So, when I get the urge to make muffins, banana bread, or anything similar, I need to buy ones that are already “ready” to cook with, because they never last long enough to go brown here. When we were at our favourite little fruit market today, there was a perfect bunch, spotty and browned, just waiting for me. I took it as a sign that today was banana bread day.
This recipe makes a lot of batter. (As much as we like bananas, we seem to like banana bread more…) It will do 2 loaves nicely, but I prefer to cook mine in my Bundt pan. I like the even way it cooks, and it just looks so much nicer, I am sure you could even ice it and serve it as cake! (Oh, what a thought, maybe a nice dark rich chocolate icing…..I am going to have to try that!) The original recipe came from the Silver Palate cookbook; this is my “tweaked” recipe, for my Bundt pan.
Bundt Pan Banana Bread
Makes 1 Bundt pan or two loaf pans (would work for muffins too, would probably make 3-4 dozen though, and cooking time would be substantially less, around 20 minutes would probably do)
½ cup olive oil
½ cup butter, softened
¾ cup white sugar
¾ cup brown sugar
2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt (I use coarse sea salt, feel free to use your favorite)
6 large ripe bananas, mashed with a potato masher
2 Tsp vanilla
Liberally grease your Bundt pan. (Seriously, this is one place not to be lazy; getting something out of a Bundt pan when it sticks is not fun, at all! I grease mine with a paper towel and a big smear of softened butter)
In stand mixer, cream together oil, butter, and sugars. Beat for about 3 minutes, until creamy, and lighter in colour. Continue beating while you add in the eggs, one at a time. When eggs are well incorporated, turn off mixture, and measure the flours, baking soda and salt into the bowl. Mix on LOW (unless you want to give your kitchen a flour bath…) until just combined. It is good to still see bits of dry flour. Over mixing of baked goods like this makes them tougher and drier, I think it has to do with the gluten in the flour being released. Good for yeast type bread, not so good for quick breads.) Turn off mixer again, add mashed bananas and vanilla, and again mix on low until just nicely combined. Again, do not over mix. (If you do not have a stand mixer, just use a large bowl, and stir ingredients together in the same order, mixing with a large wooden spoon or rubber spatula)
Pour batter into pre-greased Bundt pan and bake in center of oven, preheated to 350 degrees. Bake for 60-65 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out with a few moist crumbs, (not wet batter).
Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto a rack and cool completely before cutting (if you can…)
PS: I have since made this with the addition of 2 espresso shots (or if you can find instant espresso powder, 2 tsp of that), and a cup of chocolate chips...Wow!!