This banana bread is probably one of my favorite things that my mom made for us while growing up. She'd always bake two loaves - one with nuts (bleh!) for her and my dad, and one with chocolate chips (yay!) for me and my brother. I've mentioned before, that I have a horrible habit of buying fruit and not finishing it in time before it goes bad. This especially goes for bananas. I like my bananas pretty ripe - with no green what so ever, and preferably all yellow with a tiny hint of brown. The problem is, is that if I buy 3-4 bananas and wait until they get to the right colour for me to eat, then inevitably there's going to be at least one of two that will get too brown by the time I get around to eating them. Again, my solution is to freeze them. Just peel the bananas and throw them in a ziplock bag and then into the freezer.
I don't really mind having a freezer full of frozen bananas because it means that I can thaw them out to make a loaf or two of this fabulous banana bread. It really is the best banana bread I've ever had, and I've tried a lot over the years. Aside from cupcakes, it's probably the thing that disappears the fastest when I bring it into the office. It's super moist, and loved by numerous people I know that actually hate bananas - including my husband.
One thing to note is that this recipe fills a standard North American loaf pan perfectly, but UK loaf pans are slightly smaller, so there's just a tad too much batter. If you're using a standard UK pan, then you may need to have a small ramekin on hand to pour the extra batter in, so you'll end up with an extra mini loaf / muffin. And even though it's called banana bread, it's more of a load cake, and not bready at all.
2 Cups (250g) Flour
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 Cup (115g) Butter
1 Cup (225g) Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
1 Cup (250ml) Banana, mashed - about 3 frozen or very ripe bananas
1/3 Cup (80ml) Milk
1 tsp Lemon Juice or White Vinegar
1 Cup Chocolate Chips (or Nuts)
1. Pre-heat oven to 350ºF (175ºC). Grease a loaf pan with non stick cooking spray, or butter and line with parchment. Sift flour, baking soda and salt together and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla.
3. Measure your milk in a measuring cup and add the lemon juice or vinegar to it. Stir, and set aside for 5 minutes until it's curdled.
4. Alternating between the flour mixture and milk, combine each with the butter, egg and sugar mixture, making sure stir until just combined before adding in the next bit. I usually dive each ingredient into thirds when alternating and mixing together.
5. Once everything has been combined, stir in the bananas and chocolate chips (or nuts). Pour the batter into your prepared loaf pan, and bake for 45 - 60 minutes, or until a toothpick that's been inserted into the center of the load comes out clean. Let the loaf cool completely in the pan before removing to cut.
* I've mentioned before that my oven is basically crap, and because it only has a top heating element, loaves like this take longer to cook and they also brown faster on top. At around the 40 min mark, I usually cover the top of my pan with foil to prevent further browning, and leave it to bake for another 25-30 minutes until a toothpick comes clean.
I'm not sure why, but my family has always eaten this banana bread with butter. It's totally unnecessary, but it's really good. This banana bread freezes very well, so it's a nice thing to bake and throw into the freezer so it's ready to bring out an hour or so before company drops by. Cutting the banana bread while still slightly frozen makes it a bit easier to slice. I took these pictures while the banana bread was still slightly frozen, so it appears a bit dry in the pictures, but it's NOT! I promise! Enjoy!
And now to announce the giveaway winner of the beautiful apron from Cooking Gorgeous! A big congratulations goes to Nickie who won with her bonus entry for tweeting about the giveaway! Nickie, I'll be in touch shortly with more details on how to claim your prize!