Best Banana Bread Recipe

Just like my friend The Amateur Gourmet Adam, who posted about his recipe tweaking habit recently, I’m not one to leave a perfectly good recipe alone. Even when it comes to something so simple, and so seemingly perfect, I rarely could stop myself from tweaking it a little. At times the results of my tinkering are disastrous – Dorie Greenspan’s perfectly innocent French Yogurt Cake recipe I played with yesterday was one, but that story’s for another time. At other times, however, I ended up with something like this Banana Bread, which I think – rather ungrammatically I might add – is a more perfect version of an already perfect recipe.

I first saw the Banana Bread recipe on Deb’s delicious blog Smitten Kitchen. The Banana Bread recipe was alarmingly simple. First, you mash up your banana, then stir in butter, egg, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Oh, yes, and flour. By hand. No fancy kitchen implements are required. That simple. 

So I baked one. I liked it, quite a lot. However, there was something that was just not quite there, there. You know what I mean. It was very good, but also very sweet, even after I reduced the sugar amount by 1/4 cup.

It was also rather flat and one-note, lacking acidity to support the cloying sweetness. For this, I’m not sure if it’s the flaw of the recipe or it’s the fault of the modern-day bananas engineered to be pretty much all sugar in a tabular form. (You noticed this too, yes, I cannot possibly be the only one.) 

So, I set out to tinker with the banana bread recipe a little. 

Adding acidity is easy enough, just a spoonful or two of sour cream or yogurt should do. But then, one thing led to another, and now I ended up with a recipe with a shot of espresso and a glug or two of Jameson whiskey in it. I don’t know, maybe it was a morning after a rather fun night out, so, you know, hair of the dog and all that.

All I know is the flavor of this loaf is pitch-perfect – not too sweet, the tiny bit of added acidity brightens up the flavor quite a lot, plus the hint of espresso and Jameson added just the perfect amount of je ne sais quoi. This has now become my basic banana bread recipe, and as you can see in the picture, we clearly have a problem keeping it around for too long. That’s how much we love this.

And, no, I’m not saying this is a sure cure for your hangover, but at least you can nurse it with a nice slice (or two, or four) for breakfast.

Banana Bread Recipe

Banana Bread Recipe
Best Banana Bread Recipe 5
Banana Bread Recipe
Best Banana Bread Recipe 6
Banana Bread Recipe
Best Banana Bread Recipe 7
Banana Bread Recipe
Best Banana Bread Recipe 8

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 very ripe bananas (I use exactly 350g of banana if you want to know.)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream or yogurt
  • 1/3 cup (75g) melted butter
  • 1 shot (about 1T) of espresso (or a scant 1 tablespoon of espresso granules)
  • 2 tablespoons Jameson whisky (or any kind of rum)
  • 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cup (175g) All-purpose flour

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F (175C)
  2. In a large bowl, mash the ripe bananas until creamy. Add the egg and sour cream, and whisk to blend. Next add the melted butter, espresso, and Jameson. Stir to mix. 
  3. Then add the sugar, baking soda, and salt, and again stir vigorously until completely incorporated. Sift the flour into the bowl, stir, gently this time, until the flour is incorporated and you can no longer see spots of white flour in the batter. 
  4. Butter and flour a 9” loaf pan or line it with a piece of parchment. (Yes, you’re seeing two pans in the picture, I baked a double recipe.) Pour the batter into the mold. Knock the mold on the counter once or twice to let the batter fill it nicely and get rid of any air pockets. Bake on a cookie sheet for 1 hr, or until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. (You can use a wooden skewer or a toothpick if you don’t have a cake tester.)

In conclusion, this Banana Bread recipe is a testament to the wonderful world of recipe tweaking. Like many culinary enthusiasts, the author couldn’t resist the urge to make a great recipe even better. They started with a simple yet delicious Banana Bread recipe from Smitten Kitchen but felt there was room for improvement.

Their experimentation led to a banana bread that strikes the perfect balance, addressing the issue of excessive sweetness by adding a touch of acidity through sour cream or yogurt. What’s more, they infused the loaf with a shot of espresso and a glug of Jameson whiskey, creating a flavor profile that’s not just delightful but also carries a unique charm.

The result is a Banana Bread that’s not overly sweet, with a brightness brought by the added acidity and an extra layer of complexity from the coffee and whiskey. It’s a recipe that has become a household favorite, disappearing almost as quickly as it’s baked.

The ingredient list and straightforward directions make it accessible to bakers of all levels. The banana bread emerges from the oven moist and perfectly baked, with a wonderful aroma that’s hard to resist. Whether it’s a morning pick-me-up or a delightful treat for any time of day, this Banana Bread offers something special for your taste buds. So, embrace the art of tweaking and give this unique recipe a try – it might just become your new go-to favorite.


Reviews

Baking Bliss: A Fantastic Banana Bread Recipe

Rated 5 out of 5
October 23, 2023

This is the best Banana Bread recipe, and it’s an absolute winner. The result is a moist, flavorful loaf that’s hard to resist. The step-by-step instructions are easy to follow, making it accessible for bakers of all levels. The addition of chocolate chips adds a delightful twist, and it’s a perfect way to use up those overripe bananas. Trust me, you’ll be reaching for seconds – this Banana Bread is a real crowd-pleaser!

Sandra

Ultimate Banana Bread Recipe: A Delightful Homemade Treat!

Rated 5 out of 5
October 23, 2023

I stumbled upon this fantastic banana bread recipe and couldn’t be happier. It’s a game-changer for anyone craving a classic treat with a personal touch. The result is a moist, flavorful loaf that’s not overly sweet – just perfect. With straightforward instructions and common ingredients, this recipe is a breeze to follow, making it suitable for bakers of all levels.

What sets it apart is the brilliant idea of adding a subtle hint of acidity and a touch of espresso, creating a depth of flavor that’s truly outstanding. This banana bread is now a household favorite, and I can’t recommend it enough. Try it today, and you’ll have a delightful homemade treat to share with family and friends!

Demi

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