What do you do with over ripe bananas? Make banana bread, of course. I found a new recipe online and decided to give it a go. As the author said, “With a very few variations, the recipe I give below is universal to almost every church or community cookbook written in the last 50 years.” I believe her.
I thoroughly mashed the bananas to not leave any chunks but did cream the softened butter and sugar together first to give a more cake-like crumb.
The result was excellent. Better than other recipes? Probably not, but as easy as others so what the hey?
• 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• 2 large eggs
• 1/4 cup milk
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 3 medium bananas, very ripe
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Arrange a rack in the bottom third of the oven and heat to 350°F. Line an 8×5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper, letting the excess hang over the long sides to form a sling. Spray the inside with cooking spray.
- Soften the butter and cream it with the sugar in a stand mixer.
- Crack the eggs into the bowl. Whisk until completely combined and the mixture is smooth.
- Whisk the milk and vanilla into the batter.
- Peel the bananas and add them to the bowl. Using the end of the whisk or a dinner fork, mash them into the batter. Leave the bananas as chunky or as smooth as you prefer. If you prefer an entirely smooth banana bread, mash the bananas separately until no more lumps remain, and then whisk them into the batter.
- Measure the flour, baking soda, and salt into the bowl. Switch to using a spatula and gently stir until the ingredients are just barely combined and no more dry flour is visible.
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan, using the spatula to scrape all the batter from the bowl. Smooth the top of the batter.
- Bake until the top of the cake is caramelized dark brown with some yellow interior peeking through and a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean, 50 to 65 minutes. Baking time will vary slightly depending on the moisture and sugar content of your bananas — start checking around 50 minutes and then every 5 minutes after.
- Set the loaf, still in the pan, on a wire cooling rack. Let it cool for 10 minutes — this helps the loaf solidify and makes it easier to remove from the pan.
- Grasping the parchment paper sling, lift the loaf out of the pan and place on the cooling rack. Cool for another 10 minutes before slicing.
- Banana muffins: To make muffins, line a muffin tin with paper liners and fill each cup to roughly 3/4 full, and check for doneness after 20 minutes. Makes 8 to 10 muffins.
- Storage: Wrap leftovers tightly in plastic wrap and store at room temperature for several days, or wrap the bread in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil and freeze for up to 3 months.