I had plans to do baking Wednesday morning. Chief among the plans was a banana bread, because banana bread is delicious, and it makes you feel like a kid again and reminds you of your childhood. But only the good parts, not the times like when you got put in as a goalie in 1st grade and the coach forgot to tell you that you can use your hands and you let in 11 goals before they understood that they knew nothing about soccer beyond what was in the coaching instruction book and screaming “Pele! Pele!” meant nothing to you.
Not that that ever happened to me. But if it did, this bread would not evoke those feelings.
So, even though it was supposed to cook for 60 minutes, I set the time for 45 minutes, because I had other stuff going, and I knew that I would just remember, oh yeah, get to the bread 15 minutes after the timer went off.
And then, 10 minutes before it was supposed to be done, I got a call from my soon-to-be employer that they were going to make me an offer. And I got all giddy, in the way that someone that has gone 1,000 too many emails that are showing me the “75 new jobs in my area that you haven’t seen, even though 74 of these were in the last email we sent you, but Uber needs a driver so that’s totally up your alley” would be.
So I spent 10 or so minutes talking with them, getting the offer together, saying yes, next steps, all that happy crap. And then I spent the next couple minutes doing a happy dance, not only because I have a job, but I can spend the new two weeks watching soccer and Netflix and 80’s wrestling on Youtube guilt free.
And then I remembered the bread. And then I remembered that our oven runs hot.
So I spent the next 15 minutes letting it sit, hoping that it wouldn’t be as bad on the sides or bottom.
They weren’t great either.
Cutting it in half, hoping there’s something salvageable…
That’s not bad! Actually, it’s quite good! Aside from the crunchy exterior, this is a pretty moist and tasty bread.
I have cooked this before and the crust has come out well and the insides have been every bit as good. And I would prove it by baking a second one, but, again, guilt-free laziness for the next two weeks.
For this recipe, the bananas need to be super ripe. Like they need to be just on their last day of being good, and they’re looking at you and begging with their last breath to not let their lives go for nothing. Beyond that, it’s pretty forgiving, so long as you start checking it around 45-50 minutes you’ll be fine.
Also, the original recipe calls for walnuts to be added. I didn’t add them, but feel free to add 1/2 cup if you’d like, or get creative with it. Chocolate chips? Sure! Peanut butter chips? Even better! Crispy bacon bits? Why not?! Wasabi peas? Ummm, no judging, but I’m judging you as having shitty taste.
Makes 1 9″ x 5″ loaf
4 very ripe bananas, peeled and well-mashed
1/4 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 stick of unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Get a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan, and grease it with butter. Dust the inside with flour, making sure all corners and sides are coated, and then tap the excess out.
In a medium bowl, mix the banana, sour cream, and vanilla.
In a separate large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Using a stand mixer or hand held mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 1/2 minutes (if you use a stand mixer, make sure you scrape the bottom so the sugar doesn’t stick to the bottom). Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat them until combined, about 1 minutes each. Add the banana mixture and beat until combined. Add half the dry ingredients, and beat on low (you will regret it if you try beating it too high, and you will spend hours cleaning up stray flour in your kitchen) until combined, about 20 seconds. Add the other half and repeat. Pour the batter into the greased pan.
Put the pan in the oven and bake for 60 minutes, rotating it halfway through. The bread is done when the top is a dark golden brown and starts to crack. A toothpick stuck in the middle of the bread should come out clean.
Move the pan to a cooling rack for 15 minutes before removing from the pan. Let it cool completely before serving.