Monday, November 21, 2011

The novelty of banana bread

When I think of banana bread, I don't really think exciting, or novel, or my first choice when offered a baked product.

Banana bread (and muffins) falls into the category, in my mind, of a good stand-by product. A fairly safe option, with minimal fuss and a fairly short ingredient list, that most people will probably eat. Banana products even carry 'healthy' connotations, even though many banana breads are equivalent in sugar and fat content to chocolate cake.

All in all, I like banana bread but I don't generally crave it or make it. Banana and pineapple, banana and chocolate, and banana and peanut butter are exciting combinations, but banana alone is just...well, not.

That all changed when bananas became a rare and over-priced, cyclone depleted, commodity.

When they were suddenly unavailable, I started craving them at odd moments - typically in the middle of a work day, when there was nothing I could do about said craving even if I was prepared to pay $2 plus for one piece of fruit.

Now that the banana prices are back in the acceptable range, and bananas are starting to seem more of a normal item and less of a luxury one, I thought I would celebrate by making banana bread. We had a slightly too ripe banana, I had an untried recipe (for the best banana bread, no less) in The 100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes, and the time seemed right.

Banana bread
Lightly adapted from The 100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes (Kris Holechek)
Makes 1 loaf / 10 generous slices
Print recipe


  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 bananas (I used 1 medium and 1 large)
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp non-dairy milk (I used soy)
  • Optional: brown sugar, extra, to sprinkle on top (I didn't actually do this, but you could if you wanted extra sweetness)


1. Preheat oven to 180'C and prepare a loaf tin.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

3. In a large bowl, mash the bananas and then add the oil, brown sugar, and milk. Stir to combine.

4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix to combine.

5. Bake for 35 - 40 minutes (mine took 38 minutes), until the bread is golden and a toothpick comes out clean.

This sits right in the middle of 'cake' and 'bread', which is just where I like my banana bread. Pairing with tea or coffee is highly recommended :)

What are your thoughts on banana bread? Do you have a favourite version or recipe?


  1. I like how wide the bread is... must be a nice pan! I never think of or crave banana bread unless I have spare time and overripe bananas.. and then we usually don't finish the bread anyway.

  2. I saw bananas for $2 at the market on Sunday. I don't think I've ever been so happy about bananas (except for in 2006, when they were overpriced due to Cyclone Larry, but how short my memory can be...).

  3. I take banana bread for granted - it is nothing too exciting and yet important to have around - I think it is one thing from my childhood that I don't have too often but love when I do. Since blogging I keep making different versions of it and wondering why I don't make my mum's recipe that often - yours looks quite healthy compared to a lot of cakes

  4. I was just admiring a lovely bunch of yellow bananas in my fruit bowl this morning, it's good they are back!
    (ps. re. google reader, it seems anytime I update a post, it comes up in your reader. Even just adding something to my recipe list.)

  5. I love banana bread! I havent made it in too long though!

  6. My thoughts on banana bread are much like my thoughts on bananas in general - yuck! I really don't like them, even the smell is off putting to me. Which has made it very easy for me to get through the banana drought, but they are so great nutritionally I do sometimes wish I liked them.

  7. Fortunately for the bread, my partner is very fond of bananas, but otherwise I think I'd struggle with a full loaf too. The pan is a bit wider than average I think - I rather like it too!

  8. $2 is amazing! I hope those prices make it across to WA eventually. I think the old saying about absence and hearts is very true, but I'll nonetheless hope for no more cyclones for a while. I'm sure Australians will be appreciating banans for a while yet!

  9. Not too exciting but important to have around sums it up perfectly. Interestingly, my Mum tended to make banana muffins rather than bread, so my childhood memories centre around those. I should try her recipe in loaf form though, it would be interesting to see how it works.

  10. Oh google reader, you have such quirks :-)

    Definitely good they are back! I wonder how long it will take before they seem normal again?

  11. Maybe this week is the week? :)

  12. Then this is definitely not the bread for you! How funny. It's definitely not my favourite food (except when unavailable...) but I don't actively dislike them. There is something about the smell and texture that can be a bit much in large doses though.

  13. I love banana bread, but seem to react to the flour in it ;(

  14. Oh :( Not so good. Rice flour might work, but in truth I'm not too sure...on the plus side, I suppose bananas on their own are probably safe? :)

  15. The last time I made a banana bread it was from a Dan Lepard recipe and it involved cooking the banana first in sugar and caramelising them (don't you love that word?) before mixing it in to the bread. It's in his new book Short & Sweet and in its original form was published here

  16. Gosh, that sounds delightful - although a tad more labour intensive than the standard type! Worth it I suspect, and thank you for the link.

  17. I made this last night, with addition of some flaxseed and wheatgerm and it turned out perfectly ! Thanks for the recipe :)

    1. Thanks so much for taking the time to let me know! I am so glad you liked it :)


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