Purchasing bananas always sounds like a good idea...but then I remember that I'm not a huge fan of bananas. And poor Evie has trouble properly digesting them. Oh, and my husband detests them.
Yet, somehow, I always find myself bringing home a couple every now and then...and inevitably they end up ripening to a nice brownish hue on my countertop. Ugh.
I've been hearing about this banana freezing phenomenon for a few months--my MIL does it, my friend Rita uses them for homemade smoothies, and I've read on the recipe sites that it's a common technique for preserving bananas until you want to use them. So, I started to freeze my brown uneaten bananas.
Yesterday I had a hankering for something homemade and tasty. I didn't have enough butter to make cookies and I'm kind of over brownies right now (this tends to happen if I make brownies too often, gah! It's ok though, I'll be back to my brownie-loving self in a couple of weeks). What's a girl to do??
For some strange reason I decided to look in the freezer, of all places, for possible ingredient ideas and there were four bananas shoved off to the side near the back. Now, I've always liked banana bread. However, I'm constantly on the hunt for The Ultimate Banana Bread Recipe. In general, you really can't bake a terrible batch, but I want to find the recipe that will always be my go-to banana bread recipe. Something simple, easy, and tasty.
Friends, I must confess. I think that I found it!!
Seriously. Not only did it smell like pure unadulterated HEAVEN in my house while it baked, but the taste and consistency were perfect. Not too heavy, just a tad sweet, and just the right amount of banana flavoring.
You see, usually I would go for the recipe on the website that has the most saves and the most reviews (with as close to five stars as the recipe can get). But, I've made that recipe before and I wasn't all that impressed. I kept scrolling down the list of banana bread recipes and I found one that still had a lot of reviews and it seemed SO simple. As usual, I read through the reviews and picked up some tips on what people did to spruce up the recipe and then I got down to business.
I defrosted the bananas, but not all the way. If you defrost them all of the way they get SUPER goopy, so mine were still a bit firm (and absolutely freezing! my poor fingers...) and I cut them up into slices.
I also followed the recipe for the most part only switching the sugar to 1/2cup of white and 1/2cup of brown (I used dark brown). Oh, and I added a teaspoon of vanilla. And I used all four bananas, not sure how many cups that equates to...
After the recommended hour of baking time had passed my bread was still a bit liquid-y in the middle. Luckily, while reading through the reviews a person had posted that should your bread not be finished after an hour that you should put aluminum foil over the bread (shiny side down) and let it bake for another 5-10min.
I put it in for another 7min with the foil over the top and it came out perfectly! I guess they don't call it the Best Banana Bread for nothing ;)
This recipe is definitely a keeper! You can find it here: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/The-Best-Banana-Bread/Detail.aspx