Banana bread is one of the best things to have for a light breakfast, as a snack during the day, or even for dessert. It is even better when it is freshly baked and served warm.
Of all my banana bread encounters (please believe me when I say – there have been a lot of banana bread encounters) I always felt something was missing or more could have been done to elevate the humble, pillowey sweetness of the banana flavour. I could never put my finger exactly on what was required. In any event, it has been rare that I have found the perfect banana bread in any cafe or restaurant.
My theory on banana bread is that it needs to be equal parts sweet and delicate but at the same time, complex and interesting. It is my firm belief that the addition of spices such as nutmeg and cinnamon really elevate the flavour of sweet banana bread to round off the flavour experience as one that is well balanced (rather than just sweet bread). The merest suggestion of salt, pepper and vanilla extract in the recipe below is enough to ensure a balanced taste and considered mouth-feel.
I guess what I am really trying to say is that the banana bread recipe below has been adjusted and changed by me over time and I think I have finally made a banana bread that is – at least in my opinion – perfect. Sweet, warm and spicy with a delicate yet luxurious and chewy bread texture.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup self raising flour
- 1 cup sugar (brown is best)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper (use restraint here – you only want a thought of pepper)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 ripe bananas, mashed (from frozen is ok)
- 2 eggs
- 125g soft and unsalted butter
- Preheat your fan forced oven to 160 degrees celcius (180 degrees if not fan forced);
- Mash the bananas in a large mixing bowl;
- To the bananas, add the flour, sugar, spices (cinnamon & nutmeg), salt, pepper and vanilla extract and stir until combined;
- In a separate bowl, whisk together 2 eggs and 125g softened butter until fluffy;
- Add the eggs & butter to the banana mixture and combine together. Don’t worry – there will be lumps and that is ok. Do not over whisk or the bread will be tough and dry;
- Pour the combined batter into a greased and lined 23cm x 12cm x 7cm rectangle bread tin;
- Top the batter with a hand full of oats (optional);
- Bake for 45 minutes at 160 degrees fan force. The bread is ready when a skewer comes out clean from the middle;
- Allow the banana bread to cool for 10 minutes in the bread tray then serve warm with butter 😊