My Best Banana Bread
Allow me to introduce you to a new very special someone in my life…
To answer your unasked but anticipated questions: yes, it is as wonderful as they say; yes, it is absolutely the heaviest item in our entire household; yes, I feel rather lucky and pretty spoiled to be the recipient of this thing. But guilt aside, having this mixer on my counter feels like crossing a sort of threshold. I think I have just entered the realm of Fancy Baker Type. More importantly, if I ever needed a push to whip up more cookies and cakes (I didn’t), this is it. I’m positively chomping at the bit to feed people desserts.
Which is why last weekend you could find me in the eye of a floury storm. First up was banana bread. Now, I know people have staunchly held beliefs about what they want from their banana bread, and I wouldn’t dare to call this the best banana bread. But in terms of what I’m looking for — a tender crumb but not cakey, a pronounced banana flavor without other distractions, and a relatively healthy composition — this is it.
I served this to a highly discerning friend (the type who can actually identify notes of cassis and butter in the wine you serve her) on an overcast Saturday afternoon. She came over wearing a plaid shirt and suede boots, tucked her legs under her on the couch, and declared this banana bread delicious. That out of the way, we poured the tea, and the real talk could commence.
adapted from Cooking Light
makes 1 loaf
Do jazz this up with walnuts or chocolate chips, if you are so inclined. I think the results would be divine.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
¼ cup butter, softened
2 large eggs
1½ cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 bananas)
⅓ cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°F. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt; stir with a whisk.
Place sugar and butter in a large bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 1 minute). Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add banana, yogurt, and vanilla; beat until blended. Add flour mixture; beat at low speed just until moist.
Spoon batter into an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack. Serve with tea; eat with a friend on a rainy afternoon.