What do you do with freckled bananas? With fruit is so ripe, the skin is just peeling off by itself? When their funk is so strong it’s attracting houseflies? When it gets squished and explodes in your lunchbag, rendering it Fruit that Must Stay at Home? By George! You make banana bread.
There's a recipe from Epicurious called Aunt Holly's Banana Bread. Aunt Holly has been a dependable friend in the kitchen for a while, teaching me how to make flawlessly golden loafs. I hear them calling my name hours after cooling--regardless if I’ve already had three warm slices in one sitting.
But lately, Auntie Holly has been giving me issues. Serious issues. Loafs sink in the middle with an audible PLOP! And I can never seem to find the balance between moist and dry. It's time to break up with Aunt Holly.
On the upside, the recipe is infinitely adaptable to additions. I have no qualms in adding chocolate chunks, roasted coconut, walnuts, a large swirl of peanut butter, or maybe an entire Mars bars as my friend urges me to do.
It's an easy baking procedure. None of that “mix dry ingredients first, mix liquid ingredients, beat together...” inducing a heart attack when my mixing bowl isn't big enough to contain the precious batter. Nah, Aunt Holly is easy going. She urges you to first mash up your smelly bananas, dump in all the other ingredients, mix well, throw everything into a loaf pan and bake for about one hour.
So put that pile of ripened fruit to good use and try this recipe. It's a breeze (meanwhile, Aunt Holly can stay).
Aunt Holly's Banana Bread
I've concluded that just 3 bananas will do the trick, allowing the bread to be very moist.
3 medium-sized bananas, overly ripe
¼ cup of butter, melted
1 ½ cup of all-purpose flour
1 cup of white sugar
1 large egg, beaten
1 tsp. of baking soda
¼ tsp. of salt
2 cups of additions: chocolate chips (milk, dark, even white chocolate is divine), walnuts, or shredded coconut
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 9 inch loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving about 2 inches hanging off the sides.
2. In a large bowl, mash bananas. Add all the ingredients but the additions. Mix well (until all the flour is gone).
3. Stir in the additions, until just combined. Pour into loaf pan and even out the top with a spatula.
4. Bake in oven for 50-60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. If top of bread begins to brown but the inside isn't done yet, tent the top with foil and continue baking.
5. When ready, allow to cool in pan for 30 minutes. Lift out with parchment paper, continue cooling until banana bread is firm to cut into (about 20 minutes).