Relatively known as one of the easier baking recipes out there, banana bread is definitely a dessert dish you’ll want to learn how to make. Firstly, the ingredients are an easy peasy set to get your hands on. Not only are they small in number, but they’re inexpensive and highly accessible. This is because they’re commonly used in various baking recipes. But if that hasn’t convinced you yet, just imagine how good a freshly made loaf of banana bread would taste.
One whiff of this bread baking in the oven would definitely pull up your sugar cravings for this deliciously moist and perfectly sweet dessert. But this recipe of mine, in particular, is also pretty special. It’s a product of 20 different experiments to get that perfectly delicate and soft texture. as well as the most balanced blend of flavors from vanilla essence, sugar, and bananas.
But before we get started, let me tell you just a bit more about this famed dessert and what exactly makes it so special.
What is banana bread?
Considering its signature sugary taste, just as well as its tender interior, some people call banana bread “banana cake”. But as the name indicates, it is considered a type of bread because it doesn’t possess the lightness of cake. Instead, it is a lot more dense in texture. This makes all the more filling and satisfying as a dish.
But we also know this dessert to be a very sweet kind of bread, which is why it passes off as a great dessert too. The rich flavor of mashed bananas definitely do well in heightening the taste of this bread. And it does so while giving it a lot of nutrients as a healthy fruit ingredient.
Another special thing about banana bread is its usage of baking soda for its leavening agent. While many kinds of bread use yeast for this, we use baking soda instead. For this recipe, we have baking soda to help the dish rise in the oven. And this gives it that nice, dessert-like feel as we do with muffins and cakes.
Where did it come from?
This recipe also has quite a rich history that originated from a desire to make use of every possible ingredient. Bananas became easier to bring to the United States as the 20th century arrived. This came from how people could now refrigerate their food. This means that despite how quick the banana ripens, you could still carry it over to other countries all the way from Southeast Asia without it rotting easily.
And in the 1930s, this fruit started becoming popular in baking. During the Great Depression, it was crucial that the people made the most of the food they had. They did not want to immediately throw away quickly ripening bananas. Instead, they found ways to integrate this into their food. And so in 1933, the first recipe for banana bread came out in Pillsbury’s 1933 Balanced Recipes cookbook.
They even found ways to alter the recipe as needed. In fact, it became popular to add bran to the mix during the 1930s. This made for a more affordable ingredient to add, but it also made the loaf rougher. And in the 1960s, it then followed that other components would be placed to add different degrees of flavor. These would range from vanilla to nutmeg to coffee.
Today, you can find an even bigger variety of banana bread renditions. With a fairly easy baking process, as well as ingredients that won’t be a hassle to find, this is a staple that can be found in several Filipino bakeries. But if you’d like to try your hand at some banana bread from home, I can definitely help you out. After all, there’s nothing quite like the taste of a freshly made loaf of warm banana bread you made with your own hands!
How to make banana bread:
Let’s start by grabbing our 1 ½ cups of all-purpose flour, 1 cup of sugar, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1 teaspoon of baking soda. We will be mixing these dry ingredients together in a large bowl. You can simply use a whisk for this, but make sure that the components are mixed well together.
After this step, you have to place the rest of your ingredients inside the bowl. This would include 2 raw eggs, 1 cup of banana that you’ve mashed, ½ cup of cooking oil, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence. You can use a spatula for mixing, and make sure to do this thoroughly. You will know that you’re finished once you get the nice and thick batter consistency we’d need for our banana bread.
This version makes use of the recipe below. I just added half a cup of chocolate chips and chopped walnuts.
Now we’ll be getting ready to toss our mixture into the oven. Begin by taking a loaf pan, and greasing it evenly. Pour your batter inside the pan, and also make sure to preheat your oven at 350 °F. Afterwards, you can place the pan in the oven, and wait for it to bake. This would take about an hour.
Once the hour is up, you can take the loaf pan out. Then wait for the banana bread to cool down. When it is cool, you can start taking it out of the loaf pan, and placing it on your serving plate for easier slicing and eating.
Some people may also prefer their banana bread chilled, so you can also put this in the fridge once it’s down to room temperature. Otherwise, get ready to dig into your delicious banana bread masterpiece that’s great for a table of 4! And for what to do with leftovers, I’ve also got you covered.
How to Store
Banana bread is actually one of those desserts that you can keep fresh when just in room temperature. That is, if you’re planning to consume it within a few days. And so if you think you’ll finish it in around 4 days, it might be best not to refrigerate it so that you can maintain its quality best. But for this, you also have to store it properly.
Start off by making sure that the bread, itself, is down to room temperature, and then take out your airtight container. Put a paper towel inside to cover the bottom completely, then put your cooled down loaf on top. You could also use an airtight bag for this instead with the paper towel inside. This is important, as it will absorb moisture that might leak from the banana bread.
This is also why you’ll be needing a paper towel on top of the loaf as well to cover it fully. Afterwards, if you are using an airtight container, make sure to seal it well with your cover. Also ensure that if you are using an airtight bag, you have fully covered the loaf.
But what if you are planning to keep your banana bread for longer? A go-to method for most goods— baked or not— is by freezing to keep it fresh.
Can you freeze banana bread?
This method also works great for your banana bread! You might maintain the quality better if you keep it at room temperature, but you still get a delicious banana bread nonetheless if you choose to freeze it. But make sure you do it properly by starting out with your bread at room temperature.
Then take some plastic wrap, and cover your banana bread with this fully. Make sure to wrap it around the bread at least a few times so that you don’t leave any part of the bread exposed. And then you should wrap a few layers of aluminum foil around this. You could also try using an airtight bag if you don’t have some foil on-hand.
Lastly, you can place this in the freezer, well-wrapped and ready to go, so it could stay good for eating for about 2 to 4 months. But when you’re ready to pull it out for eating again, you will need to thaw it to get that moisture and flavor back. You can start by taking the loaf out of its wrap, and putting it on a cutting board or any clean flat container where it can freely defrost.
Wait for your banana bread to defrost, which may take about 1 to 2 hours. But if you froze them as banana bread slices, they may take less time to thaw at 30 minutes to an hour. Once cool, you can eat it as it is, or heat it up on your oven or microwave.