After five years in the work force, one of the best lessons I’ve learned is that the goodwill you garner by offering baked goods will come in handy when you’re having trouble with an excel table or really need someone to get on a call with you on a Friday afternoon. In work, as in life, people respond to kindness — and kindness often looks like sweet treats on a a rainy afternoon.
This banana bread, like most banana breads, is the perfect recipe for non-bakers. Its incredibly easy, takes almost no time and can be adapted in infinite ways.
Beyond the basics of bananas, eggs, sugar, flour and butter, you can really be pretty creative with what you do with your banana bread. I go with a classic– chocolate chips, but you can throw in pecans, zucchini, almond flour, coconut flakes, dried fruit, coconut oil, pumpkin puree, apple sauce, caramel, cream cheese or a range of other stuff that tickles your fancy. Its pretty hard to go wrong as long as you use your intuition and balance our wet ingredients with dry ones.
If I add cream cheese I tend to go lighter on the butter or I add a couple of extra tablespoons of flour. If I add almond flour, I’ll add a cup of apple sauce for extra moisture. Once you get a basic feel for what the batter should look like you can really experiment and try new and fun things.
One thing that you should note about this recipe is that, as you can see from the pictures, I like my bread very dense and very moist. If you would like a lighter and fluffier outcome, I would suggest using one less banana or a little bit less buttermilk.
- 2 cups of flour
- ½ cup of butter, room temperature
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup of brown sugar
- 1 cup of chocolate chips
- 3 overly ripe bananas, mashed
- ½ cup buttermilk, applesauce or greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1½ teaspoons of vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon of chocolate extract (optional)
- oil or butter to grease the pan
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 4x8 inch loaf pan or an 8 inch cake pan.
- In a large bowl, sift together the flour, salt and baking soda.
- In another large bowl, using a hand mixer, whisk together the room temperature butter with the sugar. When the butter has reached a creamed texture, whisk in the eggs one at a time and then add the buttermilk and the bananas and continue to mix until fully incorporated.
- Add the butter mixture to the flour mixture and mix together. Fold in the chocolate chips.
- Pour the mixture into the greased pan and place into the center rack of the oven. Bake for 50-60 minutes.
- Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes before removing from pan. Bread will keep for up to a week.