Monday, 21 January 2013

Banana Bread Bake-Off

I've been walking past the fruitbowl for the last couple of days, ignoring these lonely looking bananas, trying not to feel guilty knowing that they'd end up in the green bin if we didn't start eating them-and I knew there was no way we were going to do that before they over-ripened!

So I searched the internet for a banana bread recipe, and came across one on Pinterest that claimed it was the "best banana bread."   Of course I had to try it, but also made some changes to the recipe:  I subtituted baby bananas with mine, light brown sugar with regular brown sugar, and I used 2 loaf pans instead of one, which is why I think they turned out so flat.  Despite this, I have to admit, it was the best banana bread that I'd ever had, and I would make it again.  It had a nice, slightly dense and moist texture, although Anita insists her banana bread is better - so I've added her recipe below also :)

Here's the recipe with my adaptations: 

  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup mashed bananas
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1.  Preheat oven to 350F.  Lightly butter an 8-1/2" x 4-1/2" loaf pan (I used 2) and set aside.  Sift together the flour, baking powder and baking soda and set aside.
2.  Put the butter, honey, sugar, salt and cinnamon in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Cream the mixture on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.  Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, and add the bananas and vanilla on medium speed until the mixture looks broken, about 1 minute. 
3.  Turn the speed to medium-low and mix in the egg until incorporated, about 5 seconds.  Turn the speed to low and gradually add the sifted flour mixture, mixing just until no traces of flour remain.  Add the sour cream and mix until the batter has a few remaining white streaks.  Gently fold in the chocolate chips.  Be sure to avoid over-mixing. You can also mix everything by hand in the order listed above, if preferred.
4.  Transfer the batter to the greased pan(s) and bake in the centre of the oven until a tester comes out clean, about 45 minutes.  Cool the bread in the pan for 5 minutes, then unmold and cool completely on a rack.

Here's Anita's recipe:

Chocolate Banana Bread
1 cup vegetable oil (or softened margarine)
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
6 bananas, mashed
2 tsp. vanilla
3 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup sour cream
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F.  Lightly grease 2 - 9"x5" loaf pans.
In a large bowl, cream together vegetable oil, sugar, and eggs.  Stir in bananas and vanilla.  Sift in flour, baking soda, and cocoa.  Mix well.  Blend in sour cream and chocolate chips.
Pour batter into pans.  Bake for 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in middle of loaf comes out clean.
*To make muffins, fill muffin cups 2/3 full.  Bake for 20-25 minutes.
*This recipe is also easily halved.

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