There are a few recipes that every family cook simply must have in his/her repertoire–a simple roast chicken, a bean salad for potlucks, a well-balanced spaghetti sauce. And every family cook should have a simple banana bread recipe. One that calls only for ingredients that are continually in your cupboard, but can be dressed up with chocolate, nuts, coconut, or orange zest if the occasion calls for it.
Somehow, I find it necessary to have four such recipes and I kind of rotate through them as I feel inclined. But as I was busting through my recipe stash, I found another one. And I couldn’t help myself, I just had to give it a try. It came out so perfectly that I had to add it to the banana bread family of recipes. If you don’t already have your banana bread recipe, you can claim this one. If you do have one, maybe you can find room in your kitchen for one more.
This recipe came from a recent issue of Everyday Foods magazine and I adapted it to our family’s diet preferences. I swapped out the all-purpose flour for whole-wheat flour, which makes a heartier bread, but is still wonderfully moist and delicious. I also reduced the sugar by half. We happened to be taking this loaf as dessert to a friend’s house, so I was okay with the sugar in the recipe. But if I was making this for a snack instead of dessert, I would probably replace the sugar with about 1/2 cup honey and keep an eye on it as it bakes. But I haven’t tried it this way yet.
Since this was dessert, I dressed it up with chocolate chips. If you want a basic loaf, you can just leave them out. If you’re taking it on a hike, maybe add some raisins and sprinkle pecans on top. Or add orange zest and some coconut. Add some nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger and make a banana spice loaf. The possibilities are endless.
Banana bread is a bit like a cup of coffee and it seems like everyone has their own preferences. How do you like your banana bread?
adapted slightly for our family’s diet preferences
Source: Martha Stewart, Everyday Food
Course: Desserts (Breads and Muffins)
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature; plus more for greasing
- 1 2/3 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp fine salt
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups mashed bananas 3-4 bananas
- 2 Tbs plain yogurt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 6 oz bittersweet chocolate chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees; grease a loaf pan (I use a 10″ loaf pan, but a 5×9 will work, too) with butter and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour through salt).
- Using a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the bowl as needed. Beat in bananas, yogurt, and vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture until just combined and stir in the chocolate. Pour batter into pan. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean from the center, about 60 minutes.
- Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove and allow to finish cooling on a rack.