Summer is a busy time, but never too busy for this banana bread recipe. During our trips to Maui, I always looked forward to this moist treat, oftentimes sold just along the side of a road, without a person at the stand. How wonderful it was during the drive to Hana in those days, where the Honour system worked, and you would just pay the requested price on the sign, and munched down the delicious bread while skirting the high cliffs above the sea.
What struck me was the banana bread there was always so moist. Maybe it was the type of sugar they used, or the humidity of the climate, or a combination of both. What has worked for me in our cooler northern Californian weather is prefreezing the ripened bananas first, and then thawing them a few hours before preparation, using all of the liquid and the stringy material from the inside of the peel. This guarantees a flavourful and moist bread every single time. And don’t forget, banana bread always tastes better the next day!
The recipe featured this week is from “Coffee & Dessert on The Coastside”, and if you haven’t had a chance to see or buy the book, take a look inside, and buy one for your coffee table or as a gift. The book has many recipe favourites of mine, as well as those from some of the best restaurants we have here on the Coastside.
“Hasty Banana Bread” Recipe from Coffee & Dessert on The Coastside
1¾ cups flour
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
1 stick (4 oz) soft butter
¾ cup white sugar
½ cup brown sugar
3 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
5-6 thawed bananas
1/2 cup pecans or walnuts (optional)
*Preheat oven to 350°F
*Grease two bread loaf pans
At least four hours before making bread, thaw frozen bananas. Do not discard the liquid. Remove the peel, scraping off the stringy matter from the inside, reserving this with the fruit and liquid. Mash bananas into small sized pieces using a large fork.
Mix dry ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl. In a separate large bowl, cream together butter and sugars with a mixer. Beat in eggs until texture is smooth. Add the bananas and vanilla, and give it a stir. Mix the wet ingredients with the dry ones until just blended. Divide batter between the two loaf pans. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until center is firm and edges are golden brown. Bread can be refrigerated up to a week, or frozen for up to four weeks.