Banana bread is a sweet moist cake made from mashed bananas. It’s one of the American favorites since it’s among the most searched recipe on the web. Try this basic and simple recipe to taste an incredible treat full of flavor.
Origin and history
The first loaves of bread probably originate from Neolithic times, some 12,000 years ago and sweet nut bread was already eaten by the ancient Roman and Greeks.
Bananas have been around since the beginning of time but they originated in Southeast Asia (probably on the Malaysian archipelago) and spread from India to the Philippines, New Guinea, etc. It was cultivated by about 2,000 B.C., but wheat was unknown there, so bread was not part of their culture.
So who decided to combine these two foods? According to the food historians banana bread, as we know it today, is relatively recent in the USA. The earliest recipe of “Banana bread” is dated to 1849 and “banana cakes” were composed of sliced banana as either decoration or filling. Banana recipes began showing up in popular American Cookbooks in the 1880s.
The banana bread became spreading by 1920 and some historians suggest that the mass production of baking powder and baking soda played a major role in it. As a solution for the overripe bananas with the availability of baking powder & soda, many cookbook writers tried to create recipes for a “quick bread” that did not require yeast.
Modern banana bread recipes, featuring mashed bananas, first surfaced in the 1930s, assuming traditional forms: layer cakes, muffins, loaves, … The first published banana bread recipe appeared in 1933, in ‘ Balanced Cookbook’ by Mary Ellis Ames, the Director of the Pillsbury Cooking Service and by 1950s, banana bread was actively promoted in nationally syndicated television cooking shows.
Notes and tips
To bake a perfect Banana Bread, here are some of our tips :
- To make super moist banana bread, use bananas that are over-ripe: Once the skins start to develop freckles and are half browned and the bananas inside are squishy and browning. You can even make it richer and banana flavor by letting the bananas ripe even longer.
- If you want to try a somewhat healthier version, you can replace the all-purpose flour by whole wheat flour.
- Use softened butter for a subtle butter flavor and a soft bread texture.
- It’s better to use all brown sugar in the banana bread since it will result in soft and moist bread. The original recipe called for a cup of sugar, but it was too much for us, so we’ve only added 1/2 cup and it was perfectly sweet but you can adapt it to your liking.
- We’ve decided to add chopped walnuts to our recipe but feel free to leave them completely out. You can also toss in pecans, almonds, raisins, cranberries, chocolate chips, or even a mix.
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Banana Nut Bread
- 3 bananas, medium
- 100 g brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 50 g butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 180 g flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- 100 g walnuts, chopped
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
- Line a bread loaf pan of 4x9in (10x22cm) with parchment paper and grease it.
- In a mixing bowl, mash the ripe bananas with a fork until completely smooth.
- Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl.
- Stir in the sugar with the smashed bananas.
- Mix in the eggs and vanilla.
- Stir the softened butter into the mixture.
- Slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until no flour pockets remain but be careful to not overmix.
- Finally, fold in the nuts.
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 45-60 minutes at 350°F (175°C), or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Remove the pan from the oven and let cool in the pan for a few minutes. Then remove the banana bread from the pan and let cool completely before serving.
Sources 1. Wikipedia - Banana Bread : www.wikipedia.org. 2. The Food Timeline - Banana Bread : www.foodtimeline.org.