Thursday, June 19, 2014

Better Banana Bread


Everyone and his or her mother (and her mother) has a go-to banana bread recipe. If you purchase bananas with any regularity, at some point you'll need one because bananas are in a race against humanity and start browning the moment you look at them in the store. 

I have perhaps 10 banana bread recipes--all of them different, and all of them delicious. This version is distinguished by its virtues, namely Greek yogurt and whole wheat flour. The fat I've chosen is coconut oil, which gives this bread a come-hither aroma and a subtly exotic flavor. Coconut oil lends richness and moisture to the crumb.  

I've kept my bread simple, but you can add toasted walnuts, pecans, or chocolate chips if you favor mix-ins. Try a slice with cream cheese or peanut butter. Or Nutella, if you're a libertine like me.

Better Banana Bread

Yield: One 9x5-inch loaf

2 large eggs
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup Greek yogurt or sour cream
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
3 very ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, optional but recommended
¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
Pinch salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9x5-inch loaf pan with nonstick baking spray.
  2. In a large bowl combine the eggs, coconut oil, yogurt, sugars, vanilla extract, and mashed bananas. Beat on medium speed to combine. Add the flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, fresh nutmeg, and salt; stir just till all the dry ingredients are incorporated.
  3. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until top is golden and set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If bread browns before the center is set, you can tent the pan loosely with foil.
  4. Let bread cool in pan 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. 
  5. Bread will keep in an air-tight container (I use a resealable gallon-size plastic bag) in the refrigerator for up to a week. Wrap tightly and freeze for longer storage. 

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