A Southern Grace: the ones you know by heart

August 30, 2014

the ones you know by heart

Yum

Most of us have recipes we've made so many times that we know them backwards and forwards and could probably carry them out blindfolded and with one hand tied behind the back. I have several of those, and this is one I can't believe I haven't shared.


Banana bread is far and away the most popular way to use up mushy, brown bananas, and I'm sure that most cooks have their own recipe that they've tweaked and honed to perfection over the years. My favorite recipe for banana bread is extremely basic, making use of most of the usual suspects (flour, soda, salt, spices, sugar, butter, eggs, and bananas). There's only one slightly unexpected ingredient, and that's yogurt, which I use for some extra moistness and as a way to cut back on the butter a bit.


While I've added everything from nuts to coconut to dried fruit to chocolate chips in the past, this latest loaf was as straightforward and frill-free as they come. It's delicious plain or toasted, with butter or peanut butter, or probably with any number of accompaniments. Since I prefer the bananas I eat raw to be mostly brown and soft, I had to buy some and intentionally ignore them so they could get old enough to use for this bread. Friends, my sacrifice was worth it.

Basic (but Bodacious) Banana Bread
Makes one 9x5-inch loaf
Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 bananas)
  • 1/3 cup plain (or vanilla!) yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan.
In a bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices, stirring with a whisk.
Place sugar and butter in a large bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 1 minute).
Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
Add banana, yogurt, and vanilla; beat until blended.
Add flour mixture; beat at low speed just until moist.
Spoon batter into prepared pan and bake for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

28 comments:

Emily said...

Yum. I love banana bread. This one looks so good!

Alicia Foodycat said...

Toasted banana bread, especially smothered in whipped butter and honey, is one of life's great treats.

Guru Uru said...

Your bread is definitely making me smile, the perfect thing in the morning :D

Cheers
Choc Chip Uru

Angie Schneider said...

Toasted banana bread slices spread with peanut butter...heavenly!

Tania @My Kitchen Stories said...

I love Banana bread for sure. It is a recipe that everyione should have in their head. Yours looks gorgeous

Big Rigs 'n Lil' Cookies said...

Ok... Why in the world have I never thought of toasting banana bread before? All I can think is I gobble it up to fast to wait for it to toast! Either way, trying you recipe with the yogurt, and then I am toasting a slice!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Surely divine. A great banana bread.

Cheers,

Rosa

~~louise~~ said...

Hi Grace!
Banana Bread is a favorite around here and it just so happens that I have four ready bananas right on the counter right now!

I was going to "throw" them in the freezer for the Nutrabullet but you have just tempted me to bake up a banana bread on this rainy Labor Day weekend! Thanks for sharing, Grace...

Marjie said...

I usually add sour cream - regular or low fat - to my banana bread, with copious quantities of nuts. It's a great food!

I Wilkerson said...

This looks lighter than traditional banana bread. Alas, I have sooo many bananas in my freezer...

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Ooh I love the use of yogurt! I mean butter is great but sometimes you need to cut back on it (did I really just say that?).

Heather said...

Your bread looks great, down to earth, and full of flavor.

Beth said...

Every once in a while I come across a recipe that I love, and that I can't believe I haven't blogged about yet. Thanks for sharing this one!

lisa is cooking said...

I've all sorts of different banana breads, but I've never toasted a piece and topped it with peanut butter. Must do this immediately!

Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic said...

I love making banana bread with sour cream or Greek yogurt, but next time I will try it with vanilla yogurt!

Pam said...

Simple and delicious! I love to use yogurt in my banana bread too.

Katerina said...

I love banana breads and cakes! The addition of yogurt is genius!

Caroline Taylor said...

Love banana bread, can never go wrong!

Barbara said...

You're so right, Grace. I have quite a few I know by heart....but I did write them down for my kids. Wish my mother had done that; more often I'd stand and scribble things down while watching her make something I loved.
She lived into her 90's, so I did get a lot of her recipes.
My fave banana bread is from an old JL cookbook I've had for years. Simple, no additions. Never thought to toast it...what a great idea!

Juliana said...

I always banana "floating" on my counter...thanks for the recipe Grace...and I must try toasting it next time...
Hope you are having a great week :D

Pam Greer said...

That's a good one to know! I haven't made banana bread in a while...hmm.

scrambledhenfruit said...

The toast looks divine... :)

Amy (Savory Moments) said...

I love a nice loaf of banana bread and yours looks delicious!

Carolyn Jung said...

Banana bread is like your favorite pair of old jeans. May not be fancy, but boy, is it ever comforting and wonderful.

Erica said...

Banana bread is one of my favorite breads! This looks delicious, Grace!

kumars kitchen said...

using yogurt for making super moist banana bread is a genius idea...so kind of you to share such recipes...we love trying them out...they are always finished off plates quickly,thanks :-)

Joanne said...

Having a good banana bread recipe under your belt is THE BEST. It can really turn a bad day into an awesome one! Especially when peanut butter smothered.

The Sea Salt said...

Love using yogurt in my banana bread! And I love putting peanut butter on it even more!

Oh yeah, and chocolate chips:)