You’ve probably seen the posts online or read the stories in the newspaper. For some reason, many folks who’ve chosen baking as their cabin fever therapy during the COVID-19 lock down are turning to Banana Bread as their recipe of choice…
A little history…
My dear departed stepdad, Graeme, turned to cooking – in all its facets – as his indoor activity of choice when he retired from teaching. But a lifetime of the habits a teacher acquires over his career didn’t go to waste. Over the years, he created a set of personal cookbooks filling 7 large three-ring binders. One of them was dedicated entirely to Baking and Pastry. These were his favourite recipes and he claimed he had tested every one.
One of Dad’s most beloved breakfast and desert menu items was Muffins and Quickbread, which filled the lion’s share of his Baking book. And he recorded more Banana Bread and Muffin recipes than any other flavour – except Bran, which he took in some form or another every day for personal reasons. I took an hour yesterday to go through Dad’s Baking book and found his most prized Banana Bread recipe tucked away near the back. Today, I’m going to share it with you.
What you need
1.5 cups / 375 ml All Purpose Flour
0.75 cups /175 ml packed Brown Sugar
1 tsp / 5 ml Baking Powder
1 tsp. / 5 ml Baking Soda
0.5 tsp. / 2.5 ml Salt
1.0 tsp. / 5 ml ground Nutmeg
1.0 tsp. / 5 ml Real Vanilla Extract
1.5 cups / 375 ml (3-4) mashed overripe Bananas
0.5 cups / 125 ml melted Butter*
0.5 cups / 125 ml Additions*
* You can substitute Corn Oil here,but Butter makes the flavour better!
** You can use Chopped Nuts, Dried Fruit or other additions to your taste. Dad always preferred Chocolate Chips.
What you do
Pre-heat oven to 375 F / 190 C.
Grease a loaf pan well and set aside.
Combine the dry ingredients (Flour, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, Sugar, Nutmeg and Salt) in a medium sized mixing bowl.
In a smaller bowl, beat together the Egg, mashed Bananas, melted Butter and additions.
Add the Banana mixture to the dry ingredients and stir gently just until all the dry stuff has been moistened. Stirring gently is important, since stirring energentically or stirring too long can result in a loss of the carbon dioxide gas the Baking Powder and Soda give off, producing a flat heavy loaf.
Pour the Batter into the Loaf pan filling it about 4/5 of the way up.
Bake for 45 to 60 minutes on the centre oven rack, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the loaf comes out clean and the top springs back when lightly touched.
Allow to cool on a wire rack, then turn out onto a plate or board.
A versatile recipe
You can also use this recipe to make Banana Muffins. Fill the muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. I recommend that all beginning bakers use paper cuffin cup liners. You can just grease the cups, but sometimes the muffins will stick if you don’t get grease all the way into the corners, where the sides meet the bottom. Paper liners also ensure that your muffins don’t overflow the cups and stick to the top surface of the tin.
Now, pour yourself a fresh cup of coffee…
… And enjoy a slice of fresh, warm Banana Bread that you baked yourself!
~ Maggie J.