Banana bread is probably the quick bread I bake most often. It’s the perfect use for overripe bananas – the riper the better. If I don’t have time to make banana bread when the bananas turn brown, or don’t have enough for a full batch, I peel them and throw them in a container in the freezer until later. (The flesh can turn very brown in the freezer, but they are perfectly good to eat.)
I thaw them on the counter when it’s time to bake. Thawed bananas can get liquidy when mashed, but that doesn’t affect the final product negatively.
The friend who made this most recent batch of banana muffins with me said they tasted healthy. She claimed that was a compliment, but take it as you will. If you don’t want healthy-tasting muffins, try using some white flour instead of all whole wheat. Regardless of the flour you choose, these muffins are good warm or cold.
The mixing technique is adapted from the 1997 edition of The Joy of Cooking. It results in a light, cakey texture quite different from the dense banana breads of my early baking career.
- measuring cups and spoons
- 2 small and 1 large mixing bowls
- electric mixer
- muffin tin with 12 2 ½-inch cups
- cooling rack
- 2 cups white whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 2¼ teaspoon baking powder
- 6 tablespoons butter at room temperature
- half cup sugar or xylitol
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 to 1¼ cup mashed bananas (3 small or 2 large bananas)
- 1 cup chopped bittersweet baking chocolate or chocolate chips
- Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl.
- Beat together the butter and sugar in a small bowl until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- Transfer butter mixture and dry ingredients to a large bowl and mix them together with an electric beater until they are the texture of brown sugar.
- Beat in the eggs until just blended.
- Beat in the mashed bananas and chocolate until just blended. Do not overwork the dough.
- Use a spoon to drop the batter into a greased or lined muffin pan, filling each cup at least ¾ full.
- Bake 20 to 25 minutes in a 350°F oven. Muffins are ready when inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool on rack at least 10 minutes and serve.