When I was first introduced to banana bread I was probably lingering along the years of early adolescence—rather late in life, if you ask me. My Latin American roots, which consisted mainly of alfajores and pasta frola, only knew how to consume copious amounts of dulce de leche, tarts, peanut streusel bread (소보로) ,and anything that hinted an amalgamation of European and Korean flavors. But never American sweets. Carrot cake? Who puts produce in their dessert? And what about banana bread? Isn’t the banana actually rotten into the batter? Well technically yes, yes it is.
Such were the questions running through my naive thinking when we made the move from Argentina to LA. Little did I know, banana bread would play an unexpected role in my efforts to assimilate as an American. Despite my reluctance to welcome this new life into my fragmented self, I saw a beacon of hope. Hope that I would someday learn the language. The hope that I would find my niche in a sea of foreigners. The hope that I would again be able to appreciate food that is grown and raised properly. Good dairy, succulent beef, a robust chimichurri made with tons of parsley and oregano, all are a first world luxury indeed, and yet a privilege often taken for granted.
Banana bread tends to take over the dark crevices in one’s soul, does it not? Most folks can never reject a moist, tall banana bread—especially when it boasts such a beautiful and springy crumb. It holds the ability to keep our worries at bay and carries the potential to break through barriers, because that’s what good food does. And that is why it has become a staple in our home, as it is both inviting and comforting.
This recipe meets all the criteria for the perfect banana bread as well: it is unbelievably moist without it being too oily, the texture is what I liken to a spongy cloud—dense and airy simultaneously—and just as importantly, it only requires one large mixing bowl. Minimal dishes means more weekend baking projects! Although there’s an abundance of banana bread recipes that are claimed to be “the best”, this one can certainly find its place in your next baking project. I hope you enjoy it, and if you do get to make it please let me know your thoughts! Make sure to tag me on your instagram feed and I will be sharing them on my stories section.
The Perfect Banana Bread Recipe
Makes one loaf
1 stick salted butter (if using unsalted then make sure to add 1/2 tsp of salt)
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
5-6 medium browned bananas
1 large egg
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup sour cream (or yogurt)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups+2 tbsp all purpose flour, sifted
1 tsp+1/4 tsp baking soda, sifted
1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. In a large microwavable bowl melt the butter in the microwave at 10 second increments.
2. Pour in the sugars and mix with a wooden spatula. Mash the bananas into the butter mixture really well.
3. Add the eggs, sour cream, and vanilla. Mix it thoroughly.
4. Sift in the flour along with the baking soda into the wet ingredients and mix. Sifting is not required but I highly recommend it since it will produce a fine and springy crumb.
5. Now as for the pan you are using, you can just use a loaf pan or a bundt pan (I love to use my Nordicware fleur de lis pan). If you are using a loaf pan simply spray with oil so the banana bread won’t stick. If you are using a Bundt pan then you will need to oil the pan as well as dust it with flour prior to baking. You will also need to bake the bundt for less time since the center will cook faster. For the loaf pan version, pour the batter into the pan and bake uncovered for 50 minutes in the middle rack. Then, cover it lightly with foil and bake for approximately 20 to 25 more minutes. It can vary depending on your oven but just check back and stick a skewer or chopstick to make sure the center is not raw. The result will be a golden and tanned top. Let it cool for about 10 minutes, run a knife through the sides and serve. For the bundt pan version, bake uncovered for 50 minutes and then cover it with foil and bake for another 10-15 minutes. To store, simply wrap or seal tightly in tupperware. It will be good for at least three days!