Introduction: Banana Bread Recipe

About: I helped start Instructables, previously worked in biotech and academic research labs, and have a degree in biology from MIT. Currently head of Product helping young startups at Alchemist Accelerator, previous…

This simple banana bread is my favorite because it's a bit sweeter than the standard banana bread, which means the banana flavor really shines through.  It's also an excellent base for adding nuts, chocolate chips, or anything else you like to eat in banana bread.

This recipe makes two regular loaves or one huge loaf.  I usually leave one loaf plain, and add chocolate, nuts, and/or coconut to the second.

This banana bread is good warm, but even better a day or two later when you toast slices and slather them with butter! Delicious.

Step 1: Tools and Ingredients

3 overripe/black bananas, fresh or freeze-thawed1
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter (1 stick) - save wrapper to grease pans
2 eggs
3 Tablespoons milk
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 Tablespoons each add-in

KitchenAid mixer (or a bowl, and electric beaters or a spoon and strong arm)
rubber spatula
1 or 2 loaf pans

1Freezing your ridiculously ripe bananas, preferably in groups of 3, means you're always ready for banana bread.  You can thaw the bananas in your bowl on the counter, or microwave them.  Don't worry about the pool of liquid they drop - the freeze-thawed bananas will actually taste better than the same bananas that haven't gone through the process.  Just remember to peel your bananas before freezing them.

Step 2: Cream Butter, Sugar, and Bananas

Cream the stick of room-temperature butter and 1 cup sugar together with the 3 overripe bananas. 

I typically dump all three into my KitchenAid mixer, hit go, and wander off for a bit.  Be sure to scrape the sides at least once, then mix a bit more.

Step 3: Add Eggs and Milk

Add in the 2 eggs and 3 Tablespoons milk, and mix until they're thoroughly incorporated.  Again, scrape sides as needed between bouts of stirring.

Step 4: Add Flour and Baking Soda

Add 2 cups flour and 1 teaspoon baking soda, and stir in gently until mixed.  Scrape sides and mix again.  The resulting batter will be a thin pudding consistency.

Step 5: Prep Extras

If you're going to add nuts, coconut, chocolate chunks/chips, or any other extra bits, now is the time.  I generally figure about 2-3 Tablespoons is the right amount to add in.  If you're using big chunks of nuts or chocolate chips instead of more finely chopped, make them heaping tablespoons.  There's really no way to go wrong -  just add things you think taste good with bananas.

Some things that go well in banana bread:
- dark chocolate
- milk chocolate
- macadamia nuts
- hazelnuts
- pecans
- walnuts
- maraschino cherries (yes, I grew up in the midwest - why do you ask?)
- coconut shavings

Step 6: Grease and Fill Pans

- Grease two loaf pans with the left-over butter wrapper.
- Scoop half of batter into each loaf pan, and remove any drips from the edge. 

You may add any extras before or after filling the pans.  Since I tend to leave one plain, I just dump the bits on top of the second pan and mix them in with a fork.  It's a bit tidier to add them in earlier, but I'm lazy.

You can also make this in muffin pans, or an 8x8 square pan if you prefer.  Just adjust the timing a bit, and pay close attention because you'll be using the "cook it till it's done" method.

Step 7: Bake

Bake in 350F oven for 50-55 minutes until golden brown on top and a test poke from a toothpick or skewer comes out clean.

Let the pans cool slightly, then while still warm (but no longer dangerously hot) use a silicone spatula or other flexible implement to separate the bread from the edge of the pan, and gently turn the loaf out onto a wire rack to cool.

Step 8: Serve & Store

Slice the bread and serve warm or room-temperature.  To store, let the loaf come to room temperature then wrap in aluminum foil.

I'm particularly fond of toasting the leftover banana bread and smearing it with high-quality butter, honey cream cheese, or Nutella. 

Let me know how your banana bread turns out - post a picture in the comments if you can!

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