Within the past 4 months I’ve made roughly 9-10 loaves of banana bread and roughly 3-4 different kinds/recipes. So, I can safely say that somewhere in my stock memory I have at least one banana bread recipe. Though some of them were slightly different from the others, all of them need bananas. How else could a banana bread be without bananas?
I originally used one of my aunt’s recipes as a formal foundation for developing the other recipes. There were definitely some aspects of the first batch of the banana bread that made me think of tweaking the original recipe. For the most part it turned out good. It was moist not dry; not too sweet and the banana taste is definitely identifiable. But the loaf itself was a little dense for my liking. So I changed the measurement amount for the sour cream or used cake & pastry flour. Then experimented on whether using Greek yogurt would make a difference. Then I wanted to empty out a mixed nut jar so I decided to just throw it in there and see what happens. Then there was the walnut-dark chocolate banana bread loaf; the banana bread with chopped almonds, banana bread with white chocolate and so on. You get the idea. Every little change in the recipe slightly changed the taste and form of the bread itself. It definitely tasted and looked like any regular banana bread but it definitely wasn’t the original one I started with.
So which recipe am I going with? I like walnuts, dark chocolate, white chocolate, peanut butter and whichever ingredient/topping I ended up putting in the batter with the other ones. But I think I will always go back to that dates-banana bread I had when my family and I went to Victoria. It’s been a while since I’ve eaten it and I have incorporated aspects of it in another recipe (vanilla-banana date cupcake with chocolate frosting) yet I always seem to want to go back to it. It had a perfect balance of sweet and salty, firm, crumbly and moist. The best part was your last bite. Somehow, the dates made their way at the bottom of the loaf, not at the very bottom where it meets the crust but enough space between the moist core of the bread and its crust. Leaving you to experience a trifecta of tastes and textures from the banana, dates, and the crust. In a foreign place, it resembled so much of home…of comfort.
I don’t know much about how they made it or whether they added some secret ingredient because I can’t seem to replicate it. What I do know is what it made me feel; why it made me feel a particular way, and of course how it tasted. Should I try to replicate it? I seem to have managed to produce more than a sufficient variety to indulge in. Maybe what makes it so memorable is the fact that I ate it at a specific place and on a specific time? The taste lingered but will the desire accompany it? Did it actually taste the way I remember it? Perhaps the safe choice is to stick with the full-proof original recipe. Hmm…being safe can be oh so lackluster.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar (half white sugar and half brown sugar)
2 room temperature eggs
pinch of salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
4 tbsp. sour cream
½ cup oil (vegetable oil)
3 medium ripe bananas
- Mash the 3 ripe bananas in a small bowl.
- Add the 4 tbsp. of sour cream.
- Add the 2 eggs in the same bowl as the mashed bananas and sour cream then mix.
- Pour the oil into the mixture then mix well.
- Add the brown-white sugar into the bowl and mix well.
- Once the wet ingredients are mixed well, sift the flour, baking powder and baking soda in another bowl.
- Add the pinch of salt to the bowl with the dry ingredients (i.e. the flour, etc.)
- Combine the wet and dry ingredients in whichever bowl is bigger to accommodate both mixtures.
- Line your loaf pan with parchment paper or you could slather some butter and dust it with flour. Either method works well in making sure that the loaf doesn’t stick to the container.
10. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
11. Bake for ~1 hour.
12. Using a BBQ stick poke the middle of the loaf or lightly tap the top of the loaf to see if it bounces back. If it does then it’s likely ready to be taken out of the oven. Double check with the BBQ stick just in case.
13. Let it cool before taking the bread out of the container and slicing.