The Easiest Banana Bread Recipe For Beginners (They'll Peg you for a Pro)

What is Banana Bread?

Over the course of the pandemic, if any subject has dominated social media more than Covid-19 news, it's Food News. A cursory scroll through Instagram felt like a trip to the local bakery, with delectable photos of cakes and sourdough starters and the perfect bread recipes.

It comes as no surprise then that in Google's 2020 Year in Search, banana bread was among the most-searched recipes in the United States. Amplified with interesting hashtags, it became a cliche of the lockdown generation.

That brings us to the question- what is banana bread really? And what has made it such a sought-after bread recipe?

Banana bread is a cake-like bread that is moist, delicious and has a strong banana flavor. Quick to make, it's more bread than cake. Perhaps, that's the reason it has become so popular.

Where Did Banana Bread Come From?

It's difficult to trace the exact origin of Banana Bread.

But let's start with the origin of the banana itself, which is believed to have originated in Southeast Asia. By 2,000 B.C. bananas were cultivated in southern India, from where they spread to the Philippines, New Guinea, and other islands of the western Pacific.

Since those who ate it were primarily rice-eaters, and the wheat-based bread of the Greeks was unknown to them, it is difficult to ascertain whether they were making bread with the bananas, or simply enjoying them as fruit.

Theophrastus, a Greek philosopher (and Aristotle's pupil) who wrote what is probably the first scientific book on botany around the 4th century B.C., describes the banana in his writing. By Pliny the Elder's time, in the first century, the Greeks had begun making honey-sweetened bread, some of which contained fruits and spices. It is possible that their recipes may have included bananas.

In the United States, bananas first appeared in the 1870s. However, it took some time for them to become popular as an ingredient for desserts. But it's believed that by the 1930s, banana bread became a common dessert. Historians of food claim that banana bread was popularized during the Great Depression.

The Great Depression, beginning with the stock market crash of 1929 and lasting through much of the 1930s, made food of every kind scarce. Ingenious housewives, instead of throwing away overripe bananas, apparently came up with a recipe that utilized them instead.

It was around the same time that baking powder companies began mass-producing their products. These chemical leaveners were widely available nationwide for the first time. Industrious cookbook writers, inspired by the growing consumption of baking powder and baking soda, came up with new ways to use overripe bananas. While bananas were used as a garnish earlier, banana bread recipes became common by the 1930s.

The devotion to banana bread has grown steadily ever since.

Baking banana bread can be a daunting task for those who are new to the kitchen.

This recipe is so easy, it's almost too good to be true.

Ingredients for Banana Bread

Ingredients-
For one loaf, or twelve slices, of banana bread, you will need-

Two cups of all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour, one teaspoon of baking soda, two cups of mashed, overripe bananas, two eggs (beaten), one cup of butter, a quarter teaspoon of salt, and one cup of brown sugar.

Steps to Making Banana Bread

1. Grease an eight-inch by four-inch loaf pan.
2. Set the oven thermostat at 350 F.
3. Take a large bowl and combine the flour, baking soda, and salt.
4. In another bowl, mix the butter and brown sugar.
5. Stir in the eggs and the mashed ripe bananas until well blended.
6. Mix the banana mixture with the flour mixture.
7. Stir just to combine. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared loaf pan.
8. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 F for 60 to 65 minutes.
9. To determine if the bread is done, insert a toothpick into the center of the loaf. If the toothpick comes out clean, the bread is done. Another way to gauge if your banana bread is ready is to use a Food Thermometer. But ensure that the probe of the food thermometer is very thin.
10. When the bread has finished baking, allow it to cool for 10 minutes. Remove it from the pan and place it on a cooling rack.

Pro tip- If you cut the fat by using low-fat sour cream or whole milk yogurt instead of their whole milk equivalents, your baked goods will rise higher and become fluffier.

Variations on Banana Bread- Ways To Make it Interesting

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While the classic banana bread is simple to bake and comforting to eat, it is, sometimes, fun to spice up your favorite recipe. Easy banana bread recipes can be jazzed up by adding chocolate chips, walnuts, raisins and other ingredients.

Here's what you can do to upgrade your banana bread-

  • Dress it up with chocolate- Banana bread can be easily dressed up by adding chocolate chips to the batter. Chocolate and banana is a classic pairing. When adding chocolate chips to banana bread recipes, dust the chocolate in a light layer of flour before stirring it into the batter. This will keep the chips from sinking to the bottom of your loaf. Sprinkle some extra chips on top of your bread to make it more appealing.
  • Give it a spicy twist- In many recipes, the banana is the main source of flavor, but in others, it plays a supporting role to warmer spices like nutmeg or cinnamon, which when added enhances the taste. Nuts like walnuts or pecans are also tasty additions to banana bread batter.
  • Add a hint of citrus- Citrus fruits like orange offer a burst of flavor that can pep up a dreary recipe. Orange juice for one brings out the best in banana and complements the warm spices. The natural sweetness of the juice makes it a great addition to any recipe. Zest from an orange can also add flavor to a simple banana bread recipe.

Looking for a banana bread recipe? You're not alone.

What's the best way to make banana bread? What ingredients do I need? Which recipe should I use?

Banana Bread Nutritional Facts

Bread can be healthy or unhealthy, depending on what you put in it. Banana bread is the latter- it is made with bananas, a healthy fruit with established nutritional elements. Maybe that's the reason it has been incorporated into many recipes of breads, muffins, cookies, as well as yogurt parfaits and puddings.

If used liberally in breads, banana can raise the protein content, an essential nutrient needed for the growth, repair, and recovery of muscle. Additionally, it also stabilizes blood sugar levels, and curbs the craving for sweets, and prevents you from eating a whole loaf of bread. Banana bread also makes the heart healthier by including more fiber in your diet.

Researchers have often advocated that increasing the consumption of fiber-rich foods, such as bananas, can lower the risk of both cardiovascular disease (CVD) and coronary heart disease (CHD).

One serving of plain banana bread adds up to 229 calories with enough protein to keep your engine running for a while, plenty of carbohydrates for an energy boost, and a touch of fat to keep everything balanced. The calories, cholesterol, and sodium may vary depending on the type of nuts, raisins, or chocolate you add to the recipe.

Food Safety is the new buzzword, so use a thermometer to check Food Temperature. After all, no one wants to get sick from an uncooked loaf. It's easy to check whether or not banana bread is fully cooked by measuring the temperature of its center with a food thermometer. Insert the thermometer right down to the bottom of the loaf pan, then pull it out slowly. As you do, you'll notice that the center of the bread will cool slightly as the thermometer passes through it. If it drops below 200 F, your banana bread isn't cooked yet.

Final Words

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There is a possibility that your banana bread may turn out dry. It may appear curdled when it comes out of the oven, but this is actually how banana cake is supposed to look. This is caused by the high alkalinity of the banana. You can resolve this by increasing the baking powder in the recipe, or reducing the quantity of bananas.

The two most common contributors to a heavy banana bread are over-mixing and under-or overcooking the loaf. For a banana bread that rises properly, replace half the melted butter with vegetable oil and stir until it blends.

Mix in chopped nuts, raisins or chocolate pieces after the first 30 minutes of baking, depending on how gooey you want your bread to be.

At the end of the day, banana bread is totally worth the hype. It's fun, easy, and tasty, and this recipe will prove it to you!

There are so many banana bread recipes out there. How do you know which one will be the best for you?

They all seem to have such long lists of ingredients, or require multiple steps and lots of time.

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People also ask

Banana bread is one of the most loved breads by everyone. It is soft, fragrant, and moist. This banana loaf recipe is a variation of our beloved banana bread. The difference between banana loaf and banana cake lies in the type of flour used in the recipe. Banana bread uses whole wheat flour and banana cake uses all-purpose flour. The bananas used in banana bread are mashed while banana cake uses sliced bananas.Banana bread is one of the most loved breads by everyone. It is soft, fragrant, and moist. This banana loaf recipe is a variation of our beloved banana bread. The difference between banana loaf and banana cake lies in the type of flour used in the recipe. Banana bread uses whole wheat flour and banana cake uses all-purpose flour. The bananas used in banana bread are mashed while banana cake uses sliced bananas.
You'll know the moment you bite into this moist banana cake that it's been made with care. It's chewy, almost like a dense brownie. This is because banana gives a lot of natural starch, and it takes longer for a cake to bake through than a batter of other ingredients. That said, a chewy cake is still a delicious cake, so if you like that texture in your banana cakes, go for it!You'll know the moment you bite into this moist banana cake that it's been made with care. It's chewy, almost like a dense brownie. This is because banana gives a lot of natural starch, and it takes longer for a cake to bake through than a batter of other ingredients. That said, a chewy cake is still a delicious cake, so if you like that texture in your banana cakes, go for it!