I promise I always have good intentions when it comes to bananas. When I stare at the bunches in the grocery store, I always think, “oh, five bananas? That’s not that many!” And despite my good intentions, I fool myself again, and about a week later find some brown bananas on my counter that need to be used for something.
Granted this happens every time I go to the store. Which means I have brown bananas ALL THE TIME. In fact, there are some sitting on my counter at this very moment. Anyways, Junior and I were hiking the other day to relish our last few days of summer and I was pondering the age-old question: what should I make with my current supply of brown bananas? After a few miles of hiking, my brain was clouded with visions of banana bread. Junior’s was not–he was probably wondering why I was not letting him run up the mountain like he wanted to.
Anyways, I realized I hadn’t had a really good piece of banana bread in a long time. Typically I use bananas for their natural sweetness in “healthy” versions of various baked goods and it’s been a while since I’ve made just a standard, classic banana bread. Which meant, of course, that I needed to make some banana bread as soon as possible. Further proving this claim was the fact that I recently bought mini loaf pans, and they were just begging to be used.
So, after Junior and I got to the top of the hike, we literally ran down the mountain (definitely Junior’s idea; not mine) and headed home. Junior immediately passed out and I was able to start baking some banana bread! And, if you don’t have mini loaf pans, you can make it in a regular loaf pan.
makes 1 standard loaf or 3 mini loaves
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1 tablespoon half and half (milk also works, I just didn’t have any!)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
coarse sugar for sprinkling on top
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and lightly grease a standard loaf pan or three mini loaf pans. Using a mixer, or by hand, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and mix well. In a separate bowl, mash the bananas with the half and half (or milk), vanilla, and cinnamon. Add the banana mixture to the butter, sugar, and eggs. Mix to combine. Stir together the flour baking soda, baking powder, and salt and add to the wet ingredients, stirring only until the flour disappears. Don’t overmix the batter; it will lead to a heavy, dense banana bread. Pour the batter into the prepared pan (or pans) and sprinkle the tops with a little coarse sugar for an added crunch, if desired. Bake for 1 hour and 10 -15 minutes if using a standard loaf pan, and 40-45 minutes if using the mini pans, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for about 10 minutes in the pan, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Slice and enjoy!
This bread is delicious toasted with butter, jam, or cinnamon sugar! It also freezes well.