We’re big eaters of bananas; J uses them in smoothies and C takes one to work for breakfast every weekday or puts one on his cereal in the weekends. We don’t always plan perfectly, though, and sometimes they turn on us. Rather than tossing those brown beauties in the compost we put them in the freezer and retrieve them later to banana bread.
The trick is that when the bananas freeze they get really mushy and sweet, which is great for bread. Once there are 6-8 in there we get them out, thaw them, and make a couple loaves of this quick, tasty bread.
mofo banana bread
(quantities are for two loaves)
1 1/2 cups sugar
6-8 bananas, thawed with peels discarded
3 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
zest from one lemon
Preheat the oven to 350° with a rack in the middle.
Mix bananas, eggs, sugar and lemon zest. You want to make sure that the bananas get broken up enough to get through all that yummy bread. Bonus tip: zest the lemon directly over the bowl. The oils released from zesting will add more fresh lemon taste to the bread.
Add the banana mixture directly to dry ingredient mixture, do not over-mix! The batter should be lumpy.
We have found that hand mixing works best. Either a spatula or wooden spoon works wonders when you’re trying to get to those pockets of flour that inevitably collect at the bottom of the bowl. We’ve experimented with our stand mixer for this stage, but it tends to over-mix and abuse the batter. The finished product out of the stand mixer was heavy and tired; it didn’t have good quick bread consistency and it was too uniform.
Pour batter into two greased 9″ bread pans and bake for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let loaves cool for at least 15 minutes in the loaf pans and then turn out on a wire rack to finish the cooling process. Do not wrap up bread that is still warm! Warm bread will release condensation; it will make the exterior of your “eat it now” loaf soggy and it will form ice crystals all over your frozen loaf that will make that exterior soggy when it’s thawed.
To prep the frozen one, wrap cooled loaf tightly in wax paper and freeze in a zip-lock bag. To reheat: thaw completely at room temperature.
Enjoy plain, with butter, Nutella (personal favorite!), cream cheese, or toasted!