Banana Bread – three ways
I’m obsessed with banana bread. Actually, scratch that, ever since my co-workers have discovered that I dally with baking, they’re obsessed with banana bread. For months, I’ve been whipping up banana bread loaves, trying one recipe after the another in search of the perfect, moist but pillowy, quickbread. I have finally cracked it, and this stuff is literally demolished in under a minute every time I bring it to a party or potluck.
‘A’ can’t keep his hands off them, even though he generally avoids gluten. I also have a kick-ass gluten-free and sugar-free version of this bread (coming soon!)
It’s important to understand the difference between a quickbread, bread, and cake. Quickbreads are essentially just that – loaves of bread that do not require a lengthy leavening period. There is no yeast or proofing needed for quickbreads, they rise with a soda agent. They’re different from cakes in the ratio of flour, fat, sugar used and tend to be less uniform in texture.
With that little piece of useless trivia, I give you my secret to getting the perfect banana bread each time, and it’s super simple:
- Never overmix your batter. Overmixing kills the light, airy quality of your bread.
- The riper your bananas, the better. It naturally sweetens the bread and reduces the quantity of sugar needed.
- Bananas go in last, try not to use the beater on them. Use a fork to lightly mash and stir into the batter. (The more you blend the bananas, the denser your bread will turn out, almost with a fudgy consistency with bananas sinking to the bottom of the batter)
- The secret to keeping the bread moist is.. wait for it… Yogurt!! (or sour cream)
So this three-way business came about one day when I came home with 9 over-ripe bananas from my office kitchen. We didn’t want them to go to waste and I was confused about which kind to make. I narrowed it down to Plain, Nutella Swirl and Triple Chocolate. I have to give credit where credit is due, this recipe was perfected after many trial and errors using the ratio/quantities found in these (Banana Bread, Nutella Banana Bread, Chocolate Banana Bread) recipes and mostly, my substitutions when I didn’t have a particular ingredient in my pantry. What’s unique about this recipe is that you literally have to mix one batch of batter, and just before pouring into your loaf tins, you can add various ingredients to get three completely different, delicious flavors of banana bread.