Caught with 6 speckley bananas and a dirty kitchen aid mixer, I scoured the internets for super easy banana bread recipes. The first 6 or 8 started out like this: “Preheat oven to 350. Grease loaf pan. Cream butter and sugar on high…” Nope. No creaming of butter & sugar for me today.
I am no stranger to fussy recipes, as my addiction to croissants attests, but this rainy afternoon required something super easy.
The plethora of bananas allowed testing two recipes at once–for back-to-back comparison. First, I made Julia’s Best Banana Bread, I’m not sure who Julia is, but her bread is awesome (it’s not Julia Child, I can tell that, at least). When baking, I usually weigh at least the flours I’m using, if not all my ingredients, and I wonder if that affected the look of the loaf–it was a super liquidy batter that didn’t quite have enough substance to rise and crack as I usually expect of quick loaves. The bread was moist and springy–it held up well, but wasn’t dry the way that stiffer quick breads often are. I attribute the success to the three eggs and 1 1/2 cups of sugar used–the other recipe, which was much more dense, used only one egg and a third less sugar (1 cup).
The second recipe, which I’ve made with much success in the past, is Deb’s Jacked-Up Banana Bread, featuring optional extra flavor from a bit of bourbon and a selection of spices. In baking, especially using American recipes, spices are generally toned down so much that they’re indistinguishable–the mix in this recipe adds great heat and interest. For some reason, when I made it this time, it turned out much more dense and dry than other times (it was a bit overbaked–they both were; I got distracted by quilting!).
Both are worthy, in my estimation, and though I usually put chocolate, nuts, or both in my banana bread, I opted for pure, plain bread this particular afternoon. I especially highly recommend the Jacked-Up ‘bread with chopped dark chocolate!
Finally, to keep it real:
This is what baking looks like at my house.