Even rotten bananas can learn to be good.
Does one rotten banana spoil the whole bunch? Well if you wanna make damn good banana bread, you better hope so.
You see, that’s the beauty of banana bread; baking a really tasty loaf is dependent upon your wastefulness. With some commonplace (and cheap) pantry and ‘fridge items and a few neglected bananas, you can whip up a week’s worth of breakfast in less than an hour.
And you don’t even have to be a great baker. This recipe is so easy, even a broke-ass like you could do it (You thought I was going to say “caveman,” didn’t you?).
I can’t emphasize the importance of using overripe bananas enough. If your bananas just have a couple beauty marks, give them a few more days to mature. But if your bananas show as many freckles as an Irish lady in a tanning bed, then it’s time! Brown is beautiful and will make for the sweetest outcome.
Here’s what else you’ll need:
3 overripe bananas, mashed
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
1/2 tsp nutmeg (optional)
1.5 ounces (approx. 1 shot) of rum or orange juice (optional)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups flour
First, set your oven to 350 degrees. Then, grab the ‘nanas. Mash those suckers by hand with either a potato masher or just a plain old wooden spoon. Since the bananas should already be super soft, you’ll have no problem reducing them to a gloopy banana sauce. The mashed mixture should contain at least small chunks of banana, so don’t be alarmed if it isn’t completely homogeneous.
Next, add the melted butter to the bowl, and stir it in to completely incorporate. Also, make sure the butter isn’t scalding hot, because you’re about to add an egg, and there is potential to scramble. But if the butter is super hot, just give it a few minutes before you add the egg. Or, like, grab a lobster and use that butter for dipping instead. Just kidding. You can’t afford lobster.
Now you can go ahead and add the egg, sugar, and vanilla. Stir all of that in very well. You most certainly don’t want to see clumps of sugar muckin’ up the joint.
Okay, now it’s time to get creative with your recipe, depending upon what’s on your spice rack. I usually add both cinnamon and nutmeg for spices and a shot of rum for an extra zing. Although I’ve never tried it, I bet even dark rum would taste great in there. A small amount of orange juice also brightens the flavor of the bread (thanks to my mom for the tip). If you don’t have any of those things, feel free to toss in whichever spice/juice/booze might be agreeable, but don’t stray from the aforementioned measurements, or else the bread won’t set correctly.
Last, add your dry ingredients. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and give it a quick stir. Next, add the flour. Mix/fold it in gently, just until it’s incorporated. You never wanna overmix your batter.
Pour the batter into a greased bread pan. And if you don’t have a bread pan, you could use a cupcake pan. And if you don’t have a cupcake pan, then I hope you enjoy raw batter. Bake the bread for about 45 minutes. For cupcakes or muffins, only bake it for 20 minutes. You’ll know it’s done when you insert a toothpick into the middle of the bread/muffins and it comes out clean. Success! Give the bread a few minutes to rest before you remove it from the pan, and then hide it from your roommates. They won’t be able to resist this bananaroma.
The aforementioned recipe was inspired by this one on Simple Recipes. After conducting many trial runs, I have altered the recipe thusly.
Thanks to Christopher K. Spall for the pic.