Recipe: Moist Dark Banana Bread
Before I go deep into my previous recipes, I wanted to share a more current one. So current I just made it today.
I guess everyone's got some overripe bananas right now. Since the pandemic happened, people have bought in bulk; food that's good enough for 2 weeks for every grocery run. This meant a lot of fresh produce that needed to be eaten and finished before they went bad.
My husband's been eating bananas for breakfast and for some reason, there's always 3 bananas left unnoticed. One option would be to cut them up while they were still fresh and throw them in a ziplock bag to head for the freezer - to make future smoothies (but we don't drink banana smoothies). Another option was to make baked products. Yay for baked goodness! I love caramelized carbs! Plus, the smeeeelllllll. Your kitchen will just smell glorious! Banana bread always reminded me of weekend mornings, or holidays with the family. 😊
The banana bread - one of the best, heartwarming quick breads. Just a learning note, "Quick breads" are aptly called such because they use a chemical leavening agent to help the bread rise, no need for yeast and patience.
I personally don't enjoy eating fresh bananas. I just can't deal with the texture and the smell. But when baked and I smell the scent of caramelized sugar, gaaawd. Give me a cuppa sweat tea or coffee too! I've always liked a deep-brown sugar taste when eating banana bread. I like the crumbly top too - I blame Red Ribbon for this (it's a bakeshop in the Philippines). But sorry, I haven't made one with the crumbly top.
Anyways, depending on what type of acidic dairy you choose, it will come out slightly different. You can use buttermilk, sour cream, yogurt, greek yogurt, or you can use milk slightly soured/curdled with vinegar. The addition of an acidic dairy is to enhance the leavening properties of the chemical leavening agent, in this case, baking soda. Just like how mentos reacts with Coke (okay fine, this reaction is the exaggerated version). It allows the baking soda to lift the bread, creating pockets for instant rise. 😉
Moist Dark Banana Bread
This recipe makes 1 9-inch loaf pan. I didn't have this size so I used my 8-inch loaf pan and the leftover batter, I put them in 2 ramekins. They ended up looking like muffins. If you did want to make cupcakes, you can use this recipe too. It's just more dense than a normal cupcake.
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick of butter, melted (generally for baking, you should use "unsalted butter" but I prefer using "salted butter" just because I find it tastes better)
1/4 cup white sugar
3/4 brown sugar, the darker the better (let the molasses work it!)
2 eggs, large, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 ripe/overripe bananas, mashed up to a gooey mulch (if the bananas are smaller, you can go up to 4 pieces)
1/2 cup greek yogurt (if you don't have this, you can replace it with the suggestions mentioned above)
*The reason I separated the ingredients this way, in groups, is so you can clump up your work. Wet ingredients, dry ingredients, and what steps come next. This way, there's a flow to your prep work. This is also called, mise-en-place (meaning set-up, preparing your ingredients, managing your work flow in the kitchen).
**In addition, if you want to add some chocolate chips or some walnuts, go nuts! (pun not intended) Don't add too much though because these ingredients are heavy. Probably add about 1 cup of the overall extra ingredients (i.e. 1/2 cup chocolate chips and 1/2 cup walnuts).
- Preheat your oven to 350℉.
- Butter your loaf pan (and or ramekins) and set aside.
- Combine and whisk all your dry ingredients in one bowl and set aside.
- In a new bowl (your main bowl), whisk your sugars and melted butter together. Add your eggs one at a time and then your vanilla extract. Whisk until the mixture is fluffy and a lighter brown colour.
- Add half of your dry ingredients to the sugar mixture. Stir in your ingredients just enough to be incorporated, do not over-mix the batter. Add the rest of the dry ingredients and stir to incorporate again.
- Using a spatula, fold in your mashed up bananas and greek yogurt (or your dairy of choice). By folding this in, rather than using a whisk, this enables the leavening bubbles to stay intact. You don't want to deflate the mixture and squash out the air in your batter.
- Fill your loaf pan until 3/4 full. If there's extra batter, just like what happened to me, you can use extra molds like ramekins.
- Place in the center of the oven and bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes.
- (This is the hard part. The waiting. Because when the baking is done, you'll have to let it cool down on a wire rack.) Once done, let it cool for about 20-30 minutes before removing the loaf from the mold.
- Slice the bread using a bread knife (if you don't have this, you can use your chef's knife, just make sure it's super sharp. If you did end up using some ramekins, you can go ahead and serve this with a scoop of ice cream.)
Keep in an airtight container at room temperature. Or wrap it in plastic wrap. You want to keep the moisture in. To keep longer, you can refrigerate it and this will last for about 5-7 days.
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