Everyone has a favorite banana bread recipe. It’s one of those classic things that most people have on hand, even if baking isn’t something they do on a regular basis.
I love my mom’s banana bread, but it didn’t translate well at high altitude. I also tried the Banana Bread Cockaigne from the Joy of Cooking, which is my second favorite recipe, but that had issues, too. So, I toyed with it until it came out perfectly.
While three bananas work well at much lower altitude, they make the bread overly mushy at altitude. So, I reduced the number of bananas to two and used less baking powder as well. I checked the bread 45 minutes into the baking process and, while it looked done, it wasn’t fully cooked inside. I left it in for another 10 minutes and it turned out just right. It stayed moist and the crust was not overcooked.
If you’re in the mood to put a spin on the bread, you can add seeds from one vanilla bean. I’ve done that before and it can be a nice change if you’re looking for a more dynamic loaf. The original recipe also suggests adding 1/2 cup chopped nuts or 1/4 cup finely chopped dried apricots.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder (use 1 teaspoon at high altitude)
1/2 teaspoon salt (use 1 teaspoon at high altitude)
2/3 cup sugar
6 tablespoons butter, softened
2 large eggs, beaten
2 ripe bananas, mashed
Grease a loaf pan and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Beat sugar and butter in a large bowl at medium speed until creamy. Add eggs and bananas. Add dry ingredients. Mix until just combined.
Scrape the batter into the loaf pan. Bake the bread for 50-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool slightly, then take out of pan and cool completely on a rack.
Trisha Leonard is the editor of the Tahoe Daily Tribune. Check out her food blog at www.redpenrecipes.com.