Best Banana BreadCourse: BreakfastCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy
Congratulations! Your quest for the best banana bread recipe is over. After 15 years of tinkering around with various recipes, I have discovered the 3 necessary elements for moist banana bread:
1) 4 bananas. Many recipes call for 3 bananas, but for maximum moisture and banana flavor, 4 bananas are essential. Honestly, if you have a fifth banana, toss it in too! Usually I do 4, but I have used 5 and let me tell you, no one complained.
2) Oil, not butter. While butter is awesome on banana bread (and just about anything else), it makes for a drier bread when used in the recipe. I use grapeseed oil, my cooking go-to because it is neutral in flavor and favored for high heat cooking, but any neutral flavored oil will do. Also, using oil instead of butter ensures that the banana bread stays moist for longer and keeps better at room temperature. I find that butter based breads/muffins start to taste funny if not refrigerated.
3) Sugar. In addition to providing sweetness, sugar imparts mucho moisture. You could use less, (I wouldn’t go below 3/4 cup), but know that your banana bread will be drier than you may like.
1 cup whole wheat flour (I like using it for structure, but if you don’t have it, feel free to sub in All-Purpose flour)
1 cup All-Purpose flour, plus more for dusting pan
1 cup granulated sugar (could also substitute brown sugar for half of quantity)
4 very ripe bananas, mashed well
1/4 cup Greek yogurt or sour cream
2 eggs, beaten lightly
1/2 cup grapeseed or other neutral oil, plus a small amount for greasing pan
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup chocolate chips or chopped nuts (OPTIONAL)
- Set oven to 350 degrees F and adjust oven rack to lower middle position. Grease and flour a 9 x 5 or 3 mini loaf pans, tapping out excess.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside. In a medium bowl, mix bananas with sour cream, eggs, oil, and vanilla extract. Using a rubber spatula, fold banana mix into dry ingredients until just combined. Add nuts or chocolate chips if using. Scrape batter into loaf pan. Bake until loaf is golden and a toothpick comes out clean, about 45 minutes for mini loaves and 1 hour for a large loaf. Alternatively, use a thermometer to test for doneness- remove bread from oven when the middle of the loaf is 205 degrees (F). Cool banana bread in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.
- Banana bread will last up to 4 days at room temperature, in an airtight container or wrapped in plastic wrap.