There’s something about Banana Bread that makes me remember my childhood the most. When I was a child of 3, I started going to Pre-School, and among the things I fondly remember from that time are running around with my little friends in my sailor-style uniform, my adorable bob that made me look like a mini version of my Mother, and the banana bread snacks our teachers gave us during afternoon teatime. We probably had one banana bread day each week, and why not? It’s easy to make and delicious, and quite well-received by children. I remember some of my classmates would bring a snack of their own and trade it off for someone else’s slice of banana bread just so they can have two. It was the smell, taste and the texture of banana breads that made it so popular, and probably the sugary topping that came along with it. I don’t believe I’ve ever met anyone who disliked banana bread.
I have a cousin who as a child loved banana bread, and as an adult, never quite outgrew it. And who can blame her? Banana bread is a classic; something that never seems to go out of style. Most of my pre-school and kindergarten years were full of banana bread snacks and yet until now, we don’t seem to get enough of it. Back then, the most popular were the sweet breads topped with an equally sweet but wonderfully crunchy streusel. A few years later, banana bread has undergone many transformations, even being marbled with chocolate or turned into cupcakes. However I find that I still go for the no-frills, homemade version of the treat. In fact, I haven’t had any store-bought Banana Bread ever since I started baking my own. Specifically since I started making this particular recipe. I can’t remember where I found the recipe and how long ago, but I just want to say that this is probably the best and easiest Banana Bread recipe I’ve come across so far, and I’ve been having a difficult time stopping myself from making this.
This banana bread is luscious and moist, even after spending a day or two in the fridge. It makes your kitchen smell absolutely heavenly as it bakes. It’s definitely better to allow the bread to cool, or wait the next day to eat it, just to allow the flavours to meld together and come out more pronounced. It’s just more delicious that way. This particular recipe doesn’t have a streusel topping, but it does have nuts baked into the bread, which adds another dimension of flavour and some crunch while you eat. I’ve tried the recipe with walnuts, peanuts, pistachios, pecans, or even a combination thereof, and all of them work perfectly.
Luscious Banana Bread
Makes one 9×5-inch loaf
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup white sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup nuts, chopped
2 medium bananas, mashed
1. Preheat oven to 350° F (175 °C). Grease and flour a 9×5-inch loaf pan.
2. In a large bowl, stir together the melted butter and sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla, and mix well.
3. In a smaller bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt, then stir into the sugar-butter mixture until smooth.
4. Finally, fold in the sour cream, nuts and bananas. Mix until incorporated, but no need to mix too much. Spread evenly into the prepared pan.
5. Bake the loaf in the preheated oven for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick or tester inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool loaf in the pan for about 10 minutes to allow the bread to set and firm up one last time, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
The bread only requires that you have your bowls and your wooden spoon, without the need for any heavy machinery. Just mix everything up, pop the pan into the oven, and wait for the smell to fill your home. What you will get is a gorgeous loaf with that wonderful crackled top. And the best part? Cutting yourself a slice. And then another, and another…