The Stock Pot: Sweet Treats – Best Banana Bread
Confession: I think I subconsciously buy bananas just to make banana bread. I mean, sure, I have every intention of purchasing a large hand of bananas – the really green, underripe ones – with the solid purpose of using them in myriad ways during the week to get a good dose of potassium in my day. I’ll say to myself, “You need them for your morning smoothie!” Or I’ll argue, “They’re great diced up in some granola with a dollop of yogurt for a healthy breakfast.” Then, there’s, “You can’t beat a piece of toast schmeared with some peanut butter and topped with a few banana slices and crowned with a dash of cinnamon.” Oh, and let’s not forget the ever-popular, “Bananas are the perfect self-contained snack on the fly!” But, alas, I’ll pretend that I don’t really want a banana right now – adding – but, hey…maybe tomorrow.
Lies. All lies, I tell you.
And let’s be honest here. What is it with bananas? No matter how green they are when you buy them at the store, the second you put them into your grocery cart, they start their inexorable demise. By the time you unload your groceries and plop a bunch into your wooden fruit bowl, they’re already starting to freckle. But here’s the magic! Just before the bananas have become creepy, blackened withered hands …this is when they are primed for baking, so – and, totally not your fault – the only logical thing to do is to make banana bread.
Ahem. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
Banana bread is a member of that wonderful family of sweet treats called quick breads. Unlike their yeast-risen friends, quick breads get their exuberant lift from a leavener, like baking powder or baking soda. Quick not only because of how fast the leavener works its magic, but also because the mixture come together fast and does its best when mixed least.
- nonstick cooking spray for the pan
- 2 cups cake flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 4 to 5 very ripe bananas, mashed
- ⅓ cup sour cream
- ¾ cup vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9 x 5 x 3 loaf pan with nonstick spray. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and nutmeg. In another larger bowl, whisk together the bananas, sour cream, oil, eggs and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and place the pan on a baking sheet. Bake until a cake tester or skewer comes out clean, about 1 hour to 1 hour and ten minutes. Allow the bread to cool in the pan on a wire rack before turning out to cool completely.
Planning: The banana bread will keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Product Purity: Cake flour lends a delicate crumb to baked goods and can be found in the baking aisle. For the deepest flavor, choose bananas with lots of freckles.
Presentation: You can also add in a few tablespoons of dark rum for an island vibe and a cup of toasted, chopped walnuts if you like nuts in your banana bread. You can also bake the bread in smaller loaves – you’ll just need to adjust your baking time to 45 minutes or so.
© 2013 Hutchstone, LLC. All rights reserved.
Content and photography © 2013 Hutchstone, LLC. All rights reserved.