Oven-warm homemade banana bread, slathered with butter that melts on your slice, and a pot of leaf tea… weekends don’t start much better than this! Unless you’re waking up to the smell of one of these already baking because somebody lovely decided to surprise you with it. 🙂
Hubby assures me it’s very easy to make which means I never say no when he suggests it! And if I ‘forget’ to eat the bananas in the kitchen then he suggests it more often than not… I suspect that he’s also after any excuse to use the HydroBake setting on our new oven, which keeps the humidity from whatever’s baking in the oven as steam and just makes his baked noms that much better (which I didn’t think was even possible!).
And it’s ‘loaded’ because of all the fruit and/or nuts Hubby throws into the mix which, given his inability to leave well enough alone, changes every time – today’s one was full of stewed apples and cinammon! But the flavour of the banana always wins through, and the older the banana the stronger their flavour – we’ve even frozen bananas that looked beyond saving because we knew how awesome they would be in this, that and we are trying to be better about food waste (if you are using frozen bananas, defrost thoroughly first otherwise you won’t be able to mash them).
I’m a traditionalist when it comes to banana bread and prefer it loaf shaped, hands down, over muffins. They’re more portable muffin sized but I think a little drier, and you really just can’t beat the perfection of all that melty butter on a warm slice of loaf. Look at my picture again and tell me I’m wrong 😉
- 3 ripe bananas (brown mottling on skin is best)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- (or for a healthier option, use 3/4 cup of apple sauce instead plus 1 tbsp vegetable oil)
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- Butter or Vegetable Oil to grease tin.
- Stuff you can take or leave…
- - 3/4 cup chopped pecan or walnut pieces, don’t process these as it becomes too grainy (Hubby says he prefers pecans for taste)
- - a few handfuls of sultanas or raisins. Asda has a dried fruit mix that has raisins and golden sultanas plus lemon peel.
- - Fresh blueberries also go in really well. If you’re using these, add them gently by hand just before baking to keep them whole.
- 6 by 9-inch loaf pan of muffin tray
- Large mixing bowl
- Preheat the oven to 175C for bread or 200C for muffins and put the oven rack in the centre position. Lightly grease your loaf pan with vegetable oil or butter (if you’re using muffin cups or silicon trays, skip this).
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, oil, vanilla extract, and sour cream, and whisk until smooth.
- Peel the bananas and place in a small bowl. Mash with the back of a fork until there are no big lumps remaining. Add these to the wet mixture together with the cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt, and whisk to combine.
- Add the nuts and dried fruits / berries at this point. Do this before you add the flour so as not to overmix.
- Add the flour and stir until just combined. Be careful, again, to not overmix.
- Pour the batter into the loaf pan and give it a good shoogle and bang it a few times on your counter to get rid of any air bubbles in the mix. Sprinkle a little brown sugar over the top, and then pop into the overn and bake for 55 minutes to 1 hour 10 minutes for bread (or 25 minutes for muffins) until golden brown and risen. Check if the bread is done by pushing a toothpick into the middle, if it comes out clean the bread is ready.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool for at least 10 minutes before turning the bread out of its pan. More fruit-heavy loaves will need longer to cool to avoid falling apart. Muffins not in cases should be allowed to cool in their trays.