Food You Can Eat: Banana Bread

I really started cooking and baking when my parents were elderly; for 15 years I “cooked ahead” on the weekend (Keitel’s a superior sous chef) and sent them a week’s meals. This enabled them to live independently. My repertoire leans toward basic, with recipes that can be easily doubled or halved depending on how many people for whom you are cooking.

Baking is solitary for me, but cooking goes better with friends. I assume that DUAN folks are at all levels of life experience, so if you are single, I highly recommend a “let’s cook” date. You can learn a lot about a person whilst in the kitchen: can they collaborate, can they follow directions, can they steal a kiss and stir a pot simultaneously?

I took Friday off and cooked ahead for Keitel’s poker party. Homemade hamburger barbeque from a recipe I found in an old Mennonite cookbook; queso and chips; ham and roast beef roll ups; whiskey cake; brownies with Oreo frosting, and the banana bread of this post’s title.

Banana bread is super easy, and literally any recipe is good. I can’t remember where I got this one, but there is little variation in banana bread recipes. Almost over-ripe bananas work best, so I usually make this when we forget to eat the bananas.

  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 4 smashed bananas (5 if they are small-medium sized)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350; grease and flour your loaf pan. Cream butter and sugar together (or beat with mixer). Add in vanilla, eggs and crushed bananas, mix up. Add in flour, baking soda, and salt, mix up. Pour into loaf pan. I got fancy and scattered slivered almonds and turbinado sugar over the top to make a pretty, crispy crust. Bake for 55 minutes. 50 if your over runs hot. Stick a skewer or toothpick in to test if done – you do not want it wet/sticky.

About Elliecoo 506 Articles
Four dogs, one partner. The dogs win.


    • Betty Crocker has my great appreciation. I think you may have just exposed a diabolical plan amongst all husbands to ensure regular banana bread baking! The exact same thing happens at our house.

            • …a friend of mine once observed a corollary to that bit of gendered hypothesizing…it was originally intended to explain the state of a particular student bedsit the owner of which shall remain nameless

              “When first introduced an object is to be considered current – thus the window for possible interaction with the object is reasonably high…if, however, said window closes without the sequence of interactions being completed (i.e. laundry done/garbage disposed of/item put away in the appropriate place) then a sub-species of object permanence is achieved & the object becomes part of the default furnishings of the space in question

              …it’s a little too well observed for my liking, if I’m honest…I try not to live like a student these days anyway but I will admit that in some contexts where others might see a jumble of largely unrelated objects buttressed here & there by drifts of paperwork often corralled by stacks of books…I claim there’s a moderately evolved 4-dimensional topographical filing system that allows for deceptively swift finding of the thing that you’re looking for

              …well…most of the time?

              …on a different tangent…there used to be a website devoted to taking the piss out of the “vast right wing conspiracy” back in Bill Clinton’s day & someone involved in that had what may be to this day my favorite email address:

              …maybe they have the answers you’re looking for?

    • when I first loaded duan, the comment box wouldn’t load. comments were at 0. I tried reloading, logging out & in but nothing. tried the dot, no comments too. tried this, comments. posted this, tried again duan and comment box loaded fine…

  1. …well, that all sounds extremely dramatic & I’m glad it seemed to have passed me by

    …but I’d better check in with what is no doubt a mildly traumatized technical department & see if they need some sort of restorative now that they’ve managed to restore these comments?

  2. Since it’s looking like folks may not know it, y’all can freeze your ‘manners (whole, unpeeled) at any stage of brokenness you prefer.

    Then you just take out as many frozen bananas as you want to make banana bread batches, let them thaw on a plate/ in a bowl, cut an end open, & squeeze out the now-gloopy banana-goo like you’re squeezing out toothpaste.

    No mashing, and no needing to eat brown bananas/throwing out the singles.

    I learned it from a former roommate, and it works really well😉

  3. > Banana bread is super easy, and literally any recipe is good.

    it sure is. even I can’t screw it up! I use this banana bread portion of this recipe:

    Banana bread with spiced rum sauce

    Preparation time: 20 minutes
    Cooking time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
    Yield: 12 servings

    Developed in the test kitchen for an article on Jamaican allspice in our “On the Spice Trail” series, this dessert starts with a recipe for banana bread from James Beard’s “Beard on Bread” cookbook.

    Banana bread:
    1 1/2 cups flour
    1/2 teaspoon each: baking soda, salt
    1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
    1/2 cup each: sugar, honey
    2 eggs
    3 large bananas, mashed, about 11/2 cups

    Spiced rum sauce:
    1/2 cup whipping cream
    1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
    3/4 cup brown sugar
    2 tablespoons dark rum
    1 teaspoon ground allspice
    Vanilla ice cream or berries

    1. For the banana bread, heat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together flour, baking soda and salt; set aside. Cream butter in bowl of electric mixer. Add sugar and honey; beat until creamy and light. Add eggs one at a time. Mix in bananas. Stir in the flour mixture until just combined.

    2. Pour batter into greased 8 1/2 by 4 1/2-inch loaf pan. Bake until banana bread is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool in pan 5 minutes. Run knife around sides of pan; turn out onto wire rack to cool completely.

    3. For the sauce, combine cream and butter in heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-low heat until butter is melted. Stir in sugar and pinch of salt. Cook until sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Stir in rum and allspice. Cook until mixture is thick and shiny, about 5 minutes.

    4. Place warm or room-temperature slices of banana bread on serving plates. Spoon sauce over or around. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or berries.

    Nutrition information per serving:

    325 calories, 34% calories from fat, 12 g fat, 7 g saturated fat, 70 mg cholesterol, 210 mg sodium, 52 g carbohydrate, 3.3 g protein, 1.2 g fiber

  4. but you don’t have to wait for the bananas to over-ripe. you can make bananas foster.

    1/4 cup butter
    2/3 cup dark brown sugar
    3 1/2 tablespoons rum
    1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    3 bananas, peeled and sliced lengthwise and crosswise
    1/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
    1 pint vanilla ice cream

    In a large, deep skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in sugar, rum, vanilla and cinnamon. When mixture begins to bubble, place bananas and walnuts in pan. Cook until bananas are hot, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve at once over vanilla ice cream.

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