
- Remove and test for doneness. Banana bread should have a rich caramel color when done. A toothpick inserted must come out clean.
- If the toothpick isn’t clean put the banana bread back in the oven and check again with the toothpick at carefully timed intervals.
- Remove and set aside to cool or serve hot with ice cream. ENJOY!
Variations: These additions help to twist up your basic banana bread recipe.
Chocolate Lovers: Add 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips to the dry ingredients.
Nut Lovers: Add 1/2 cup chopped walnuts to the flour mixture.