My simple flavorful banana bread recipe has been evolving for years. For a while, it had everything but the kitchen sink – coconut, lime, chopped dates, and nuts. I used to make this for bake sales for my sons’ preschool. I was always so flattered when people would buy the entire loaf. After the first time this happened I would deliver whole loaves and slices so they could be sold either way. It was very good bread but started to not be banana bread. It got very complex then sort of came out the other side to become simple with the focus on maximizing banana flavor. Now I prefer a very simple recipe.
A couple of tricks for simple flavorful banana bread.
There are a couple of tricks to get the most banana flavor for simple flavorful banana bread. One thing I noticed is that bananas that have been frozen give more banana flavor than fresh, even the black ones. Cook Illustrated found this too and came up with an interesting solution. They cook the bananas in the microwave then let them cool and use the bananas and the liquid in the batter. I started to do that too, and because I do not like lumps of bananas in my banana bread, I puree the cooked bananas and liquid. Once the pureed bananas have cooled, I add the sour crème, vanilla, and eggs.
For the banana bread, I have found Becel margarine creates a nicer texture than butter. Normally I am butter all the way kind of gal. I discovered the Becel improvement by accident when I had lots of over–ripe bananas and no butter. Many recipes I have tried have you add softened or melted butter. I prefer the results when I cream the margarine with the butter. Creaming is not just stirring the fat and sugar together. It takes time,5-10 minutes with the electric mixer. The creamed mixture looks light and fluffy. I don’t know the chemistry, but I think the fat completely wraps the sugar crystals, so they don’t all dissolve when the wet ingredients are added creating a lighter, cake-like, texture for the banana bread.
Don’t forget to Pin this for when you have those blackening bananas