I love making banana bread. It’s truly one of the easiest things to bake. And it’s a great way to use all those half-gone bananas that you promised yourself that you would eat when you bought them last week. Or, if you find yourself with one or two, stick them in the freezer until you have enough to make the bread. Make sure you tell roommates/spouses/significant others/children that you have started saving the bananas in the freezer. They might think you’ve gone bonkers when they see the blackened fruit.
One of the things I love the most about banana bread is the fact that it is so versatile. You can add pretty much anything to it. I’ve added macadamia nuts, chocolate chips, almonds…pretty much anything you can think of. But what follows is the basic recipe that I use when I make it, without any add-ins.
On to the recipe!
Here are the Ingredients:
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup mashed bananas (about 3 medium)
¾ cup sugar
¼ canola oil
1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel (optional)
½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans
And here’s what you do:
- Grease the bottom and sides of a loaf pan; set aside. In a medium mixing bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
- In another bowl combine the egg, bananas, sugar, oil, and lemon peel (if desired). Add egg mixture all at once to dry mixture. Stir until just moistened. Fold in nuts.
- Spoon batter into the prepared pan. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 50 to 55 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove loaf from pan; cool on rack. Wrap and store overnight before slicing. Makes one loaf.
I decided to get all fancy and add a glaze this time…I’ve never done this before! So, here it is:
Here are the ingredients:
4 oz of semisweet chocolate, cut up
3 tablespoons butter
1 ½ cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons hot water
And here’s what you do:
- Melt the chocolate and butter over low heat, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Stir in powdered sugar and the hot water. Stir in additional hot water if needed, to reach drizzling consistency. Spoon over bread.
What I did to the bread:
Instead of greasing the pan itself, I line the loaf pan with foil, then use a cooking spray on the foil. That way, you can just lift the loaf right out of the pan to cool it. Nothing sticks!
I don’t think that I’ve ever used the lemon peel in this recipe, so I can’t tell you if I feel that something is missing when it isn’t added.
The bread can be a little unpredictable when it comes to baking times. I’ve baked it for a full hour before it was done. This time, I baked it for only 45 minutes. If the middle isn’t done, but the top is nice and brown, just cover with foil to finish baking.
What I did to the glaze:
I was trying to come up with a way to use the extra unsweetened cocoa powder that was in my cupboard, so I came up with the brilliant idea for the glaze. Most glaze recipes that I’d found called for semi-sweet baking chocolate (like this one), but with a bit of adjusting, it worked out well. I added a bit more sugar, and had to add a total of five tablespoons of hot water (at three tablespoons, I had a lovely chocolate frosting. Must remember this recipe for when I need chocolate frosting).
After it had cooled, I peeled the foil from the sides of the loaf, and set the entire thing (foil and all) on a baking sheet to keep the glaze off the counter.
I let the loaf cool completely before glazing. It was a little runny when I first poured it over the bread, but it was easy to re-spoon the run-off back on top off the loaf. I did this a few times just to get the majority of the glaze on the bread.
So, really…how fantastic can chocolate glazed banana bread be?
Very fantastic, actually.
Some of it seeped down into the bread, causing this chocolatey-banana goodness. The glaze has yet to completely set up, so it’s still a pretty gooey experience when you eat a piece. This is definitely more of a dessert than something for breakfast, though.
I had a great idea for something I was calling “Elvis Bread”, and I was thinking that Scott would love it since he has such a love for peanut butter. Alas, it will have to wait until another time. He wasn’t feeling it…and the peanut butter chips from last week’s bars will have to stay in my cupboard until another time…
Until next time,
Peace, Love, and Cupcakes!