Tuesday, July 2, 2013

When a Good Thing Gets Even Better

You know how there's some recipes that are really darn wonderful and you can't imagine how they could possibly get better? This is one is all about taking a good thing and making it even better.

Back when my husband and I were first married I tried out several different banana bread recipes looking for the right one. Because I'm the kind of girl who really appreciates a good breakfasty quick bread.

I finally settled on a banana recipe by Emeril Lagasse. It was sweet but not dessert-like and incredibly moist. I loved it. I've used it and it alone for my banana bread needs ever since. 

Except one day my mother-in-law brought over some banana bread and it was crazy good. I asked her what made it so special and she said that the recipe called for 8-10 bananas. 

Uh, what? That's a ridiculous amount of bananas for one loaf of bread.

So I decided to experiment with my beloved recipe and discovered that using 6 bananas, instead of 3, made a really good bread even better. 

And because I like you guys, I thought y'all would appreciate this new and improved version of the recipe. The only other big change I made was reducing the amount of sweetener. Because bananas are plenty sweet on their own so if you're upping the amount of those, you can toats reduce the amount of honey/sugar.

In the sake of full disclosure: this works best with bananas that have been peeled, frozen and then thawed (include the liquid they create as they thaw!) but if you want to use really ripe fresh bananas, go for it. I've done both many times.

I start by creaming together butter and honey. Or butter and sugar if I'm feeling wild and crazy. 

Or if I've simply run out of honey. 

Or if I don't feel like getting my hands sticky. 

Anyhow. You can use either. Just check out the note below in the recipe. 

Then I add in eggs and vanilla. 

Once that's whipped, I break up really ripe bananas and throw them in the mixer. 

Here's a secret: if you have a Kitchenaid, don't worry about mashing your bananas. It'll mash them for you if you leave the whisk attachment on for this part. 

If you use previously-frozen-now-thawed-bananas it'll be even faster and easier for your Kitchenaid to mash 'em up.


Then switch to your paddle attachment and stir in all the dry ingredients, until just combined. 

Throw that ugly dough into a buttered loaf pan. 

Bake at 325 for 65-75 minutes. 

It'll come out looking lovely. And smell like happiness. 

The extra bananas make this bread so very soft, moist and banana-licious. 

You're gonna love it and wonder why we've lived with 3 bananas in our bread for so long.


The Perfect Banana Bread
Yields 1 loaf

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup honey or sugar*
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
6 super ripe bananas (thawed bananas from the freezer are best)
2 cups whole wheat flour (I use white whole wheat)
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon

In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter and honey until creamy. Add in eggs and vanilla; beat until smooth. If using a KitchenAid, leave the whisk attachment on; break bananas into large chunks and allow the mixer to beat them into the dough. Otherwise, mash the bananas before adding them to the bowl. 

Change to the paddle attachment (or use a wooden spoon) and stir in remaining ingredients until just combined. 

Rub butter on the bottom and edges of a large loaf pan. Pour batter into this prepared pan. Bake at 325 for 65-75 minutes. The bread is finished when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. 

*If you use granulated sugar, add 1 tbsp. milk to the batter. 

1 comment:

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