The Great Banana Bread Trials
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According to food historians, the banana bread we know and love today is a relatively recent creation. American banana recipes date back to the late 19th century, but these were generally just in salads and pies. The earliest recipe titled “Banana Bread” is from 1849 and is a product from a West Indian tradition:
“All classes of people in the West Indies are very fond of Banana Bread. When preparing for a voyage, they take the ripe fruit and squeeze it through a sieve; then form the mass into loaves, which are dried in the sun, or baked on hot ashes, having been previously wrapped up in leaves.”
Banana Bread happens to be one of my favorite things in life and a trigger food for some sweet childhood memories of family and wonderful occasions. So I set out to create the perfect banana bread recipe.
To say that my kitchen was wiped-out during the week-long banana bread trials would be a gross understatement. Every spice imaginable lined my counters, dogs were covered in flour, and unsuspecting grocery boys would be sent on numerous missions to locate the ripest bananas in the store. At least three dozen recipes later, I placed into my mouth what I had been intent on producing: perfect banana bread.
This recipe garners a product so moist and rich that I’ve often been asked if it’s actually cake. The best part of this little gem is watching guests’ reactions upon first bite; their expectation of how banana bread should taste has been altered forever.
½ CUP PLUS 4 TBSP BUTTER
3 CUPS WHITE SUGAR
6 RIPE BANANAS, MASHED
¾ CUP GREEK YOGURT
1 CUP SOUR CREAM
3 TEASPOONS VANILLA EXTRACT
2 TEASPOONS GROUND CINNAMON
2 TEASPOONS NUTMEG
2 TEASPOONS GROUND CLOVES
½ TEASPOON SALT
3 TEASPOONS BAKING SODA
4½ CUPS ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR
1 BAG OF SEMI SWEET CHOC
CHIPS OR WHITE CHOC CHIPS
OR CHOPPED WALNUTS OR ANY
1½ CUPS GRANOLA (OPTIONAL)
1.) PREHEAT OVEN TO 300 DEGREES
2.) GREASE OR SPRAY 3 LARGE LOAF PANS
3.) IN A LARGE BOWL, CREAM TOGETHER
BUTTER AND SUGAR
4.) MIX IN EGGS, MASHED BANANAS, SOUR
CREAM, GREEK YOGURT, CINNAMON,
VANILLA, NUTMEG, AND GROUND CLOVES
5.) MIX IN SALT, BAKING SODA, AND FLOUR
6.) STIR IN CHOCOLATE CHIPS OR OTHER
*OPTIONAL: SPRINKLE ½ CUP GRANOLA
OVER EACH LOAF BEFORE BAKING
7.) BAKE FOR 70 MINUTES, UNTIL A
TOOTHPICK INSERTED IN CENTER COMES
8.) REMOVE FROM OVEN AND PLACE ALL
LOAF PANS ON A LARGE TOWEL ON COUNTER.
GENTLY USE A BUTTER KNIFE TO SEPARATE
THE BREAD FROM SIDES OF LOAF PANS.