Friday, July 13, 2007

Very Forgiving Banana Nut Bread

Banana Nut Bread: Sliced

As I write this post, a google search for 'banana nut bread' gives me 1,290,000 results. I am curious to know how many results were available when I did the exact same search on yahoo roughly ten years ago, but one of the recipes that showed up on the first page was this one and for that I am immensely thankful.

I printed out the recipe because it looked too simple to be true, and tried it out, and it turned out wonderful. I never again looked for another one. I have made it countless times since, and given it to people who liked it, and then they have continued to make it.

This is among the very few recipes that I can bake with at any time without having to look it up even one bit. If all the ingredients are around, then it takes only minutes to stir up the batter, and usually it is the three ripe bananas that are the most difficult to come by. About halfway through the baking time a most amazing aroma starts to waft around, and it continues till the timer goes off. Then an exercise in patience begins. 'Wait till it cools' is easier said than done, but the reward is great. This bread is soft and moist, full of banana flavor, and sweet enough to be called a 'banana cake'.

Banana Nut Bread: batter

The recipe is called the 'Best Ever Banana Nut Bread', and that name does sufficient justice to it.

Ingredients

1 stick (8 Tablespoons) butter, melted in oven in a large oven proof bowl
1 cup sugar
1 egg, well beaten
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
3 large very ripe bananas, mashed
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped pecans


Method

Preheat the oven to 350 F°. Grease a 9x5x4 inch (approximately) loaf pan with a little butter.

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, and salt.

Add the sugar to the melted butter and mix together. Add the egg and vanilla extract and continue mixing. Add the bananas, flour mixture, and nuts one by one, and keep mixing until all the ingredients are combined. Pour the batter into the greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 F° for one hour.

Let it cool in the pan. Loosen the edges with a knife and remove from pan.

Banana Nut Bread: In loaf pan

Now let me count the ways in which it is forgiving. First of all, it doesn't need any specialized equipment. A hand-mixer is fine, but a whisk or large spoon will do just as well. Don't like pecans? Use any other kind of nuts, like walnuts or macadamias, or leave out the nuts altogether. Don't like it too sweet? Use 3/4th cup of sugar. Feeling virtuous? Substitute half the flour with whole wheat flour, or upto 2 tablespoons of the flour with flax seed meal, which is a good source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids and high in fiber. Looking to cut down fat? Substitute half of the butter with applesauce. Or try your own variation and have fun with it. It will not betray.

To end with a disclaimer, I am not fond of bananas at all, but this bread I love.

21 comments:

Lata said...

I love banana bread too, but is there a way to make it without egg? I love the picture that you posted

Suganya said...

Looks luscious. For that amount of bananas, I will reduce the butter. 1 stick :O.. As Anjali mentioned in her post, we all have Bridget Jones staring at us in our mirrors :)

Coffee said...

Ever tried making muffins out of this recipe??? Its yummy as well..... thats what I do sometimes!!! Nice recipe indeed. :)

Laavanya said...

My very first attempt at baking was a low fat banana-nut bread (5 yrs ago) and though my husband was thrilled with it then (what with being newly-married et al) he prefers the store-bought ones nowadays. Maybe this recipe will change his mind since this looks awesome... :)

Vcuisine said...

The bread with banana flavour and nuts - a wholesome meal i feel. Very nice presentation. the first picture is inviting. Viji

Asha said...

I love it too,best slice of bread for breakfast!:))
Looks delicious,thanks.

Kelly Mahoney said...

My grandmother has been making the most amazing banana nut bread for me since I was a child. Please let me know if you're interested in the recipe.

TheCooker said...

(another-me-too alert) You just have to believe me when I say that I, too, have been adding powdered flax seeds to almost anything.
Curious: where do you store the flax seed meal?

Cynthia said...

I am always look for tried and true favourites and I thank you sincerely for posting this. I have bookmarked it and will definitely try it.

From the pics, it looks like everything I want in a banana bread.

evolvingtastes said...

Lata, I don't have a recipe for banana bread without eggs, but there are likely to be some around. Glad you like the photos.

Suganya, hey, that stick of butter is going a long way - the loaf yields atleast 12-15 thick slices, so I don't think you should worry over it much. :-)

Coffee, I have always wondered how the batter would work as muffins, but just never tried it out thinking 'why change a good thing'! Thanks for the idea.

laavanya, thanks. :-) This recipe is really simple, and worth trying out atleast once. I have yet to meet someone who hasn't liked it.

vcuisine and asha, thank you for your kind words.

evolvingtastes said...

Kelly, I am absolutely interested in your grandmother's amazing banana nut bread. PLEASE, send it over, and I will try it out.

the cooker, hehe, we might be 'mele mein bhichadee huin bhahaney', for all we know, but I don't add it to too many things. So far, I have been storing the flax seed meal air-tight in the fridge and it has been ok. Any advice on that?

Cynthia, this one is tried and tested many times over. I hope you like it.

Manasi said...

This is onw AWESOME bread!! i love banana bread! Ur version looks very appetizing!!

evolvingtastes said...

Thanks Manasi!

Deepika said...

I do visit your blog often but this is my first comment... I saw your banana bread post on food blog desam and I had to try it. I had over-ripened bananas at home so I made it yeasterday with 1 cup whole wheat flour and 1 cup with all-pupose flour and I added some semi-sweet chocolate chips and reduced the pecans. I also reduced the amount of sugar to 3/4 cup.It is just amazing and truly forgiving. Thanks for the recipe. That is best banana bread recipe we've tasted and my m-i-l, who doesn't really like the smell of over-ripened bananas and wondering why i have some stored in the refrigerator, loved it!!. Thanks again.

evolvingtastes said...

Deepika, thanks for stopping by with your feedback. I am thrilled to hear that you liked it. Chocolate chips sounds just terrific, I'll try that sometime!

Tejaswini said...

I made this bread and its absolutely delicious. I loved it very much and you are right when you say the recipe can be altered to our taste buds. Thanks for the lovely recipe.

evolvingtastes said...

Tejaswini (lovely name), thank you so much for letting me know - I really appreciate it. Glad to know that you loved it. Did you make any alterations per your preference?

Tejaswini said...

Yes, I did make changes- used 100gm butter- melted, 1&1/2 cup whole wheat flour( am I a health freak?? I ran out of a.p flour, so..), 1/2 cup all purpose flour, 4 ripe bananas, 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, 2/3 cup brown sugar, 1/2tsp cinnamon powder, 1/2tsp baking soda, 1/2tsp baking powder and 1 large egg. Now over ripe bananas will never see the bin in my home!!
I do love people commenting after trying the recipe rather than just thanking for posting. That's the true reward for a food blogger! It also encourages and boosts the confidence of us readers to go ahead and try the recipe.
Thanks for liking my name :)

evolvingtastes said...

Tejaswini, thanks for those details. Everything sounds just right. 1 stick of butter is about 113gm. Brown sugar sounds great! Mmm mmm.

I completely agree with you that hearing from people after they have tried a recipe is the true reward, but I appreciate each and every comment, even those who just stop to say Hi. btw, do you have a blog too? Your blogger profile is not enabled so I could not tell.

Look forward to hearing from you again.

Tejaswini said...

oh dear!! sorry I don't have a blog, but you can reach me at: tejaswinij@gmail.com. I was always wondering how much 1 stick butter weighs, thanks for the info.
you are right.. if I had a blog I too would have liked everybody who visited it to leave comments, even that brings a smile on our face : )

Anonymous said...

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