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Banana Bread

September 24, 2010

loaf

The most difficult thing to do after a vacation is to get back to the swing of things, especially how things used to swing in the kitchen. I’ve had a dose of fun ever since I got back. Birthday dinners, soccer matches, baseball games, fall shopping, night out with friends, and a lot of eating out. I felt a little estranged around my Kitchen Aid and my stove.

I needed a little push to get back to baking again. So I thought I am going to buy plenty of bananas from the market and let it sit on my counter-top until I am forced to do something about it a few days later because they are exceedingly overripe.  The trick worked and I made banana bread.

slices

Not to sound so snobby because I am in no place to call myself a baking “expert”, but I think banana bread is one of the easiest things to bake (calling amateur bakers) on the planet. Hence, the name quickbread given to these types of baked goods. Muffins, crumb cakes, and pound cakes are all quickbreads too.

banana bread

banana

The addition of toasted pecans, toasted coconut and unsweetened (or bittersweet if you want) chocolate makes this banana bread that more special. The coolest thing about banana bread and quickbreads in general is that you can easily substitute your mix-ins to whatever suits your mood… or better yet, whatever is available in your pantry. You can use macadamia nuts instead or you can add rum-soaked raisins. Very adaptable and very versatile.

A loaf for my parents and a loaf for us. Breakfast solved.

Banana Bread

Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook. Makes 2  9×5 inch loaves.

Ingredients:

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

3 large eggs

2 cups sugar

1 1/3 cups vegetable oil

2 tablespoons vanilla extract

4 medium ripe bananas, mashed

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted

1/2 cup unsweetened or bittersweet chocolate, chopped (if using bittersweet at least 72% cocoa)

1 cup pecans or walnuts, coarsely chopped and toasted

1/2 cup buttermilk

Non-stick spray for coating pans

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat two 9×5 inch loaf pans with the non-stick spray and then set aside.

2. Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt then set aside (I sift my dry ingredients over parchment paper to save me from washing another bowl).

3. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs with the sugar and the vegetable oil until thoroughly combined. Using a wooden spoon, lightly beat in the flour mixture. Do not overmix.

4. Add the mashed bananas, toasted coconut, chopped chocolate, toasted pecans, and buttermilk. Stir to combine.

5. Divide batter evenly between the two pans, then tap lightly. Bake for about 60 minutes until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Be sure to rotate pans halfway through for even cooking.

6. Let it cool in the loaf pan for 15 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to completely cool. The bread can be kept at room temperature in a tightly sealed container or Tupperware for about 5 days. You can also put the baked loaf in the freezer for two to three months.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. September 24, 2010 8:06 pm

    Coconut and chocolate are great additions to banana bread! I don’t think anything sounds better to me than a slice of banana bread and a tall glass of milk. I hope you have an amazing Friday night. Take care love!

    • September 26, 2010 11:24 pm

      I can eat banana bread any day Monet. It never gets old and I never get tired of it. Thanks so much and hope you had a great weekend!

  2. Lilan permalink
    September 27, 2010 11:53 am

    Mmm, rum-soaked raisins, what a great idea! This sounds like a good perfect version to make for my mom (whose favorite ice cream is Haagen Dazs Rum Raisin) 🙂

  3. September 28, 2010 10:46 pm

    I should make a loaf for your mom, Lilan. A loaf with tons of raisins spiked with rum. 🙂

  4. October 7, 2010 8:27 pm

    I LOVE banana bread! I make it so many times a year I just lose count. The perfect, comforting food. 🙂 Great work!

  5. October 10, 2010 9:13 pm

    Banana bread is good any time of day, especially with the addition of coconut and chocolate. It’s such a great use of the overripe bananas I seem to always have.

    Hope you had a great birthday weekend!

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