Since I have come to grips with the fact that Allrecipes may, in fact, never publish my recipe submission and because my husband has access to an ongoing supply of very ripe, inexpensive bananas I present here a recipe that uses 5 bananas per each 9″ x 5″ bread loaf. Though not as visually pleasing as drier breads I think this is made up for by the flavor and texture. And toasting helps, of course.
The flavor and mouth-feel reminds me of a banana pudding, but it maintains its cohesion as a bread and is pretty marvelous toasted with butter. How this recipe worked, I don’t know, but it does. I read a lot of recipes trying to find one that used 5 or 6 bananas per loaf that wasn’t a soggy mess and most, maybe all, seemed to have a lot of ingredients and/or a whole lot of steps. I just couldn’t see going through all that for a loaf or two of banana bread. I’m really stuck on the concept that simplest and most efficient approach is also the most elegant and durable, in life and in cooking.
Too-damned-many-bananas banana bread
- 10 very ripe bananas
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground vanilla bean (or substitute vanilla paste, or, in a pinch, extract)
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 cups flour
- 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350′.
- Grease two 9″ by 5″ bread loaf pans. I use a canola oil spray.
- Line a sturdy baking sheet with tin foil or parchment.
- Peel and dice bananas into mixer bowl.
- Starting mixer on low speed, blend bananas until smooth.
- Add baking soda, salt, and vanilla to bowl and combine.
- Add eggs and blend until thoroughly combined.
- Add sugar and combine.
- Add nuts now if you intend to use them.
- Add 1 cup of flour at a time, mixing until thoroughly combined.
- Pour equal amounts of batter into each loaf pan.
- Place loaf pans on baking sheet.
- Bake in oven at 350′ for about 70 minutes, or until loaves are set firm, browned, and a toothpick inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean. I get a perfect loaf at exactly 75 minutes in my current oven. You may need to tent your loaves with tin foil to prevent them from getting too dark, depending upon your oven.
- Cool about 15 minutes.
- Invert loaf pan to remove banana bread.
- Slice and serve warm with a light topping of butter.
I like to use ground vanilla beans because they don’t add any fluid to a recipe and they provide a distinct and beautiful flavor during longer baking processes. Many recipes use butter, oil, or various dairy products to create a moist loaf. The bananas have so much moisture that the trick here is to not compound that problem by adding in more. My family puts enough butter on the finished product that I am afraid to add any more to the batter.
You can also substitute fresh sliced or diced apples in this recipe (about 4 cups), with some ginger and cardamom or cinnamon, and a cup of pecans and the recipe still works just fine. I found this out when our apple tree finally had a bumper crop and I was willing to try almost anything to not waste them. Cider and applesauce are easier, but apple-pecan bread is a real treat.