I have put considerable thought into planting my own banana grove in order to maintain my children's banana bread addiction. Seriously... is is like smack for my kids! Alright... I will admit I am an enabler but this recipe is really that good!
I almost feel guilty calling it "bread", because although it is deliciously disguised as bread it hangs more with the yummy dessert crowd. I mean really... do my kids sit down and beg for "moooorrrrrrrre whole-wheeeeeeeeeat bread pleeeeeeeeeeeease..". No, they don't. However they jump around like they have ants in their pants and do the "happy dance" throughout the prep and baking process and then are overcome with the NEED to consume several slices while it is still so hot that it burns their tongues. And then the little masochists plead for more.
Banana bread has magical bargaining properties.... just sayin'
It is absolutely amazing how quickly rooms get cleaned, clothes get put away and other dreadful requests are completed... with smiles no less... when the promised reward is a slice (or 2) of warm banana bread. ****epiphany alert**** Seriously... can it be that easy????
Well, as luck would have it I am not a recipe hoarder and I am prepared to share with you my magical banana bread recipe. I cannot take full credit, as I stole it years ago from the Collins Family Reunion cookbook... but in my defense I have made changes to the original recipe... hence giving it it's magical and slightly more nutritional qualities.
so here goes... enjoy
Magic (disappearing) Banana Bread
Mix thoroughly: on medium speed
Add 2 cups mashed bananas (a little more never hurt)
1tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1tsp cinnamon... or nutmeg... or cardamon ... or a bit of all three (I use whatever I have around at the time)
**optional... 1 cup of the following or a combination:
(I typically just play it straight but sometimes it is fun to change it up a bit... and as long as we are being completely honest here... I usually don't measure this step. I just throw a handful in and go with it)
(ok seriously... just so there are no delusions here... I do not sift and fold! I just dump everything in together and mix it all (medium speed) up but if you feel so inclined... do what you need to do... I promise it will taste the same in the end)
Decide if you want 1 big loaf or 2 smaller loaves (I usually do 2 small-medium loaves ... 2 smaller loaves allow for pacing. One for now ... and one for later).
Using either butter or non-stick spray, coat the inside of your pans (bottom and sides)... I do this step even when using non-stick pans or baking stone loaf pans where this step is not needed.... but do it... yummy things will happen. Ok to use disposable metal pans too... great to give one to your neighbors who will no doubt comment on the incredible new smell wafting from your house!
Then dust the pans with sugar... yes... sugar... NOT flour! Just dump in a bit of sugar, tap and tilt the pan until the sugar sticks to the sides and bottom of the pan.
Pour in your batter. sprinkle a bit of cinnamon and sugar on the top of the batter before putting into the oven.
Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes***... about 15 minutes more for one large loaf. The bread should begin to pull away from the sides of the pan a bit and if you poke the center with a fork (or other sharp implement) it should come out clean.
***Now for those of you who have ovens that really work and really bake at the temperature they say they do and actually have a pre-heat feature...please keep in mind that I do not. So please note that baking times may vary.
Eat and enjoy.