There are so, so very many bananas in my freezer. I swear that the Pie doesn’t eat the fresh bananas simply so I will chuck them in the freezer in anticipation of me having a banana bread fest. He loves banana bread. More than he loves me. Honest.
This recipe comes from my magic book, though I think Kristopf actually gave it to me, ages ago. Who knows where he got it from. I was about ten or twelve at the time, which would put him at about fourteen or sixteen. What teenage boy makes banana bread for fun?
Me being me, I of course have modified the original recipe, and I generally use more bananas than is really necessary. It makes the finished loaf a little more crumbly but it ups the banana-y-ness to the max. I also generally make these loaves in bulk, usually three at a time (I have three pans) but sometimes more, and then I wrap what we don’t eat tightly in plastic wrap and freeze it for another day. Or give it to KK. Or both.
I thawed the bananas in a bowl on my counter overnight and they were nice and blackened and soggy. Today I made the recipe below, but I did it in triplicate. If you make the single version that I’ve outlined below you should end up with two loaves.
The Pie, having nothing to keep him occupied, decided to help me today. He has never made banana bread before. He absolutely refused to touch the bananas in their black skins. He promised me he would do all the raw chicken touching for the rest of our lives if I would do the banana stuff. I’m okay with that.
Preheat your oven to 350°F.
You’ll need 5 defrosted or very ripe bananas. Peel those gooshy suckers into a bowl.
Dissolve 1 tablespoon baking soda in 3 tablespoons hot water. Of course, it doesn’t really dissolve, but if you keep stirring it you can get a temporary suspension.
Pour this into the banana mixture and mush it in with a fork until the bananas are all separated into small pieces. The Pie helped me with this part, but under duress. Set them aside for the nonce.
In a large bowl, beat together 2 eggs, 1 cup room temperature butter (that’s half of one of those 1-pound blocks), and 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar until fluffy.
In yet another bowl or measuring cup, whisk together 3 cups all-purpose flour and 2 teaspoons baking powder. Set that aside, too.
Pour your banana mixture into your egg mixture and stir that up as well.
The mixture should look slightly curdled at this point, and weird tendrils of banana fibre will stick to your mixing utensil and may gross you out. The Pie said, at this point, “This – making banana bread for the first time – is kind of like seeing a woman give birth. It’s something that you can’t un-see, and it will always affect how you see it in the future.”
Fold in your flour mixture, a little at a time. If you want to put in chocolate chips or walnuts or whatever, now is the time to do so. The Pie is a purist, however, so we have ours plain.
If you are following my lead and doing more than two loaves, do all your batches separately (in case of measuring mistakes) and don’t mix your wet and dry ingredients together in the other batches until you are ready to bake them. Don’t want no chemical reactions to start too early.
Divide your batter between two greased loaf pans and smooth the tops. I’ve been having trouble getting my extra-crumbly loaf out of the pan in one piece, so this time I decided to line them with parchment paper to ease the passage. It was an experiment that worked out really well because it was a snap to use the edges of the paper to lift out the cooked loaves. Then I just peeled off the paper and left the loaf on the rack to cool.
Bake for 60 minutes until dark brown and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Turn out and let cool on a wire rack.
This stuff is good hot, it’s good cold, and as I said above, it freezes really well.