The Best Banana Bread (really!)

For as long as I’ve been baking, the perfect banana bread has eluded me. Quick breads aren’t difficult to assemble (no yeast or rising time required!), but the baking process is notoriously tricky. Whenever I use an 8″ or 9″ loaf pan, the top and sides of the bread get brown and hard while the middle of the loaf remains gummy and under-cooked. Blech. I recently found an Orangette recipe that suggests using an 8″ square pan – genius! I altered the ingredient list a bit (namely, reducing the sugar and using part whole wheat flour), but I followed the recipe instructions to a T. This is probably the best banana bread I’ve ever baked – moist, perfectly sweet, properly baked, and topped with crunchy cinnamon sugar. Best of all – it’s full of bananas, whole wheat flour, and NO oil/butter. The bread is so moist – I almost can’t believe it doesn’t contain butter! Not that there’s anything wrong with butter, I love it. But if I can save a few calories without sacrificing taste, I won’t complain.

The Best Banana Bread (really!)

Ingredients:

  • 3 very ripe bananas
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

For topping:
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon

Check out the original Orangette blog post for recipe instructions!

Besides, banana-bread baking (um, might need to make it again, disappeared in 2.5 days!), I’ve logged a fairly decent week of running.

Monday – 3 miles, easy

Tuesday – 7 miles, easy

Wednesday – 8 miles with Lindsay, easy

Thursday – CPTC workout: 1.25 mi warm-up, 4 x 1 mile @ 10k pace (6:47, 6:52, 6:44, 6:51) w/ 400m recovery, 1.25 mi cool-down

Friday – 4.5 miles

Saturday – planned 10-miler

Sunday – planned 6 miler

Total: 46 miles (assuming my weekend runs go as planned)

It’s really strange, but the warmer the weather, the more motivated I am to run. Alas, come January all I want to do is hibernate on the couch. Womp, womp. Better enjoy it while I can!

Is there a recipe that’s been eluding you? Did you finally master it? I’m still a little scared of making (and carving!) roast chicken.

  • Looks good! Always love me a banana bread.
    Nice mileage for the week! I’m hoping to get in at least one long run this wknd too (to also make the BBQ-ing that much more rewarding!)
    Yes – roasting a chicken or turkey also frightens me. This is a good question and I literally sat here for 5 minutes pondering it, haha. I would have to say Pie. Pie, in general. I really want to make a pie someday and for people to say, “This is the best pie ever.” A girl can dream.
    Happy 4th!

  • making roast chicken isn’t that hard! the carving part, on the other hand…

    check it: http://www.insightfulappetite.com/2010/12/21/big-kid-break/

    i used the amateur gourmet post as my guide 🙂

    yayyy for a fab weekend ahead!

  • I love making pizza, but I’ve never been able to get the crust crisp and restaurant-like. Probably because I don’t have a wood-fired oven, but whatev.

    Oh I totally agree re: warm weather running- even when it’s 100 degrees I want to be outside exercising. In winter = just want to lie in bed.

  • Yum! I’ll definitely be trying this recipe!

    I’m a fan of slow-cooker recipes. They are hard to mess-up!

  • I’m trying to conquer the kitchen in general —- maybe I’ll start with this banana bread. Looks ba-na-nas.

  • Corey @ runner’s cookie

    This looks amazing with the chocolate chips and the sugar topping! I’ve always loved making banana bread – I used to make it with my mom all the time, and it always disappears in 2 days in our house too 🙂
    Looks like a great week of running for you! I’m really glad to hear the warm weather is bringing out your motivation. I think everything going on in the summer makes it more fun and exciting to be outside. Hope you have a great 4th!!

  • That looks delicious! I think most recipes scare me, actually. I hate ones with tons and tons of directions and steps. I like to keep it simple, but maybe I need to step outside of the box a bit more 🙂 I would like to make those granola bars stay un-crumbly!

  • Megan Kretz

    I really want a pizza stone – I think that would really up my pizza game!

  • Anonymous

    Just procured a slow cooker, can’t wait to try it out!

  • Anonymous

    Just procured a slow cooker, can’t wait to try it out!

  • Pingback: Lucy gone wild « Run. Eat. Sleep.()

  • GH

    I did try this and agree – SUPERB!!! 🙂 the bananas I had weren’t quite ripe enough and I’m going to get better quality chocolate next time, but there is definitely going to be a next time! 
    Thanks and looking forward to news of your HM training plan! I’m just working on mine too though my goal time will be much slower… but hey, we all put in the same hard work!