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Banana Bread (with variations)

Recipe: Banana Bread (with variations)

Remarks:

    Banana bread. It's not just for breakfast anymore! Add chocolate chips or butter brickle, pecans or macadamia nuts-even coconut or dried apricots. Serve hot with real butter and you've got something wonderful. Or toast it first, and then spread with honey and peanut butter (my husband's idea). Whatever you put in it or on it, this banana bread will bring you great joy. I am giving you this recipe now because I am thinking that, once you add the peanut butter you've got something that might actually work as a breakfast for your kids heading off to school (or your significant other heading off to a commute).

Ingredients:

    2 to 3 (1 cup) very ripe (skins blackening) mashed bananas
    2-1/2 cups flour (You can use white or a combo with whole wheat.)
    1 cup sugar
    3-1/2 tsp baking powder
    2 Tbsp oil (corn or canola)
    3/4 cup milk (Skim works fine or regular.)
    1 egg

Instructions:

    Put all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Start the mixer on Low. When the ingredients are incorporated, stop the mixer and scrape down the sides. Now turn the mixer up to Medium and run it for 2 minutes.

    Variations

    If you are going to add bits and pieces to flavor your bread, now is the time to do it. You'll mix these in by hand. You can have up to a cup total, so if you choose nuts and chocolate chips, for example, measure them both in the cup so you don't go over one cup. Then dump them both in the batter at the same time and mix in. I've done up to three things in the cup, but any more than that and your bread will probably get "confusing" to the taster. Go beyond the list here. Get creative and add other things you think would work. Go bananas!

    Things you can add:
    Chocolate chips
    Mini chips
    Toffee brittle chips
    Pecans, walnuts or macadamia nuts (chopped)
    Dried fruit pieces like apricots or prunes
    Shredded coconut

    While the mixer is running or when the batter is mixed, grease and flour your bread pan. I use a 9 X 5 X 3-inch pan for larger slices, but you can also divide the batter into smaller pans. Just adjust the baking time accordingly.

    Pour the batter into the pan and bake at 350 degrees for 55 to 65 minutes. If you've loaded your bread with variation ingredients, it will probably take the longer time to bake. Check for doneness with a toothpick. Insert it in the middle of the bread and, if the toothpick comes out clean, the bread is ready. If the toothpick comes out gooey, add 5 more minutes to your baking time and check again. Remove from oven. Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes and then invert the pan to remove the bread and let it cool completely before wrapping it for storage.

Serving Suggestions:

Enjoy!

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