A friend made a special request for some homemade banana bread, and I thought to myself, what a simple wish to grant! Banana bread is one of those classic favorites that is easy to make and difficult to mess up. The recipe itself allows for much flexibility – you can go easy on the sugar, kick things up a notch with some chocolate chips, add some peanut butter chips to make an impression of peanut butter and banana slice sandwich, throw in some walnuts for the crunch…and these are just a few common ways to dress your bread up. Another great thing about banana bread is that you actually don’t necessarily need to make it in a loaf pan – and here, I have decided to go with mini muffin cups – et voila, cute little gifts!
- I have filled these muffin cups up to approximately 4/5 full. I have done another batch using a loaf pan, and 4/5 was the perfect volume.
- The baking time would inevitably vary depending on the type of container you use. These muffin cups took approximately 30 minutes, while a loaf pan would call for about 1 hour. Do check your bread periodically. The best way to tell would be by looking at the color of your bread, and whether any liquid (banana sort of oozes out through the cracks on top actually) still bubbles through. Sticking a piece of toothpick into your bread is still the best way to test – if your toothpick comes out clean, then your bread is ready.
- Try splitting your dough into plain and a portion with add-in’s! The banana bread in itself has such a lovely texture and taste which you won’t necessarily want to cover up with your add-in’s. One perfect way to create the best of both worlds would be to do a layer of say chocolate chip dough at the bottom, and top it with a generous layer of plain dough.
The following recipe is forgiving and ingredients are easily available. And better still, the whole house was filled with the heart-warming aroma of banana and cinnamon as these little ones rise and brown up in the oven.
What You Need:
Yields one 9 x 5 x 3″ loaf or 2 dozens muffin cups
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 stick / 110g butter, room temperature
- 2 large eggs
- 3 medium sized ripe bananas
- 2 tablespoons (whole) milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 (generous) teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
What To Do:
- Preheat the oven to 325F / 160C. Butter your loaf pan.
- Cream the sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mix in well after each addition.
- In a 2nd bowl, mash the bananas with a fork. It is okay to leave little chunks, as they tend to go away during subsequent mixing and baking. Mix in the milk, cinnamon and vanilla extract.
- In a 3rd bowl, mix your dry ingredients, i.e. flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Mix & Bake:
- Add the banana mixture first to the creamed mixture, stir until combined.
- Add the dry ingredients mixture and mix just until all the flour disappears.
- Pour your batter into your pre-buttered container(s).
- Depending on your container: load pans, bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes; muffin cups, bake for 30 to 40 minutes.
- Check your bread periodically towards the end and be sure to do the toothpick test (toothpick right into the center and must come out clean).
- Set aside to cool. Cool completely before removing from your loaf pan.
I think cling wrap would probably be your best bet here in terms of keeping your bread fresh and presenting it to your friends. They are simply heavenly just the way they are, or imagine having them with a glass of milk! Enjoy!