Thursday, April 28, 2011

Melissa's Famous Banana Bread

"How can a nation be great if its bread tastes like Kleenex?"

-Julia Child

Alright I said it. My banana bread is famous. I don't like to brag, but I believe this bread is one of my most frequently asked for recipes, and something I'm asked often to bake for others.

 My husband really likes banana bread so many years ago I spent time finding a recipe I liked, then tweaking it here and there to get it exactly to our liking.

I like to make it because 1. It's easy. 2. I always have tons of over ripe bananas in the freezer. 3. It makes 3 loaves, so I can always put one in the freezer, give one as a gift, and still have one left over for eating right now.

This bread is full of bananas. 8 to be exact. So many bananas keeps it super moist and full of banana flavor. The 2 cups of yogurt adds to the moistness, to make this bread exceptionally moist. Something I long for in a quick bread.

I like to add walnuts, because my husband prefers it that way. But if you aren't into nuts, or have someone who is allergic, no biggie. If you omit them, it is still wonderful. Or you could even add chocolate chips for a fun twist.

Melissa's Famous Banana Bread

makes 3 loaves


3/4 cup  (1 1/2 sticks) (174 g.) butter

1 1/2 (292 g.) cups white sugar

1 1/2 cups (260 g.) brown sugar

3 eggs

8 very ripe medium bananas, mashed

 2 cups (500 ml.) (16 oz / 1 pint) plain yogurt or sour cream

3 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 teaspoons baking soda

4 1/2 cups (652 g.) all-purpose flour

1 cup (96 g.) chopped walnuts (optional) or chocolate chips, plus a handful more for topping loaves

grated nutmeg (optional) (I use approx. 1/2 tsp fresh grated nutmeg)


Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit, 160/170 degrees Celsius, or Gas Mark 3.

Grease 3 large loaf pans.

In a large bowl with a hand mixer, or in the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter, sugar and brown sugar together. Mix in eggs, mashed bananas, yogurt, (or sour cream) and vanilla.

In separate large bowl mix together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg (if using). Add dry mixture to wet mixture and mix. Stir in nuts or chocolate chips if using. Divide into prepared pans about 3/4 of the way full.  Top loaves with the reserved walnuts, or chocolate chips.

Bake for approx 50-70 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool on wire racks in pan for 20 minutes, then remove from pan by running a knife along the inside of the pan to loosen, then place bread on a rack until fully cool. Then wrap in plastic wrap, or place in an airtight container.
These freeze well. Just double wrap them in plastic wrap, then put them in a large ziplock bag. 
Set them on the counter for a few hours to thaw.


The Alchemist said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amanda said...

this looks awesome, I love banana bread!

Helen said...

Banana bread is my favorite. It has been since I was a kid. Yours looks moist. I can't wait to try yours!

The Alchemist said...

Amanda- thank you!

Thisblondecooks- I love it too. It really is moist, if you try it let me know how you like it!

Meggie said...

Think I might give this a go for mothers day presents (My own mother, my husbands dads wife, and my husbands mom!)
Looking forward. I love a good banana bread, but still haven't got my tweaking right/
(Might sub some of the white flour for whole wheat flour? maybe whole wheat pastry flour?)

The Alchemist said...

Meggie-sounds great, I hope you enjoy it!

Isabelle at home said...

Looks delicious! I love Banana Bread, I have a recipe for one as well but I keep trying new ones all the time! Have an awesome weekend.

Anonymous said...

How funny. I've been making banana bread lately and your recipe was the first I pulled out.

Santa Cruz Sarah said...

I had 10 bananas in my freezer and needed a large banana bread recipe and this one fit the bill!

The extra 2 bananas did make the center of the larger loaf I baked a little gooey, but it was my favorite part so no harm no foul!
I posted a picture in the 'lions, tigers and bears oh my!' post :)

The Alchemist said...

Santa Cruz Sarah- what a sweet family you have. The banana bread looks delicious!

Unknown said...

I'm having another Themed Baker's Sunday linky party! The theme this week is bread! I'd love for you to join!

co.arianne said...

Hi! I just tried your chocolate cupcake recipe and it was just wonderful. I'm also a fan of your red velvet recipe. Just wondering if its possible to use this Banana Bread Recipe for cupcakes instead? :) Thanks!

The Alchemist said...

co.arianne- To be honest, I wouldn't. I mean you can, of course. But they will turn out like banana bread in the form of a cupcake. They won't be cake like, they will be more dense, like banana bread is.

Nish said...

Hi Melissa, I am a new reader of your blog. I have some bananas lying in my freezer but I have a small family and three loaf will be too much. Is there way to make it just one loaf rather than three.

The Alchemist said...

Hi Nish, welcome! I'm happy to have you. Yes, you can make only one loaf, however, you would need to make only 1/3 of the recipe. If you are good at math, figuring that out, may be easy for you. I'm terrible at math, so for me, it would be much easier to halve the recipe. I've done that. What I do is fill my loaf pan about 2/3 rds full, then I make a few smaller ones, either in a small loaf pan, or in round ceramic ramekins, or you can even make muffins, just make sure to really grease the pans. Of course the cooking time will change, muffins will take about 25-30 minutes. I hope that helps! Happy Baking!

Unknown said...

OMG!! I baked this for my husband who loves banana bread and he absolutely loved it!! I don't normally like banana bread but this one I couldn't stop eating.
Thanks Melissa for once again coming up with a great recipe!

Tiffany said...

Thanks for this amazing recipe tutorial. Can't wait to try out this today.
THanks again...
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