I’m always on the lookout for a new banana bread recipe, especially this week, when it got hot and all the bananas in the house went instantly from ripe and edible to spotty and black and only good for cooking.
For a long time, my standard has been based on Mollie Katzen – bananas soaked in coffee (and I add extra espresso powder) – what could be better?
Last Friday while Rachael was here, I tried out a Violet Bakery banana bread recipe (and as I’ve found with other Violet Bakery recipes, apparently the whole Internetz is recipe-testing them, as well). It has kind of a lot of banana in it (6 bananas for one loaf, although you cut one in half and use it to decorate the top, so really only 5 1/2 in the batter), making it extra moist, and kind of a lot of sugar (3 TBLS) sprinkled on top, on top of that half banana, for a really tasty crust. I made it fast in between getting home from work, and when we left to go see Ghost Busters at the fancy theater out in Sun Prairie, with the recliners – the controls on mine were a little bit broken – and drinks & dinner delivered to you in your seat. I was feeling quite smug that I had thought to skim off some of the batter and bake it in silicon muffin cups, so the pan didn’t overflow, and the loaf crowned nicely. Naturally, this smugness was served its comeuppance when I essentially un-molded the loaf onto the floor instead of the cooling rack, where, because it was such a moist loaf, it smooshed, into the dirt-and-cat-hair-state of the kitchen floor – cleaners due to come the following Tuesday. I was able to save about a third of the loaf, mostly the nice crusty pieces, which were delicious to eat bits of, warm, as we got ready to leave for the movie.By Wednesday, the upstairs bananas were all overripe, and at first I thought I’d try a do-over of the Violet Bakery recipe, to see if I could make it without dumping it on the floor again, but this Nigella recipe that only called for 4 bananas – the number I had – caught my eye. Mark said he thought it was about my best banana bread ever, so I think I have found my new standard. As Nigella says, “I have not done a tremendous amount of fiddling” with the recipe, but I see that in contrast to the online, the print version uses 1/2 cup each of melted butter an sugar so that’s what I used, and I reduced the eggs from 2 down to one because my four bananas were not small. My mom gave me the book that it’s in, Nigella’s How to be a domestic goddess – but Nigella has made the recipe available on her website – or follow the link above.