So we were trapped in the house most of the day, waiting for the contractor to come and cut a hole in the living room ceiling to determine the cause of the mold blossoming there. (Its bad, and not, as my father would say, “dinner table conversation”). The bananas were looking reproachfully at me in the kitchen as they slowly turned brown and spotty, never to be cut up and frozen for smoothies despite my best intentions.
So, I made banana bread using the ONE recipe from the 1997 edition of “The Joy of Cooking” that I actually use. In general, I dislike that particular incarnation of “Joy,” which seems to be trying to be so many things (international cookbook, diet cookbook, basics cookbook) that it sacrifices much of its earlier identity as an honest-to-goodness Kitchen Bible. Of course, I don’t really follow the recipe, because I never do, but I do find that there is something in the mixing method (creaming butter and sugar, adding dry ingredients and then adding eggs) that makes for a very tender loaf, as promised. Here is my version, which relies on “Joy”‘s basic contours but also uses up things you may have in your kitchen. By the way, I tripled this recipe today and it turned out beautifully. Next time, I’m going to make this recipe with macadamia nuts, coconut and drained, canned pineapple.
Annie’s Over-the-Top Banana Bread
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 5 1/3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup mashed,very ripe bananas (about 2)
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans (I toasted mine)
- 1/2 cup baking coconut
- 1/2-1 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (depending on your chocolate requirement)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a loaf pan.
Whisk together flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder.
In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar 2-3 minutes on high speed until lightened in color and texture. Beat in the flour mixture until blended, then gradually beat in eggs. Fold in bananas, nuts, coconut and chocolate chips.
Scrape batter into pan and spread evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 50-60 minutes. (Note: I have never had this bread bake completely in 60 minutes, so really do the toothpick test or you’ll have a mushy, uncooked center). Let cool in the pan on a rack for 5-10 minutes before unmolding to cool completely on the rack.
Edited to add: In the interest of full disclosure, I should tell you that since I wrote this post, I have found a banana bread recipe that I like better. Check it out here.