And that’s because I’ve been baking! On our family trip to Maui last year we came across banana bread everywhere, in the grocery store, in the pharmacy, and at every roadside stand. But one day the grandparents stayed at the beach with the kids while hubby and I went on a mission to find Julia’s Banana Bread, reported to be the best of the best. After hours bumping along on a crazy winding road (with an admittedly stunning view), we spotted what has to be the cutest little treehouse ever. The apple-green shelves were filled with snack-sized samples of heaven: coconut candy, roasted nuts, dried fruit, taro chips and yep, there they were, the humble little loaves of legend. It took considerable restraint on our part to not inhale all of them on the way back.
When we returned to Canada, I tweaked the recipe I found at bon appétit just a bit to try to re-capture the flavours of that perfect day.
The more ripe the bananas, the better. When fruit flies start to hover, I peel the bananas, squoosh flat in a large Ziplock and chuck them into the freezer until I have time to bake.
- Nonstick vegetable oil spray
- 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 2 glugs of fancy or blackstrap molasses (2-3 tbsp)
- 2-3 large ripe bananas, mashed
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a large loaf pan (or four small ones) with nonstick spray. In a medium bowl, stir flour, baking soda, and salt with a fork. In a separate large bowl, whisk eggs, sugar, molasses, bananas and oil until smooth. Add dry ingredients to banana mixture and stir just until combined. Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth top.
- Bake until a tester inserted into the centre of bread comes out clean. Start checking around the 30-minute mark (earlier if using mini pans) and then in 5-minute intervals until done. Dark brown is GOOD. I like to see the bread pulling away from the pan a bit too.
- Transfer to a wire rack; let bread cool in pan for 15 minutes. Run a knife around inside of pan to release. Turn out onto rack and let cool completely.
Can be made 3 days ahead. In fact, it tastes better after a day or two, but you may have to hide it. Store at room temperature in an airtight container.