Elizabeth’s Banana Bread

February 16, 2010

The two best parts about baking in your own kitchen are that you can a) eat the batter, and b) smell it bake! I love a great bake shop, but it always makes miss the 10 or 20 or 60 minutes of anticipation I have as the smell of the delicious thing baking in my oven permeates my living room. And then, when the smell is so strong and I just can’t stand it anymore, I get to dig in. If I ran a perfume company I’d try and bottle that smell. But then, I’d probably want to eat it too so, well, let’s just say its good I’m baking and not making perfume.

And another benefit of learning to bake or cook well is that you can make your favorite dishes exactly as you like them. Me, I LOVE banana bread. But my ideal banana bread is pretty atypical from what you’d find in a coffee shop. It isn’t bread-y or dry at all. It has a moist and dense texture, almost like a bread pudding. I discovered this version in my own kitchen, and since then its become one of my favorite snacks.

And when I say I “discovered” this recipe in my own kitchen, I mean that it came about accidentally, resulting from a lack of baking foresight on my part. I didn’t do that thing you are supposed to do where you check to see that you have enough of all your ingredients BEFORE you start to bake. One late night, after all the stores had closed, I realized I didn’t have enough flour. Instead of 2 cups like my old favorite recipe called for, I only had 1. So I substituted the second cup of flour with some stovetop oats. Without the extra flour to absorb the moistness, the bread became denser and more moist. YUM. And I threw in some vanilla and cinnamon, because in my baking universe, EVERYTHING is better with vanilla and cinnamon. If you’d like a recipe for banana bread that is more traditional and more bread-like, please check out my old favorite banana bread recipe. It is really fantastic.

Oh, and one more thing. Does anyone else here LOVE eating raw banana batter? I like it even more than cookie dough or brownie batter. I know, I’m so weird. But I make a mean banana bread!

ELIZABETH’S BANANA BREAD (adapted from Julia Moskin’s Banana Banana Bread, featured on nytimes.com)


1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup refined white sugar

2 eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

7 ripe bananas

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup oats


Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9-by-5 inch loaf pan with parchment paper or grease it with butter. Use an electric mixer to cream the butter until it’s fluffy. Add sugars and cream for 60 seconds more. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix in bananas two at a time until there are only small lumps. Mix dry ingredients together, then stir into wet mixture. Pour batter into parchment-lined or butter-greased pan. If you live at sea level, bake for 55-60 minutes at 350 degrees. If you live at altitude, bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees, then for 25-30 minutes at 375 degrees. Let banana bread rest 10 minutes in the pan, then slice and enjoy!


4 Responses to “Elizabeth’s Banana Bread”

  1. Kate Martinez Says:

    mmm, yummy! I love banana bread…I think I just might have to make some this week…thanks for the recipe Elizabeth!

  2. Matthew Quagliato Says:

    wow!! looks you yummy!!! please make some when you come back to jersey……………

  3. […] a new skill, I just photographed and wrote about something I make all the time (ie: pasta sauce, banana bread, oatmeal raisin coconut cookies, roasted vegetables, open-faced goat cheese and tomato sandwiches, […]

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