It just might be one of the simplest problems to solve in the life of a baker: You open the freezer to find you are faced with not one, but two ziplock bags full of frozen overripe bananas. What would be your next step?
Why, immediately run up the stairs and go through that pile of untried banana bread recipes of course. It’s only natural to always be on the lookout for the “ultimate” or “holy grail” banana bread recipe anyway.
That would’ve been my reaction on a normal day. Lately, as you might have previously read, I’ve simply been out of it. But I guess fate wanted to find ways to get me back in the kitchen. That’s the only explanation I can come up with when I found out that each and every banana in the house- even though they were bought fully green at different times within the week- went ripe at the exact same time. I don’t know if it had anything to do with the weather but it was slightly bizarre.
Still, I’ll take it. I also have to credit my Mother for getting me back into the groove since she would not stop nagging me about using the bananas in the freezer. So one Sunday morning I finally hauled my ass out of my room and did what I should’ve been doing since the year started. I created in the kitchen.
And it felt soooooo good, you guys.
So don’t be surprised if in the next couple of weeks majority of the recipes that will appear on the blog will have bananas in them, because I certainly made a lot of those. Thankfully all of them ended up pretty yummy, including this particular version of banana bread that has been sitting on my to-do list for a while!
Here’s the thing. Banana breads are usually very straightforward in taste if you manage to get your hands on a decent recipe, but sometimes you come across recipes that are just sooooo good you can’t help but keep repeating them. Me, I’ve come across three of those recipes so far, with my number 1 favourite at the moment being Flour Bakery’s perfect balance of a Banana Bread. Coming in a really really close second is this Luscious Banana Bread I always make when I’m in the mood to indulge. It’s more rich, more moist, more everything actually– but sometimes not necessarily great for people in a dieting mood. And now, after making this recipe, I’ve found a third favourite.
You might be wondering why I call this banana “overload” bread, and the reason is likely what you’ve guessed– it makes use of a ton of bananas. I’ve never used this much bananas (about 6 large ones, I believe) in a banana bread before. But what I love about this recipe is that it ups the healthy factor a bit by relying on the bananas to sweeten and moisten it. There is less sugar than usual, and less oil used as well, which is why I would advice the usage of very overripe bananas to really round up the flavour of this banana bread. The crumb topping is completely optional but a nice addition if you’re feeling industrious.
And as with most banana breads I’ve tried, this one tastes even better the next day! It’s always nice to have something to look forward to at breakfast, yes?
Banana Overload Bread
Makes one 9x5-inch loaf
For the batter
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, or use a mixture of all-purpose and whole wheat
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
- ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 ⅓ cups mashed overripe bananas, about 5 to 6 medium bananas
For the optional topping
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, diced
- 1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Lightly grease and flour a 9x5 inch loaf pan, or line with parchment paper with two-inch overhangs on both sides.
- 2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
- 3. In another large bowl, using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer on medium speed, cream together butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Stir in eggs, vanilla, and mashed bananas until well blended.
- 4. Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, gently stir banana mixture into flour mixture until just combined. A few streaks of flour left in the batter is fine. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
- 5. If using the topping, in a medium bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. With your hands, work in the butter pieces until small clumps form. Spread topping evenly over batter.
- 6. Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes before carefully turning out onto a wire rack. *
- Storage: Banana bread will keep, wrapped in plastic wrap and aluminum foil, for up to 3 days. Store in the fridge or at room temperature.
Have an awesome rest of the week! 🙂