I am the world’s pickiest banana eater. If I’m going to eat a banana, it can’t have a single spot of brown on it, and oddly enough, I also like them when they’re still a little green, so they’re not overly sweet. If the peel doesn’t match these criteria, then no thank you!
Which is exactly why I ended up with two gross, over ripe, completely brown bananas last week. I’d bought a bunch to use in smoothies, and had frozen most of them, but Joe wanted a few to have around the house, too. Of course, we didn’t get to them in time, so there they were, wilting away and looking very sad and rotten. It had been years since I made a banana bread, so I decided I’d go for it and whip up a quick batch after lunch one day. If that sounds very nonchalant, it’s because it is — honestly, this banana bread is extremely easy to put together, and it’s very tough to mess up! I mean, I don’t even own a loaf pan (I baked mine in a shallow casserole dish) and it still worked great. And forget non-fat banana bread. With this version, I went for it and totally used BUTTER.
Here’s what I did:
Easy and Fast Banana Bread
1/2 stick butter, at room temperature, plus 1 tablespoon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 very ripe bananas, peeled
1/2 to 2/3 cup sugar (use 1/2 cup if you don’t want it as sweet; 2/3 cup if you do!)
1 1/3 cup AP flour
two big pinches of sea or kosher salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350°.
In a medium size bowl, combine the half stick of butter, eggs, vanilla extract, and the bananas. Using a fork, mash up the banana until it’s mostly mush — you can have little chunks of fruit, but you want it to be mostly mashed. Next, using a whisk, vigorously beat the wet ingredients together until the mixture has thickened and seems like it has increased in volume. This will help create a lighter, fluffier bread later on. The sugar should be completely dissolved, and the banana well dispersed throughout the mixture. Set aside.
Combine the flour, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Stir together with a fork. Add the dry ingredients into the egg and sugar mixture, then using a spatula, gently fold together until the flour is just incorporated. Do not overmix — this will develop gluten and make the bread tougher.
Using the remaining tablespoon of butter, grease a baking dish or loaf pan. I used an oval casserole dish! Pour in the batter, then bake for 40 minutes to an hour, depending on your oven and how deep your baking vessel is. At around 40 minutes, just check the center of the bread with a toothpick or knife — if it comes out clean, it’s done; if not, keep baking until it does! Enjoy with a cup of tea or coffee.