Banana Bread

By • March 14, 2011 • 84 Comments



Author Notes: This is a family favorite that my mother used to make all the time when I was growing up. The recipe comes from an old community cookbook called Forum Feasts -- I've cut back on the sugar a little, but otherwise it remains the same. Tender, with a crisp, brown crust and really intense banana flavor, it's perfect for breakfast, or thickly buttered with a hot cup of tea.Merrill Stubbs

Makes one 2-pound loaf

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for the pan
  • 3 large, ripe bananas
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F, and butter a 5-by-9-inch loaf pan.
  2. Peel the bananas and in a large mixing bowl, mash them well with a fork. Stir in the sugar and then the egg, mixing thoroughly. Stir in the butter.
  3. Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Fold the dry ingredients gently into the wet, mixing just until you no longer see any streaks of raw flour. (Do not over-mix, or the banana bread will be tough!)
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 to 55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean and the bread is just starting to come away from the sides of the pan.
  5. Cool in the pan on a rack for 5 minutes, and then turn out onto the rack to cool completely before slicing and serving. The bread has a lovely, crisp crust when it’s fresh; if you wrap the leftovers tightly in foil and eat them the next day, you’ll lose that crisp crust, but the texture and flavor will still be great -- if not even better.
Jump to Comments (84)

Tags: can be made ahead, freezes well, quick

Comments (84) Questions (6)

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21 days ago Darra Zankman

Great bread..added vanilla,cinnamon and used dark brown sugar. Very moist!

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22 days ago HollySasha

I have to say, after a couple of duds from this site, I was very pleased with this recipe. I added a bit of vanilla and a shake of cinnamon to the banana mixture but otherwise made it "as is". Made second batch tonite cause my 15 year old son devoured the first pan. Extremely solid recipe.

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2 months ago chefrockyrd

Great! Thanks for reminding me about the cookbook "Forum Feasts" from Ridgewood NJ. I got mine years ago when newly married. My husband was a student teacher at the Forum School and got me a copy. There are some wonderful old recipes in that book. Will drag mine out today and see what I can make from it.
From downeast ME.

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3 months ago Loredona

In case anyone wants to know Banana Maracuya is also referred to as banana passionfruit! Muy bien...

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3 months ago Loredona

My banana tree in my garden just produced a second batch of beautiful banana's...Once they are cut down, they start to rippen very fast. I turned to my favorite food-site and found Merrill's recipe and since I was making a several loaves at once, I needed something simple. This recipe did not disappoint... My bread came out looking just like the photo and tasted great. I also made muffins and they of course took less time. I still have about 40 bananas that I froze, and will use later with the same recipe. I made a double batch and used half white sugar and half brown. I really think the key is not over mixing and not overcooking. I had one of the muffins for breakfast this morning smeared with Banana Maracuya from the Yucatan, which is similar to a preserve with a bit of tartness. Yummy! Thanks Merrill!

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3 months ago Stephanie

I made a double batch of this recipe yesterday- one batch plain, the other with chocolate chips added- and they were/are both delicious! One of the best banana bread recipes I have yet to try. I didn't find it to be dry at all... Maybe people are either over-baking it, or over-mixing the batter once the dry ingredients are added. If you pay close attention to both the folding of the batter and the cook time, I don't see why your bread would turn out dry/tough. I will definitely be using this as my go-to banana bread recipe from now on! Thank you, Merrill!

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3 months ago vagregory

I definitely found this bread to be dry. It seems that the ratio of eggs and/or fat is much less than most recipes, so I would adjust if I decide to give it another try.

Merrill

3 months ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

I've never had a problem with dryness - you do need to be careful not to overtake.

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5 months ago Adelucchi

Thanks for the easy banana bread recipe! Made it last night to share at a neighborhood meeting this morning. My husband and I had some last night. He's not a banana guy but said it was different! Followed the recipe this time because I usually do before making changes, especially in baking. I did take the loaf out early because I wanted to avoid dryness. It was not dry but next time I'll leave it in the whole time because the beautiful dome fell as it cooled. When it cooled I sliced it thin and used cream cheese softened with some Casa Giuliani Sicilian orange marmalade as a spread. Put two slices together with the spread. Delicious! Will make again for sure and with some of the additions I have read here.

Merrill

5 months ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

That sounds like a fantastic way to serve this! I haven't thought about this for years, but your comment reminded me that when I was growing up we used to toast day-old slices of this bread and slather it with either salted butter or cream cheese -- will have to start doing that again!

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6 months ago kak10956

I made this yesterday and pretty much stuck to the recipe except for some chopped walnuts and vanilla. It was quick, in and out of the oven before breakfast and the flavor was good but next time I will take the advice of another commentator and add some yogurt,it was dry.

Merrill

6 months ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

I think yogurt would be a nice addition. And I find that if I overbake this even slightly it does tend to dry out, so next time you may want to pull it a couple minutes earlier.

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6 months ago CelliSean

Also almonds! I had a packet of slivered almonds waiting to be used. 1/2 cup.

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6 months ago CelliSean

In the oven now. Used 1t vanilla, 1c white and 1c whole wheat flours, 1t cinnamon, a packet of instant coffee (leftover from camping), and (when the batter seemed dry & there was still loose flour to mix in) a shot of whisky. Smells great at least.

As a side note, do bananas dry out as they age? I know citrus does and my bananas were brown brown brown.

Stringio

8 months ago Margaret Ollie Joseph

All your recipes from this website are awesome . So simple to put together . Thank"s

Stringio

8 months ago michelle_brown

I made this today because I had exactly three bananas that needed to be consumed. I do not like when people brag to be about changing my recipes and I usually try a recipe the first time as written. But, I am moving and needed to use up some white chocolate chips - I added half a cup - The bread is really nice - I could see adding chopped walnuts too - if you like Banana Nut Bread. I really appreciated the simplicity of the recipe and will be making it again.

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9 months ago Momoko

Just made them this morning. I instead made banana bread "muffins", put the batter into mini muffin tins. They came out wonderfully. Since I wanted my toddler to eat them, too, I cut down on sugar and used only 1/3 cup instead of 3/4 cup. I think it tastes plenty sweet this way, and you can really taste the sweetness of the ingredients. Thank you for sharing this recipe, Merrill!

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9 months ago Jolie Hunt

Good flavor, super easy but I found it a bit lacking. It definitely needs vanilla, nuts and a little more moisture.

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10 months ago jo

since bananas differ in size, about how much of the mashed bananas do you need for this recipe ? Thanks!

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10 months ago sue bishop

I've made a ton of banana bread (probably tried 10+ recipes over the years) and this is the best of them all, even with only 3 tbsp of fat. Made it as written and added walnuts.

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10 months ago mitchlund

I made these tonight as muffins. Moist and wonderful. This recipe might replace my several years favorite (sorry, Orangette!).
changes: 1C AP, 1C WW. Added 1t vanilla and 2T whole milk yogurt to wet mix. 1/2C chopped walnuts. Baked half the time.

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11 months ago Sarah Gillis

I made this last night, its so delicious! The texture is incredible and I kept the bananas a little chunky so there are bits of banana throughout. The bread wasn't tough at all, which I've experienced before from over beating the bananas. I used 75% whole wheat and the remaining pastry flour because that's what I had on hand. I also added a little madagascar vanilla and vietnamese cinnamon. SOOOOO scrumptious!
I love that this recipe requires so few utensils to mix up. It takes longer for the oven to heat up than it does for you to prep, mix, and clean up. Thank you!

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about 1 year ago karen

if i want to use whole wheat flour in combination with all-purpose flour, what is the right ratio so I don't get a dry banana bread? thank you.

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about 1 year ago graciousglutton

I used all whole wheat pastry flour (whole foods brand) and the bread came out great. I did add 2 tbsp of greek yogurt as well though.