With Friday being National Banana Bread Day, some of you might be thinking about making a few of those tasty loaves.
Part of what makes homemade banana bread so great is how easy it is to make. With instructions like “mix in remaining ingredients” and “leave about an hour,” it clearly doesn’t require much experience for success.
“For banana bread, you need the bananas to be brown speckled or even blackened. They will be sweeter and have more banana flavor,” said Ann Henderson, extension agent at the Utah State University Extension in Box Elder County.
“What I like to do is make banana bread with yogurt to make it more moist,” said Jaqueline Neid-Avila, a nutrition assistant professor and registered dietician with the Utah State University Extension in Davis County. “It also adds a protein.”
Neid-Avila said if yogurt is added to an existing recipe, adjustments need to be made.
“If it has sugar in the yogurt, I don’t add sugar to the recipe,” she said. “If it is a Greek yogurt, I add in sugar or honey.”
Sour cream also may be used in the place of yogurt, she said. Because yogurt adds moisture to the recipe, Neid-Avila said adding five or 10 minutes to the baking time will assure that the bread bakes all the way through.
Overmixing is a problem many people have when making bread, she said.
“You don’t want to overmix the ingredients,” Neid-Avila said. “Then the bread won’t rise.”
“You just want to stir it until the dry ingredients are moistened,” Henderson said. “There may be lumps in the batter and that’s okay. If you beat it too much it will make the bread kind of tough.”
Both Henderson and Neid-Avila said they get lots of questions about bread.
A split in the top of the bread is OK, said Henderson in answer to questions she gets. “You haven’t done anything wrong.”
One frequent question Neid-Avila gets is whether banana bread can be made as a whole-grain food.
The answer is yes. However, Neid-Avila suggests moderation.
“If you are going to use whole-wheat flour, I like to just make it half whole wheat and half white,” Neid-Avila said.
Wheat bran also may be added to the mixture, she said.
Another suggestion is to save bananas as they ripen rather than wait for all four bananas to turn brown at once.
“I usually freeze bananas when they start to get brown,” Neid-Avila said. “I peel bananas and accumulate them until I have three or four and then make a banana bread. I don’t usually wait for the bananas to go brown to use them in a bread.”
Using a bundt pan also gives the bread a more beautiful appearance and more surface area in which to spread, she said.
Pleasant View resident Tammie Ames said she finds it easy to make basic banana bread extra tasty. She prepares the regular recipe and adds nutmeg and cinnamon.
Marriott-Slaterville resident Cindy Brunson said some vanilla and walnuts make the difference for her recipe.
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
4 cups flour
1 cup walnuts (optional)
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons baking soda
4 ripe bananas, mashed
Mix together first three ingredients. Add remaining ingredients. Pour into greased loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about one hour.
2 sticks butter
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
3 whole eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas
4 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 cups sour cream
Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Grease and flour bundt pan.
Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs one at a time, beating for a few seconds after each addition. Add mashed bananas and beat.
Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
Add dry ingredients and sour cream alternately to the mixing bowl. Beat well until all combined.
Pour into bundt pan and bake for 1 hour, 10 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Invert on a cooling rack and allow cake to cool slightly before slicing and serving with softened butter.