Saturday, March 8, 2014

The Best Banana Bread

The Best Banana Bread | The Parsley Thief
I found this recipe a little over a year ago, buried deep within the February 2013 issue of Bon Appetit. It was such a tiny article that if you blinked, you'd miss it. But somehow I managed to spot the "Julia's Banana Bread" title and something about how it was the world's best banana bread. I tore the recipe out, intent on making it as soon as possible.
Since then, I've probably made it a dozen times. My whole family loves this bread cake...I mean, they really love it. When that banana bread smell creeps out of the kitchen and begins permeating the house, I hear, "Mom, you're making that banana bread again?!".
Dry Ingredients
The thing is, the deliciousness of this banana bread isn't the only reason I love making it. It's one of those perfectly easy and practical recipes. The kind, like a family pancake recipe, that you can easily memorize after only a few times making it, and it's ingredient list contains items you most likely always have on hand. Including the bain of my existence - those two lonely and bruised bananas that inevitably end up in the bottom of the fruit bowl every week, and look too beat up for anyone to bother eating. Sometimes they end up sliced and frozen for adding to a smoothie bag. Other times, they end up being baby food. But the best is when they end up in this bread!
Mashed Banana
This recipe comes from Julia Kaiwi, and is a very popular item at her bright green treehouse stand in Maui, Hawaii. It's rich, dense, dark and sticky. I love that there's nothing else competing with the banana chocolate, or nuts. It's simply banana bread at it's very best.
Wet Ingredients
The finished bread is so dark that it was very difficult to photograph without giving the impression that it's burnt. You might find yourself worried when it's baking too. When it still has time left, yet seems like it's getting overcooked. But worry not! Just bake it until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, and you'll be all good.
There's no butter in this recipe - only oil. The oil is what gives the surface it's dark brown color, but I assure you that there's nothing burnt or dry about this bread.
The Best Banana Bread | The Parsley Thief
The first time I made this recipe, I had some extra batter leftover because I used a small loaf pan. Instead of wasting it, I made a few banana bread muffins. They were equally delicious and the perfect portion control {which comes in handy with banana bread as good as this!}. If you decide to try baking these into muffins, just adjust the baking time accordingly. Your family will love you for trying this recipe...Enjoy!
Some of my favorite dessert breads & muffins - Cranberry Hazelnut Bread | Strawberry Ricotta Muffins | Mini Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins | Date Nut Spice Bread

Julia's Banana Bread

{printable recipe}
Yields: 8 servings
a {barely} adapted recipe from Julia's Banana Bread Treehouse in Kahakuloa, Hawaii via Bon Appetit, February 2013

For this recipe, I used a smaller disposable craft paper loaf pan, so I had some batter leftover...precisely enough to make four banana bread muffins {which were delicious!}.

nonstick cooking spray, or butter {for greasing pan}
1 3/4 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup mashed ripe bananas {about 2 large}
3/4 cup canola oil

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 9"x5"x3" loaf pan and set aside.

Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt in a medium mixing bowl. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, mashed bananas, and oil. Add the dry ingredients to the banana mixture, and mix until just combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan, and bake for 60-70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven, and let cool for 10-15 minutes. Release the bread from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack...if you can wait that long! Serve warm, or at room temperature.


Anonymous said...

This is also my family's favourite banana bread and I make it the time ever since I discovered it a couple of years ago. Try adding a tsp of vanilla extract. It really brings out the sweetness of the banana. Thanks for the tip about baking the batter into muffin tins. I haven't tried it yet. Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe! Rosa

katie said...

@Rosa - Oh, I love that idea! Thanks for the tip...I'm trying it next time!

TheHappyStamper said...

We just, today, got back from Maui! Banana bread is huge is mango bread...yum! I wish I'd known about this cute, green roadside stand so we could have bought some. Thanks, Katie!

Anonymous said...

OK- so it's the oil that makes the outside so brown, but what are the brown specks found throughout the bread?? It's almost like an additional ingredient of some kind. Any ideas?

Anonymous said...

The specs are the banana. There's isn't anything else in there. I've made this recipe a number of times too and it's a total home run.

katie said...

This is true. The flecks that are found in most banana breads are the bananas. If you look at a cross section slice of a very ripe banana you'll see that there are black flecks (actually banana "seeds") inside. They darken as the banana ripens, and because most banana bread recipes call for overripe bananas, this is the reason they show up in the baked bread. I learned this because I also always wondered why this happened so I researched it!

Post a Comment