In Search of Great Banana Bread

I wanted to put my last two brownish bananas to good use, thinking I’d try to make really  good banana bread. I wanted really, really good banana bread. I’ve followed lots of recipes out there to a tee, but never came out with outstanding results. So, I decided to put a lot of good ideas into one, streamlined recipe. I’ll go ahead and let you know right now — this wasn’t what I was hoping for. However, I might play with the basics of this recipe until I get it right.

For the most part, it’s good bread. However, the texture isn’t quite right and the taste is a little… lacking. My bread is a little too mushy, and though it’s sweet enough, the flavor isn’t very deep.

Besides being firm and delicious, I feel like great banana bread should be easy to make. For Anthony, that means using the same measuring tool multiple times. For me, that means using one big mixing bowl. So, this recipe attempts to satisfy both of those requirements.

Ingredients:

2 largish ripe bananas (if yours are small, use 3), mashed

1/4 cup each of: margarine, applesauce, and plain yogurt (I used cocounut)

1/4 cup almond milk

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon molasses

3/4 cup sugar

2 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup roughly chopped walnuts

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350F and spray a bread pan with oil. I used 8×4.

In a large mixing bowl, make sure your bananas are good and mashed. Add the wet ingredients and incorporate well with electric mixers. Cream in the sugar. Note that I used the same 1/4 measuring cup for the margarine, applesauce, yogurt, milk, and sugar.

Suspend a strainer-sifter over the bowl and add the dry ingredients. Again, I used the same 1/2 teaspoon for the baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Shake the sifter until all of the dry ingredients are in the bowl. Swap out the mixer for a wooden spoon or rubber spatula and stir until almost completely incorporated. Throw in the walnuts and stir more, making sure not to over-stir but also not to leave any dry patches in the batter.

Pour the batter into your prepared baking pan. I sprinkled some sugar on top, but this is totally optional. Bake for about and hour. I had to bake for an extra 10 or 15 minutes because I forgot that my oven is actually about 10 degrees off. Cool in the pan for a few minutes, then take it out and let it cool on a cooling rack. Serve each slice with a small pat of margarine alongside a hot cup of tea.

The next time I make this bread, I might increase the molasses, add more spices, and bake it at 375. I might even toast and cool my walnuts first. If you try this out, let me know how it goes for you. Also, give a comment if you know the secret to Great Banana Bread!

~moody~
~wintry mood~

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