Quick breads are a favorite thing of mine. They are easy, they are great for using up bits and bobs (applesauce, bananas, nearly-past-it zucchini), and they're just yummy. Today, I want to share my take on banana bread. Mine isn't anything revolutionary, but I've called it "Not-So-Basic" as I add a bit in the spice department.
A note on bananas: Did you know that bananas are not fully ripe until they are brown and that we just happen to, culturally, like them yellow? Interesting, that. Brown bananas are at their sweetest. Whenever I buy bananas, one or two surely get to the oops-I-should've-eaten-them-sooner stage of brown. Growing up, my mother always tossed those 1 or 2 in the freezer for later bread baking. (To this day, that means that about 1/4 of the freezer space in my parents' kitchen is bananas...). It's a habit I have happily picked up. The bananas in the photo below were pulled from the freezer and later thawed in the microwave (though you can also do that in the oven on a low temp), but you can, obviously, use fresh ones!
Not-So-Basic Banana Bread
(adapted from joyofbaking)
Preheat oven to 350° F
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt (if you find yourself using salted butter, you may want to omit/lessen this)
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg (oops...not pictured)
1 tsp vanilla extract (forgot to put this in the photo too...)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3-4 large ripe (brown) bananas, mashed (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 - In a small bowl, combine your dry ingredients. Mix them together and set aside.
2 - In a large bowl, combine wet ingredients. Be sure bananas are well mashed and eggs lightly beaten before mixing all together.
3 - Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. I like to do this in 2 additions. I use a wooden spoon or a fork to keep anything from getting lumpy. Don't overmix, but make sure all the dry ingredients have been incorporated and everything looks suitably gooey!
4 - Pour the batter into a well-greased loaf pan. (Here, I'm using a fancy one, but a standard 9x5 loaf pan gets the job done perfectly). Pop it into a 350° F oven for 45-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Allow to cool slightly before turning the bread out of the pan. (Note: Mine has been turned out upside down as I used a fancy pan. If you use a regular loaf pan, you'll want to situate yours right-side-up in the usual bread manner).
Enjoy! It's delicious warm with a pat of butter.